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New Funding to Increase Family-based Care Options for Children with Specialized Needs

The Government of Saskatchewan is partnering with the Saskatchewan Foster Families Association to launch Phase Two of the Parent Resources for Information, Development and Education (PRIDE) Levels of Pay that will help increase the number of foster homes able to care for children with specialized needs. Phase Two recognizes the enhanced caregiver training needed to best support complex behavioural, developmental or medical needs and emergent trauma care. 

“When a child or youth cannot safely remain in their family home, placement in a family-based setting is the next best option, whether that be an extended family caregiver, trusted family connection or foster home,” Social Services Minister Lori Carr said. “For children and youth with exceptional needs, finding appropriate family-based care can be challenging. Implementing this leveled payment structure will encourage foster parents to complete specialized training which, in turn, will allow more children and youth with specialized needs to reside in family-based care.”

The new payment structure supports the goal of keeping children in a family-based care setting that can support their needs. Training requirements address the unique needs in each level, with mandatory training as well as child-specific training available to support foster families.

“PRIDE Levels of Pay – Phase Two will equip caregivers in providing specialized care to children and youth with complex needs,” Saskatchewan Foster Families Association Executive Director Deb Davies said. “This enhanced education and payment structure recognizes the additional skills, training and commitment of caregivers to ensure they provide the best care to children and youth.”

The Government of Saskatchewan has allocated an additional $1.506 million in 2021-22 for Phase Two. This funding is in addition to $2.74 million for the Phase One payment structure. PRIDE Levels of Pay – Phase One was successfully implemented in late 2019 and has positively impacted participation in training, recruitment and retention of foster families.

The Saskatchewan Foster Families Association manages recruitment, training and support for foster families. Anyone interested in learning more about how they can help vulnerable children, youth and their families, or what is required to become a foster parent, is encouraged to call the Saskatchewan Foster Families Association at 1-800-667-7002 or visit www.saskfosterfamilies.ca.

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