Quebec’s Department of Youth Protection is sounding the alarm over an urgent need for more foster families on the island of Montreal.
“The role of the host family is crucial in our society and for our protection system,” said director Assunt Gallo in a statement. “Some children need a temporary home, but others will not return to their environment. They are often children with high needs.”
The situation has taken a critical turn, according to the department. Since 2011, the number of available foster parents has dropped from 900 to fewer than 300.
The department of youth protection is specifically looking for adults who would be willing to take in newborns, infants and children up to the age of five.
Nathalie Bibeau, the department’s assistant director, said they are looking for Montrealers who want to help children in vulnerable situations.
“Any person, regardless of marital status, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, whether at home or on the job market, can become a foster family,” she said in a statement.
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The CIUSSS l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, the regional health authority of the west end of Montreal, is also seeking foster families for the city’s west end and the West Island areas.
There is an urgent need for homes from different racial, cultural and religious communities. The CIUSSS said it is also looking for English-speaking families.
“We are looking for homes who could receive one child as well as families able to receive sibling groups of two or three children,” the CIUSSS said.
— With files from The Canadian Press