Steps to Becoming a Foster Parent: Information Gathering Stage

Information Gathering Stage - Becoming a Foster Parent -

Now that I have begun my training I have been assigned my Home Study worker. There are a couple steps to this process. First, we enter the Information Gathering Stage. Once that is complete, my Home Study worker will come out to my house to complete her Home Studies in the Assessment Stage.

Information Gathering Stage

I received an email from my Home Study worker the other day with instructions for the next steps of this stage. I had thought this stage was just reaching out to my References, me handing in my Police and Medical checks and reviewing my training homework. Nope, I was wrong. There is much more in this stage.

  • Home Study Worker sends out Reference requests to the people I had put on my Application Forms as references
  • I have to complete AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act) training – Parts 1 & 2 (online)
  • Register and Complete Car Seat training
  • Homework sheet – Six Competencies (to be done once training is complete for review in Home Study)
  • Complete the “Resource Family Profile” sheet
  • Review information handouts – review and be able to sign off on reading and understanding the information given
  • Submit Police and Medical reports.


My references have been contacted and sent a form to fill out. I did not ask to see the form, as I don’t want them to feel like they need to share what they put on the form, so I can’t speak much on this right now. I am not sure if any of them will be shared with me during the in home visits or not.

AODA Training

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act is a mandatory training sessions for all employees and volunteers. I was able to do it online, which made it easy to complete. It went through different types of disabilities and ways to communicate and act with people with disabilities and made you aware of things not to do, and things you should do to assist. I can understand why this training is mandatory and felt it had a lot of good information in general. This took me about an hour and a half to complete.

Car Seat Training

I didn’t even think of this as being a requirement until I saw it on the list, but makes a lot of sense! So many people use car seats incorrectly, just out of lack of knowledge. I did not take a course when my children were younger, I had looked into it, but there weren’t local ones that were easy for me to get to when my kids were babies. This training is held in the same spot as my PRIDE training and I have signed up for the one that is the week after my PRIDE training is finished (December 8), so it will fit into my current training schedule nicely. It is about two and a half hours long.

Homework for Home Study Review

There is a sheet to fill out about how you will help children in care for each of the “Six Competencies.” The Six Competencies are what our training is based around. Each session we learn about items that help us with these categories.

  1. Protecting and nurturing children
  2. Meeting children’s developmental needs and addressing developmental delays
  3. Supporting relationships between children and their families
  4. Connecting children to safe, nurturing relationships intended to last a lifetime
  5. Participating as an equal member of a professional team
  6. Reinforcing a child’s heritage and cultural identity

Resource Family Profile

This is a profile sheet about your family. The pictures included may be shown to potential placements (if they are old enough). This sheet also helps when a pre-placement visit isn’t possible so they can show pictures and information about you.

Information to fill out (maximum two pages, including photos):

  • Names of Resource Parents and Children
  • Length of Time Fostering (I left blank, as I haven’t begun)
  • Pets
  • Languages Spoken in the Home
  • Activities the Family Enjoys
  • Religious Affiliation
  • Summary (write a blurb about what you have to offer as a foster/adoptive family)
  • Photos (it says embed three photos… I think I included 8 on the sheet… oops.)

Information Review

My Home Study worker sent over information for me to review which will be discussed at one of our in home assessments. At the in home assessment I will have to sign off on reading these and we will discuss them.

11 Safety Policies and Procedures

  1. Acceptable and Unacceptable Disciplinary Practices (5 pages)
  2. Bathtub Safety (1 page)
  3. Child Restraint Car Seats (5 pages)
  4. Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Need (2 pages)
  5. Effective Communication and Transfer of Medical Medication Information (4 pages)
  6. Safe Administration, Storage and Disposal of Medications (7 pages)
  7. Second Hand Smoke Policy (2 pages)
  8. Serious Occurrences (4 pages)
  9. Use of Motorized Vehicles (2 pages)
  10. Use of Physical Restraints (3 pages)
  11. Water Safety (7 pages)

Police and Medical Reports

As mentioned in my Application Package page, I have to complete a Police Clearance and Medical Report.

Police Clearance

All people in the Foster/Adoptive process have to complete this as well as any children who are 18+ living or are frequently in the home. I have to go into the Police Station to get this and will receive it about 3-6 days later. There is a fee for this, but it is covered by the Children’s Aid Society (CAS), I just have to claim it as an expense using the receipt and they will reimburse me the cost.

Medical Report

There is a form to be taken in to my Doctor or Nurse Practitioner to fill out. You can see a copy of it on my Foster Application Package page. The cost of this varies by Doctor, so the CAS will cover the first $25 of the fee charged (once claimed as an expense). I was told some Doctors charge $20, some charge $60, it all depends on the Doctor.

Now.. to find time to make these appointments!

That is all the information I have on this stage at the moment. Once all of those items are complete, on to the Assessment Stage, which is the in home visits and interview with my children. Due to timing of things, I probably will not start my in home assessments until after Christmas.  I will keep you posted on all training and Info Gathering until then.