BC Foster Care Education

The British Columbia Foster Care Education Program:

The B. C. Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) has developed a standardized education program designed to build on the skills and experience caregivers bring to their role, as well as knowledge to support their ongoing training and development.  The BC Foster Care Education Program is intended for approved foster parents who have a family care home agreement with the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development.
New foster parents (those persons approved after October 31, 1999) are expected to complete the program within two years of their approved start date with MCFD.
The BC Foster Care Education Program is free of charge and consists of a total of 53 hours of training. It is presented in 14 modules.

Series 1: 36 hours / 9 modules:

Each module threads together core themes of teamwork, child and youth development, communications, guiding children’s behaviour, family support, diversity and inclusion, and the Ministry of Children and Family Development Guardianship Model. Modules may refer to or draw upon content from previous modules so it is recommended that Series 1 modules be taken in the sequence below.

S1-1 Caring for Children: Overview—3 hours

This module provides an overview of the training program with an emphasis on MCFD’s Guardianship Model, the concept of teamwork, and the roles and responsibilities of those providing care to children. Themes include child and youth development, developing relationships and communication skills, guiding children’s behaviour, supporting families, and respecting the diversity of children and families.

S1-2 Communication Skills & Self-Awareness—3 hours

This module addresses why effective communication skills are foundational to caregiving relationships with children, youth, families, and members of the child care team. The importance of how self-awareness impacts our communication and relationships with others is emphasized.

S1-3  Effects of Caregiving—3 hours

Learners explore the possible impacts of caregiving on the foster family and on self. Relationships within neighbourhood and community are also discussed. The signs and sources of stress will be addressed, as well as methods for managing them.

S1-4  The Child’s Family—3 hours

This module emphasizes the importance of family to the child and promotes an understanding of the child’s family. The caregiver’s role in working with and involving the child’s family is explored.

S1-5 Observing, Recording, & Reporting—3 hours

This module addresses the importance of communicating succinct, accurate, and relevant information to the child’s worker and other professionals involved with the child. Participants learn the benefits and purposes of observing and recording, describe the differences between behavioural description and behavioural interpretation, identify what is relevant to record in a daily log, and discuss when to report relevant information to the appropriate member of the care team.

S1 - 6 Child and Youth Development—3 hours

This module helps caregivers understand how children and youth develop and grow, and will explore potential influences on their development. Participants will learn how to support the growth and development of children and youth placed in their care.

S1 - 7 Attachment, Separation, & Loss—6 hours

A child placed in foster care can experience separations from his parents, family members, and other significant people who affect their development and behaviour. In this module, the learner will focus on understanding attachment and loss of attachment through discussion in small groups and through the use of case studies. Participants will learn to promote healthy attachments in the children/youth in their care.

S1 - 8 When Children Experience Abuse & Neglect—6 hours

Learners will explore how to recognize the symptoms and indicators of abuse and neglect and the effect on children. Emphasis will be placed on learning ways to deal positively with reactions and feelings about child abuse and how to identify and respond to the needs of abused and neglected children. Understanding how to support a child who is disclosing will be discussed.

S1 - 9 Guiding Behaviour of Children & Youth—6 hours

This module will introduce ways of understanding and guiding behaviours using a child/youth-centred approach. Learners will explore ways of understanding and being with children and youth where behaviours may present challenges.

Series 2: 17 hours / 5 modules: 

While it is recommended that Series 2 be taken after completing Series 1, it is not a requirement.

S2 - 1 Cultural Responsiveness—3 hours

Learners will explore how caregivers can welcome and be mindful of the diversity of children and youth-in-care. Learners will address the importance of maintaining cultural identity for children’s healthy development and will learn supportive ways to respond to children’s social and cultural experiences.

S2 - 2  Aboriginal Children in Care—3 hours

In this module, learners explore the importance of understanding and integrating the child’s Aboriginal culture in ways that promote and enhance the well-being of Aboriginal Children in care. Learners will address the variety of cultural heritages of Aboriginal people within their own region and will learn how to access local Aboriginal resources.

S2 - 3  Substance Misuse Awareness—3 hours

Learners will explore the varying degrees of substance use, the indications of substance misuse, and the factors that may contribute to misuse. Participants will learn ways to assist and support a child or youth that misuses substances. Access resources dealing with substance misuse will be discussed.

S2 - 4  An Introduction to Fetal Alcohol and Neonatal Abstinence Syndromes—3 hours

This module provides caregivers with some factual information about the effects of prenatal exposure to alcohol on the development of children. Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome will also be introduced. Attention will also be given to understanding the implications of caring for children whose development and behaviours may be influenced by this condition and how to respond and support the needs of these children.

S2 - 5 Suicide Awareness—5 hours

Through the use of lecture, experiential exercises, video and group discussions, emphasis will be placed on warning signs, risk assessment, response mechanisms, and where to get help.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Who is the Foster Care Education Program for?

The program is designed for all approved foster parents, who have a family care home agreement with the Director of Child Protection.

When do I have to take the program?

New foster parents will be required to complete the program within two years of their start date. You can register for all the modules or for specific modules.

I am a very experienced foster parent. Do I have to take this program?

Yes. All foster parents, regardless of their years of fostering or prior training, will be expected to participate in the program. Our new foster care education program provides the most current information on fostering in BC, including Standards for Foster Homes, the Guardianship Model, the Comprehensive Plan of Care, the Looking After Children Model and living with children with diverse special needs.

Will the program cost me money?

The program is being offered to you at no cost under the ministry's agreement.

Is there funding for relief & transportation?

Funding for relief and transportation is extremely limited, please inquire about availability of funding with the FPSS  Society Regional Office at 1-888-922-8437 to obtain approval prior to registering for courses.

BCFCE Program Brochure

BCFCE Fact Sheets

BCFCE Schedules

Mission Statement

The FPSS Foster Parent Support Services Society is a Grass Roots organization committed to
providing meaningful and accessible support, education and networking services which will continually enhance the skills and abilities of foster parents to deliver the best care possible to the children in their homes.


145 - 735 Goldstream Ave
Victoria, BC V9B 2X4
Tel: 1-888-922-8437 (toll free) Fax: 778-430-5463
Email: admin@fpsss.com
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