Foster Parent Support Services Society, BC Ministry of Children and Family Development, VI Health Authority, BC Safe Babies Programs, and Sick Kids Foundation
September 15, 2010
The Foster Parent Support Services Society of Vancouver Island is pleased to announce that they are the recipient of The Rotman Award for Paediatric Home Care Innovation. The $100,000 award recognizes the commitment to innovation and best practices of the program and the exemplary work of the FPSS Society, the Vancouver Island Collaborative Safe Babies Committee, and the provincial Safe Babies Program network.
The Safe Babies Program supports infants from birth to three years of age who have been placed in the care of the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development. Foster parents and social workers receive training and support so that infants in the foster care system who have experienced prenatal exposure to alcohol or drugs are cared for in safe environments that support optimal physical, cognitive and emotional development.
“The value of the Safe Babies program and the difference that it makes for foster parents and the babies in their care is immeasurable,” said Margaret Howley, Executive Director of FPSSS. “Infants with prenatal substance exposure have complex needs and require extra support to have their daily needs met during the first years of life. The Safe Babies program creates better outcomes for the infants as well as for the caregivers who have access to education and a support network when caring for high risk infants.”
Dr. Lenora Marcellus, an Assistant Professor of Nursing at the University of Victoria and one of the original researchers in the development of the Safe Babies Program, continues to be actively involved in the program and is also a Board Member of the Foster Parent Support Services Society. “These are infants with great resiliency and capacity to develop,” said Dr. Marcellus. “It is important that foster parents are supported to provide an environment that contributes to optimal health for infants in their care.”
The Rotman Award for Paediatric Home Care Innovation was created five years ago by SickKids Foundation and generously supported by Janis Rotman. Its purpose is to ultimately improve home and community healthcare and treatment for the Canadian children and youth who make up almost 15 per cent of all home care recipients.
“Congratulations to Foster Parent Support Services Society on their truly impactful program, Safe Babies,” said Pam Gilliland, grants officer, National Grants at SickKids Foundation. “The Rotman Award prides itself on recognizing only the best and most innovative home care programs for children and youth in the country. Safe Babies is more than representative of the award’s values and we’re happy to recognize them.”
The funds from the award will be used to update and expand the Foster Parent Safe Baby Training. The award ceremony takes place at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto on Sunday, September 19, 2010.