first_imgThere are more than 800 foster families in Nova Scotia who provide children in need with a loving, stable home where they can deal with the challenges in their lives. Foster Family Appreciation Week is Oct. 18 to 24, and the Province of Nova Scotia wants to thank foster families for their dedication and commitment throughout the year to these children. “Children come into foster care for a variety of reasons and each one deserves a safe, supportive place to call home in times of personal family crisis,” said Community Services Minister Denise Peterson-Rafuse. “During Foster Family Appreciation Week we want to especially thank and recognize our foster families for their important role in the lives of foster children.” An art and poetry contest for children and youth who are part of a foster family is one of the highlights of this annual celebration. This year’s selected art entry was created by Willow, age 10, and the author of the selected poetry submission was Torie, age 14. Their entries can be viewed on the Department of Community Services website at . During celebrations across the province, certificates of recognition will be awarded to foster families for every five years they have cared for young people. “My family and I have been actively fostering for the past 16 years,” said Allan Best, a foster parent in Antigonish. “Being a foster family takes the support and love of our entire family to provide a nurturing and safe environment to the children who come to us in need. On a daily basis, we are reminded of the positive impact we have by seeing the progress of the children we have been so fortunate to meet.” Foster parents are provided with comprehensive training programs, which cover topics like sensitivity, the developmental needs of children and non-violent crisis intervention. Experienced foster-parent trainers share their knowledge and deliver the program, Parent Resource: Information, Development and Education (PRIDE), along with Community Services and the Federation of Foster Families of Nova Scotia. Foster parents also receive assistance with the costs associated with helping children or youth in their care. The Department of Community Services is always looking for more foster families. If your family is interested in learning more or becoming a foster parent, please call the 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-800-565-1884.last_img read more