Increased funding announced for B.C. foster, adoptive and extended families
Revealing a side not often seen on camera, Premier John Horgan choked up while thanking the province's foster, adoptive and extended families as part of his government's increased support.
"To the foster communities and those who are helping people you may have never met before, out of the goodness of your heart and your kindness and spirit of generosity, you deserve the respect were trying to give you today," said the premier, fighting back tears.
"We've made some progress but there’s much, much more to do, and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your contributions to British Columbia," concluded Horgan.
He, Child and Family Development Minister Katrine Conroy, and Social Development and Poverty Reduction Minister Shane Simpson announced the funding boosts to media gathered at the B.C. legislature in Victoria.
Affected families can expect:
- $179 more monthly for foster families
- A 15% raise for Community Living BC’s homeshare program
- A 15% raise to post-adoption assistance rates for qualified families
- A 75% increase for extended family support
Horgan says the increase for extended families was recommended to Conroy directly from Grand Chief Edward John when she took office, and would be felt strongly in the province's Indigenous communities.
"It is an initiative that will have a profound impact on keeping families together," said Horgan.
Community Living BC's homeshare program supports more than 4,000 adults living with developmental disabilities find housing across the province.
"Families are the core of our communities - they're the core of our province," the premier said.
Foster and adoptive parent Heather Haynes spoke after the politicians, saying it will make a big difference in the daily lives of the children they have at home.
"We can give all the kisses and hugs that we possibly have," said Haynes, "but there are real needs that kids that come from hard places need."
"They are unique needs, and they're expensive."