The Alberta Foster and Kinship Association flag was raised in the Civic Square Oct. 20.

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

They are the compassionate few who open the doors of their homes to provided needed care and love to children and youth in need.

To mark their special contribution to society, the Alberta Foster and Kinship Association declared Oct. 20-26 Foster and Kinship Caregiver Week.

Locally, a flag raising ceremony was held in the Civic Square to mark the week.

Michel Demeule, manager, High Prairie Service Delivery at the High Prairie Youth Assessment Centre, says there are about 28 care providers in the High Prairie service delivery region, from Fox Creek to Kinuso to Girouxville, providing care to an estimated 50 children and youth.

“I want to acknowledge and recognize the hard work of the foster care parents in the region,” he says.

Kansus Connellan, associate director, Northwest Children’s Services, agrees.

“Without the hard work of our foster kinship parents … they are valuable members of our team.”

John Dunn, Foster Kinship care support worker, adds his thoughts.

“On behalf of the Province of Alberta and High Prairie Family and Children’s Services, we thank our foster parents for providing care and love for children.”

Alberta Minister of Children’s Services Rebecca Schulz also issued a statement to mark the occasion.

“Our government is honoured to thank the caregivers across Alberta who provide stable and loving homes for some of our most vulnerable children and youth,” she says.

“Foster and kinship caregivers demonstrate the best of Alberta and show us what community is all about. Foster and kinship caregivers take in children, knowing they may not be in their homes for very long, and give them everything they would give their own children.”

Foster and kinship caregivers provide support for at-risk children, ensuring they maintain connections to their home community and family. The love and support shown helps children and youth nurture a sense of identity, and contributes to building happy and meaningful lives.

A flag raising ceremony to mark Alberta Foster and Kinship Association was raised in the Civic Square Oct. 20. Left-right are: Kansus Connellan, associate director, Northwest Children’s Services; Larry Alin, friend of Ann Fulton; Ann Fulton, care provider; Terri Forseille, care provider; Starla Gladue, youth in care; Dustin Burgar, assessor for Children’s Services; Michel Demeule, manager, High Prairie Service Delivery at the High Prairie Youth Assessment Centre; and John Dunn, Foster Kinship care support worker.