More than 700 foster families will be celebrated during FosterFamily Appreciation Week. With the theme “Images of Love, Imagesof Care” as the backdrop, the week recognizes the commitment offoster parents to children and youth in care. Premier John Hamm proclaimed Oct. 17 to 23, as Foster FamilyAppreciation Week. The week was launched Sunday, Oct. 17, at theDundee Resort and Golf Club with a family fun day celebrating theaccomplishments of foster families across the province. The weekalso includes the awarding of certificates of recognition tofoster families in increments of five years. “The province of Nova Scotia is exceptionally proud of thecalibre of our foster parents — the people who are the heart ofthe Foster Care program,” said David Morse, Minister of CommunityServices. “Nova Scotia’s foster families provide comfort andencouragement, security and stability to young people who need itmost. Foster Family Appreciation Week is set aside to express ourgratitude and applaud their dedication to the well-being ofchildren in care.” As part of its annual celebration, the Foster Care program onceagain hosted a contest for children and youth. This year, thecompetition was expanded to include both art and poetrycategories. The selected art contest entry was created by Alicia,while the author of the selected poetry submission was Brittany.Both Alicia and Brittany are 12 years old. Their entries can beviewed on the website at www.gov.ns.ca/coms . “Foster families work as part of a team of professionals whoensure that the children and youth receive the love and supportthey need,” said Jill Wilson-Kingston, provincial foster careservices co-ordinator. “Foster parents work together with socialworkers, foster care resource teams, the Federation of FosterFamilies and the Department of Community Services, toward acommon goal, the health and well-being of children and youth inNova Scotia. This type of team approach benefits both fosterparents and the children and youth who come into our care.” All foster parents attend comprehensive training to prepare themto help the child or youth in their care. Training issues coversuch varied topics as sensitivity, the developmental needs ofchildren and non-violent crisis intervention. Experienced fosterparent trainers share their knowledge and help deliver the ParentResource: Information, Development and Education (PRIDE) trainingwith Community Services and Federation of Foster Families of NovaScotia. Foster parents also receive per diem monetarycompensation to assist with costs associated with helping thechild or youth in their care. More information about foster care, including how families cantake the first steps towards fostering, is available by callingthe 24-hour, toll-free number 1-800-565-1884.