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Vancouver CUPE foster parents say they won’t be able to care for their “high risk” children if the provincial government carries out its plan to eliminate funding to the Thetis and Brenson foster care programs.

The programs, operated by the Children’s Foundation, provide a range of support services and resources to foster parents in Vancouver, Surrey, and Langley, who are caring for children with severe emotional and psychological disorders.

“The children in these programs require experienced caregivers,” explains foster parent representative Marion Clubb-Metz, “because we’re dealing with children who have a multitude of complaints, from severe abuse to psychopathic tendencies.”

“The only reason we’re able to cope and to care is because of the support we receive through the Thetis and Brenson programs,” she says.

But the Ministry of Children and Family Development plans to terminate funding for these foster programs on January 31, leaving foster parents without resources or support to care for the most difficult children in the system.

The ministry also plans to drastically reduce their salaries and eliminate their pensions, extended health and other employment benefits. Foster parents don’t have the luxury of weekends off. The ministry’s proposal would take away their holidays too.

“The ministry wants to turn the CUPE foster parents into self-employed contractors,” says Ms. Clubb-Metz, “where they’ll care for exactly the same children for a lot less money, no benefits and no support. It is completely unacceptable.”

She said the ministry must reconsider its proposal, or else risk losing experienced foster parents, a move that would cause even more instability for these children in care.

“Foster parents caring for these high risk children are already making an enormous sacrifice. Why would they continue to do so, if the government is no longer prepared to adequately support them or pay them?”

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For more information: contact Marion Clubb-Metz
Cell: 604-773-6708, H: 604-269-0692