Foster parents play a pivotal role in offering a secure, nurturing, and inclusive environment to children within the care system, particularly those who have experienced trauma, shares Landy Anderson.
A registered social worker and course instructor in the Child and Youth Studies department at Trent University Durham GTA, Anderson recently published a new book, The Foster Parent Survival Guide: How to Care for a Traumatized Child. According to Anderson, the book is “intended to help child welfare practitioners develop an authentic, powerful, and informed approach to supporting foster parents raise healthy foster children.”
Focusing on ways to best support Indigenous children in the foster care system, the book emphasizes the importance of maintaining their cultural connection through their placement family.
Anderson’s passion for this area of care is deeply personal and influenced by her husband’s lived experience as a survivor of the Sixties Scoop. His experience motivated them to become foster parents for 12 years, during which time they cared for more than 100 teenagers.
Overrepresented and under resourced
Anderson says that Indigenous children are overrepresented in the care system. According to the Government of Canada’s Census 2021 data, 53.8 per cent of children in foster care are Indigenous, while accounting for only 7.7 per cent of the child population in Canada.
“The overrepresentation of Indigenous children in care, as well as the time spent growing up in foster care, makes it important to have culturally competent, qualified, and committed Indigenous foster parents caring for Indigenous children in care with complex special needs.”
Through her work, Anderson advocates for a transformative approach to the foster care system, one that fosters healing and rejects complacency. She hopes that her new book will be a resource that promotes change.
The book will be released on Tuesday, October 10 and will be highlighted and sold as a fundraiser for the Foster Parents Society of Ontario throughout the month, which also aligns with Foster Family Appreciation Week from October 16 to 22. A launch party for the book will be held on October 10at Trent Durham .