Foster Care

Children First — Foster Care and Kinship Program

How Does Foster Care Work? | Application Process | Personal Qualifications

Children First is the foster care and kinship program for Unlimited Potential Community Services. We provide safe, temporary out-of-home placement for children who have nowhere else to turn. Children are matched with skilled caregivers who provide a family-based environment to nurture each child and stabilize behaviours until they can return home.
We provide in-home support to approved foster parents in the greater Edmonton area, and throughout Central Alberta, Red Deer and north, from Camrose in the east to Rocky Mountain House in the west.

We provide services in accordance with the following standards:

Our agency operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Within the Children First program, we deliver a continuum of culturally appropriate services to promote the well-being and independence of each referred child, family, or young adult.

The program offers a full range of family-based care, capable of addressing the needs of children with difficulties ranging from minimal to intensive or specialized. Placement duration varies from short to long term, depending on the needs of the individual child.

Who are the children we serve?

Children First serves children who are unable to live with their family of origin. The program receives children and young adults up to 17 years of age, of any race or cultural background. In Alberta, there are normally between 5,000 to 6,000 children in approximately 1,800 foster homes, under the authority of the Ministry of Edmonton and Area Children Services.

Most children who come into care return to their birth families. These children need foster families willing to provide them with a loving and stable temporary family until issues are resolved and the children can return home.

Other children come into care with a high probability of becoming permanent wards. Ideally, these children are placed immediately into foster families who are able and willing to adopt them when they cannot return home, so that the child’s first foster placement is also their last.

Program delivery, supervision and support

Care for each child in the program is provided by a collaborative team of experienced and qualified agency staff and foster parents, who work with the child, the child’s family, Child and Family Services workers, designated professionals, and community members to meet the child’s individual placement needs.

Children First’s experienced, long-tenured family support workers are committed to improving the lives of the children they care for, acting as their supporters and champions. They provide foster parents with supervision, support, technical assistance, training, and evaluative feedback on case planning and intervention strategies. An assigned family support worker visits each foster family home monthly (more frequently when needed) and stays in regular phone contact. The support worker also meets with and observes the child in the foster home to review the child’s adjustment to the home, and to hear any concerns or feedback he or she may have.

A support worker is on call 24 hours per day to assist foster homes or children with any issues that may arise.


The following supports are also available:

  • Financial compensation
  • Support group meetings
  • In-service training sessions
  • Respite care
  • Emergency respite
  • One-to-one stabilization and supports
  • Mediation services
  • In-home foster family support
  • Crisis intervention
  • Counselling
  • Cultural activities and supports
  • Mentoring program for new foster parents


For more information on the Children First Program, please contact:

Blair Anderson-Croft, Director Family-Based Care
Email (bandersoncroft@UPCS.ORG)
780-440-0708 ext 228

Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge Treaty 6 territory—the traditional and ancestral territory of the Cree, Dene, Blackfoot, Saulteaux , Nakota Sioux and Métis Peoples. We acknowledge the many First Nations, Métis and Inuit who have lived in and cared for these lands since time immemorial. We respect their histories, languages, and cultures whose presence continues to enrich our community. We are grateful for the traditional Elders and Knowledge Keepers who are still with us today and those who have gone before us. We make this acknowledgement as an act of reconciliation and gratitude to those whose territory we are visiting and striving to live in harmony with.

Unlimited Potential Community Services

We welcome your questions and comments.
UP’s main administrative office is located in Edmonton, Alberta.


P: 780-440-0708
Centre 170, Suite 145
10403 – 172 Street
Edmonton, AB, T5S 1K9

Contact UP

P: 780-440-0708
Dial 200 for reception