Personal Qualifications

Return to Foster Care and Kinship Program

Becoming a foster family


Personal Qualifications

Residence You must be a resident of Central Alberta (including Edmonton and Red Deer North). You must have resided in Canada for a minimum of 10 years.
Stability You must have sufficient maturity and stability to assume the responsibilities presented by fostering. Your existing relationships must have been stable for a minimum of two years.
Physical Space Your home must be structurally sound and safe, with adequate eating, storage, and sleeping space, including a separate bed for each child. Foster children may share a bedroom, but not a bed. Foster children must not share a bedroom with your own children.
Marital Status Any stable and mature adult may apply, regardless of marital status. Cohabiting applicants must have been in a stable relationship for at least five years prior to applying.
Age The minimum age for foster parents is generally 25, preferably with a history of child care training/experience. Younger applicants may be considered, depending on experience and available support systems.The maximum age for foster parents is determined by the best interests of the child.
Health You must be physically and mentally capable of meeting the child’s needs, as well as keeping up with all the duties required of a foster parent. You must have had no major illness or trauma in the past 12 months. A medical reference and positive medical report are required.
Financial Circumstances You must be living within your means financially. Foster parents receive maintenance payments for the care of the foster child, but these payments are insufficient to be relied upon as regular family income.
Safety Cribs, playpens, and children’s toys must meet current safety standards. Medications and drugs must be locked up. Firearms are to be trigger locked; ammunition is locked separately. Property and vehicles are adequately insured, including personal liability coverage. The foster family must be willing to use universal safety precautions, to minimize the risk of transmission of diseases.
Security Checks You must provide a satisfactory children’s services intervention record check and a police criminal record check. A criminal record or previous children’s services involvement does not necessarily exclude you from approval. 
References   You must provide satisfactory references from three people who have known you for at least three years, one of whom must be a relative. We prefer references that have knowledge of your family life and parenting abilities. A school reference will be required if you have school-age children.
Training You must complete 24 hours of pre-service training. A commitment to ongoing training is essential. Following approval, an additional 86 hours of training must be completed by each caregiver within 4 years.
Skills Above-average communication skills, flexibility, adaptability, and ability to work as part of a professional team are important. You must have a repertoire of child-rearing skills and be willing to parent foster children without the use of physical discipline. This is important because of the trauma that many children have experienced from physical and sexual abuse.
Family Values and Personality Traits You must have a commitment to family values, a high quality of life, and ongoing self-improvement; a willingness to share time and resources; a tough skin and soft heart; the ability to see success in small steps; and the ability and willingness to work with professionals from a variety of disciplines. You must be a peacemaker and an advocate.

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