Tikinagan Fostering connection to Language, Culture, and Families – Join us in Celebrating this March!

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THUNDER BAY – LIVING – This March, Tikinagan is honouring the dedication and commitment of more than 210 Foster Parents during its annual Foster Parent Appreciation Month.

Foster Parents are an important part of Tikinagan’s effort in supporting children and youth in care keep their connection to their language, culture and families.

“Without our Foster Parents, the circle of care and the efforts we make to ensure those connections would not be as effective,” said Monica Boland, Service Manager. “Foster Parents play a pivotal role in helping facilitate the relationships in the child’s circle of care, which is a big focus of the Mamow Obiki-ahwahsoowin service model.”

Tikinagan shares the sacred responsibility held by parents, extended family and community members to care for children through their service model Mamow Obiki-ahwahsoowin, which means “everyone working together to raise our children. A child’s circle of care may include the child’s parents and siblings, extended family members, the First Nation Chief and Council, Elders, the school principal and teachers, workers from other community resources, Tikinagan, other caregivers and Foster Parents.

Boland: “When a child comes into care, it is important for each child to be part of a network of caring people, and Foster Parents are a key component of this network. Our Foster Parents don’t ignore the fact that it is so important our children and youth stay connected to their families and communities. They see the difference it makes and always becomes our end goal.”

Throughout March, Tikinagan will be highlighting several Foster Parents and celebrating their dedication to our youth. Tikinagan will also be honouring our Foster Parents with a celebration including food, fun, entertainment, and prizes on March 23.

Foster parents are everyday people who come from all walks of life – homemakers, councilors, grandparents, etc. They work at the community store, the nursing station, the school or in the band office. The list is long. They are selfless individuals that support our youth during difficult periods in their lives.

“Our Foster Parents are amazing. They dedicate their homes, their lives, and themselves to support our youth and to make sure they are kept close to their culture and families.” Said Boland.

Tikinagan is looking for more Foster Parents who want to make a real difference in the life of a child. When their families are unable to care for them, Foster Parents help children stay in their home community, and stay connected to extended family, friends and their culture and traditions.

“We are seeking the assistance of both individuals and couples who want to make a difference in our young people, who want to maintain that connection to their First Nation, their family, their culture, and their language.”

To learn more about Foster Parent Appreciation Month or about being a Foster Parent, go to Tikinagan.org/FPAM

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