Government of New Brunswick

The Family Services Act

The Department of Social Development has the legislated mandate under the Family Services Act of supporting regulations and program standards to protect and promote the social wellbeing of New Brunswickers. It does this by developing and delivering social service programs that encourage and support individual and family independence and self reliance. Under Child Welfare, the safety and development of children are protected. This is accomplished through such services as child protection, foster care, adoption and other programs involving children and families. The Act stresses the importance of the family and the need to deliver support services to families in the least intrusive manner. When a child must be removed from their home, the Act specifies circumstances under which a child can be "taken into care of the Minister".


Purpose of Foster Care

The goal of the foster care reflects the philosophy of the Family Services Act. Foster care is based on the belief that a family and community is the most beneficial and desirable environment for raising a child. A foster family is a temporary family placement for a child who cannot remain with his or her own family. The supportive atmosphere of a foster family assists a child to heal, grow and develop in all areas of life and offers a positive model on which a child can pattern values and behaviour.


Planning for the Child in Care

Making decisions about the future of a child in foster care is called 'permanency planning'. A primary goal of foster care is to return a child to his or her own family as soon as possible. Where this is not feasible, alternate permanent life plans for the child are made. These can include placement with a relative, guardianship, adoption, or independent living.