Becoming a Professional Caregiver
Being a Professional Caregiver is caring for someone else’s children in your own home at a time when his or her family is unable to do so. Professional Caregivers provide a safe, secure and stable environment for children and youths, working with them, their family and the Children’s Aid Societies, to help most children return home as quickly as possible.
We are looking for people who can make a difference to children's lives. If you have fostered before or worked with children or youths in a professional capacity, or even if you have no previous experience but feel you have the qualities needed, you could be just the person we are looking for.
Connor Homes expects the primary Professional caregiver, whether single or in a couple, to be able to make a full-time commitment to caring for children 0 to 18 years of age.
Space for children and youths is important and you will need to have bedrooms with ample space for each child placed with you. Dependent on the physical space of the residence and your comfort level will dictate whether you can accept between 1 and 4 children and or youths in your home.
With Connor Homes you would be working with a professional team of people, providing you with the best support available. Connor Homes – Specialized Treatment Foster Care programs are accredited by CARF Canada and hold a 3 year accreditation (highest achievable). Connor Homes also has a strong relationship with the Ministry of Child and Youth Services across Ontario.
Connor Homes can offer you:
- A potential to earn up to $75,000 tax free income annually
- Paid holidays
- Paid respite
- 24-hour on call emergency assistance
- High Quality training on an ongoing basis
- Child care workers to assist with child management
- A clinical team of Supervisors, Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Education Specialists and Support Workers
If you would like to contact a member of our team please find our main office contact information below. The main officer can put you in contact with a representative of Connor Homes from your area:
5 Hearthstone Rd.
Campbellford, Ontario K0L 1L0
Professional Caregiver Checklist
You may wish to consider the following checklist in helping you to decide whether you have the qualities to become a Professional Caregiver for Connor Homes.
- You genuinely like and enjoy children and can remain enthusiastic about them even when things are difficult
- You understand that looking after children from another family is different to caring for children in your own family
- You appreciate that fostering will have an impact on your own children and your extended family
- You do not expect children to be grateful for the care you show or demonstrate through your actions
- You can accept that children may take some time to respond to the care you offer
- You can accept a child who may reject or strongly disagree with ideas, views and feelings that you hold
- You can understand that children may lie, steal or display sexualized behavior
- You can allow and encourage a child to have feelings of affection for others
- You can accept and deal with anger from children.
You have a good sense of humor
- Your marriage, partnership or support network of friends and family can withstand the pressures associated with fostering
- You can, when necessary, reach out to others for support
- You are willing to share your life experiences with others
- You can accept that things in your house might be moved or broken
- You can accept failure in yourself and others
- You can be satisfied with small steps of progress
Support for Professional Caregivers
Professional Caregivers joining Connor Homes are expected to work diligently, resiliently and persistently in what can be difficult and challenging circumstances, and we highly value the work they undertake.
Appropriate support for the families who foster is vitally important to a successful placement. We pride ourselves in providing creative and flexible support for young people and their Professional Caregivers,
This includes a professional therapy and support service offered individually to young people who are experiencing severe emotional difficulties.
Connor Homes views its support service as a way of ensuring that every placement stands every chance of success. Young people referred to us may have experienced many rejections and we endeavor to do everything possible to minimize this re-occurring.
The support includes:
- Access to a Connor Homes Support Supervisor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year
- Supervision and support from a qualified and suitably experienced Connor Homes Supervisor
- Frequent visits from your Connor Homes Supervisor
- Regular telephone contact from your Connor Homes Supervisor
- Paid Relief and Holidays
- Support group meetings
Child and Youth Workers to work with the children and young people, especially if they are not attending school
- Organized activities for children and young people
- Educational support in negotiating with schools and promoting the child’s/young person’s educational needs
- A comprehensive post-approval orientation program
Training for Professional Caregivers
Connor Homes is committed to providing quality training to Professional Caregivers that is accessible and relevant. Training is viewed as an important element of support and comprehensive pre and post approval/appointment training is made available.
Training is provided to:
- Help Professional Caregivers become better at doing their job.
- Improve knowledge, develop and refine skills.
- Establish positive values that promote equality of opportunity.
- Encourage Professional Caregivers to recognize that we care for children in the context of a wider society, and discourage discrimination.
- Ensure that Professional Caregivers are competent and confident in safe caring and in protecting children from harm.
- Encourage Professional Caregivers to take responsibility for their own professional development through individual training.
Training includes the key elements of:
- Child protection
- Working with children who have been abused
- Safe caring
- Understanding attachment
- Building resilience
Understanding and managing difficult behavior
- Managing and promoting contact
- Identity and self-esteem
- Valuing diversity and promoting equality
- First aid/Health and safety
- Education of fostered children/young people
- Empowering children/young people
- Preparing young people for moving on and adult independence.
Applying to Become a Professional Caregiver
On receiving an enquiry to become a Professional Caregiver, Connor Homes requests basic information from you and forwards our literature to you. An initial personal discussion takes place in your own home. An application form is then completed, giving us detailed information about you and your family, and consent for us to complete necessary checks.
References and Checks
Statutory references are required on all members of your household and other regular adult visitors. A medical examination must be undertaken by your doctors and the report made available to us. Personal references are required to provide written references and will be interviewed as part of the assessment process.
A qualified supervisor will then carry out a full assessment. They will visit your home, generally on 4-8 occasions, to meet and collect information about all the members of your household and your experience and skills in relation to fostering. An assessment report is produced by a Connor Homes Supervisor. All Connor Homes Supervisors are trained practitioners of the SAFE Home study process developed by the Consortium for Children which has been adapted by all Children’s Aid Societies across Ontario.
Training and Support
‘Preparation for Professional Parenting’ training is provided which covers all responsibilities and obligations. This training must be attended by all applicants that wish to become Professional Caregivers.
During the assessment process applicants will be helped to compile a file that will become an ongoing learning and development portfolio. The content of the assessment report, excluding all references, will be shared with you and then presented to the directors of Connor Homes for approval. You may be expected to attend and meet one of the directors of Connor Homes prior to approval of your Professional Caregiver file.