(Archive copy for historical purposes only)

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Foster Children and Wards


Social assistance may be granted to a person who resides in the province and who is residing with one or more children of whom that person is the guardian and does not have adequate means of caring properly for them without social assistance.    Act 6(c)

Prince Edward Island

A foster child is a minor (under 18 years of age) whose parents are unable, in the opinion of the Director, to support him, and who is cared for by a person standing in loco parentis to him in a substitute home approved as a suitable place of care by a child welfare authority.    Regulation 1(k)

Nova Scotia - Provincial

"Foster child" means a child who resides in the Province and who:

a) is dependent on the applicant for support;

b) is under the age of eighteen years; or

c) is eighteen years of age or over and attending an approved educational program.    Regulation 3(i)

A person may apply for assistance under the Family Benefits Act on behalf of:

a) a foster child in the applicant's care and custody where the child is not being maintained by his parent(s) or whose parents are dead or are disabled as defined in the regulations;

b) a child born out of wedlock where his mother is ineligible to apply for assistance on her own behalf as well as on behalf of the child.    FBA Act 5(5)

The Director shall not grant benefits in either "a" or "b" (above) unless he has obtained a report from the children's services authority stating that the applicant is providing the child with a suitable home environment.    Regulation 24(2)

Benefits on behalf of a foster child shall be granted only where the applicant has made every reasonable effort to obtain support from the child's natural parent(s), including enforcement of court orders; this provision may be waived where compliance would be futile or unreasonable, or where it would adversely affect the family.    Regulation 21(5,7)

The gross income of the person who applies for Family Benefits on behalf of a foster child ( including the gross income of the applicant's spouse) cannot exceed $16,500 per year, plus $500 for each child in their care and custody (including the foster child).    Policy 05-04-03

Nova Scotia - Municipal

Foster child allowances are paid by the province; a foster child in a Municipal Assistance recipient's household in Halifax is not considered as part of the household except in determining the shelter allowance (foster child payments are not considered income).    Policy 1.3.8

New Brunswick

Assistance may be granted on behalf of a child who is cared for by a foster parent in the foster parent's home where:

a) the child's natural parents are unable to support the child, or it is impractical for them to do so;

b) the transfer of legal guardianship is not required; and

c) the home is considered suitable to meet the child's needs.    Regulation 20(1)


Assistance may be granted on behalf of a child who is a dependant of a brother, a sister, an uncle, an aunt, a grandparent or an adult where that adult has custody of the child under a court order, except in the case of a foster family.    Regulation (1) - see also section 8.3


A foster parent with a foster child may be eligible for assistance, if the child is in need as determined by the Regulations.    FB Act 7(1)(f); GWA Regulation 1(4); FBA Policy 0202-05 ; GWA Policy 0303-07

Manitoba - Provincial

A child whose parents are dead or are, in the Director's opinion, unable to contribute to his maintenance, and who is wholly dependent upon another person for his basic necessities is eligible for assistance.    Act 5(1)(f)

Manitoba - Municipal

No special provisions concerning foster children; however, applications from minors who are living independent of the parental home require assessment and recommendation from the local Child and Family Services Agency.   Editorial Comment


Where the parents of a child are unwilling or unable to provide proper care and support for the child, assistance may be granted on behalf of the child outside the parental home (COPH).  During the first 90 days of such an arrangement, assistance may be granted on the basis of the financial resources available to and the needs of the child only; during the same period, the Family Services Division shall review the circumstances of the case and determine which of the following options is best for the child:

a) return to natural parents;

b) continuation of placement with substitute family;

c) formalization of substitute family placement (guardianship) - only if the child is an orphan;

d) referral to Family Services Division (where neither the natural or substitute family is willing or able to care for the child).

Policy 2-1-4,5


Children in Need Living with a Guardian

Where the parents of a child are unable or unwilling to properly care for their child and their child is, in the opinion of the Director, being properly cared for in the home of another person, a social allowance may be issued to that person on behalf of the child.  In such cases, the computation of financial resources shall include only the income and assets of the child.    Act 9

Workers must refer Children in Need Living with a Guardian cases to a Family Maintenance Worker to pursue maintenance from the natural parent(s) under the Income Support Recovery Act.   Policy 02-05-03 p.3

The adult responsible for a Child in Need Living with a Guardian shall be advised that the government is subrogated to all rights to maintenance when the Supports for Independence application is submitted, unless the child is receiving payments directly.   Policy 01-05-03 p.2

British Columbia

A child who is not residing with his or her parent or guardian shall be deemed ineligible for income assistance unless in the discretion of the administering authority a decision is made to assist, even though a parent or guardian is responsible for the support of the child.  Such assistance, if granted, shall occur only after reasonable efforts have been made to have the parent or guardian assume full responsibility for the support of the child.    Regulation 3(4,5)

A child living with a relative other than the child's parent because the parent is unable to assume the responsibility may be granted income assistance pursuant to the terms of the regulations, provided the placement has been approved by the Director.    Regulation 3(5)


A child who is in the care of the Director of Child Welfare while living in the home of an applicant of assistance is not included as a dependent of the applicant.    Regulation 2(e)

The child's circumstances and those of his or her natural parents are the only considerations in the determination of eligibility; assistance granted in such cases is based on the foster home allowance rate.    Policy 8/7/2

Northwest Territories

The definition of a person in need includes a foster child, or a person under the age of 19 years who is in the care or custody or under the control or supervision of the Superintendent of Child Welfare.  A foster child living in the home of an applicant for assistance is not counted as a dependant of the applicant.    Regulation 1

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