N.S. looking for more foster parents, especially African Nova Scotians

Officials say Nova Scotia needs more foster parents, with a particular emphasis on African Nova Scotians, even after the recruitment of 80 new foster parents in the last year.

There are currently 684 children in foster care, with 663 total homes.

Leonard Doiron, the province's executive director of Child, Youth and Family Supports, says the figures include about two-thirds of children under the province's care, because foster care isn't appropriate for all children.

Doiron says needs remain for foster parents who can provide more specialized levels of care and for homes better suited to a child's cultural background.

Nancy MacLellan, associate deputy minister with the Department of Community Services, says work is being done to reduce approval-process red tape, and on recruitment efforts in African Nova Scotian communities as part of boosting the numbers of available foster parents.

MacLellan told the legislature's community services committee that an additional $1.6 million in supports announced last year have helped, and resulted in about $900 more per foster family per child.