The Role of Foster Care in Permanency

Foster care is a crucial, temporary support that keeps children and youth safe and cared for until Permanency can be achieved through reunification, transfer of physical and legal custody, or adoption.  Foster parents play an essential role in supporting youth until the child welfare system completes its ultimate purpose to restore a child to a safe, loving, legally secure family.

Foster parents are key members of the team working to achieve permanency for children in foster care. Foster parents often work with birth parents and support reunification efforts. They also may consider adopting the children in their care if the children cannot return home. 

Types of Foster Care

To meet the unique needs of children/youth and foster families, there are different types of foster care. 

FOSTER CARE: You provide full-time care for a foster child/youth in your home

RESPITE OR RELIEF CARE: a family provides short-term care for children or youth in need. Care is intended to be scheduled and flexible, such as on weekends and holidays. It can also be offered during emergencies or times of crisis.

Respite or relief care provides a temporary break for families responsible for children or youth with varying levels of need. This extra support benefits both the child/youth and caregiver by:

Respite care can also be an opportunity for individuals and families who want to help others or give fostering a try but aren’t ready for a long-term commitment.

If you would like to discuss providing respite or relief care with a Social Worker, you can:
Call Social Development at 1-833-SDDSTel (1-833-733-7835) between 8:15-4:30 Monday to Friday. 

Evenings or weekends you can call 211.
Send an email to To help us direct your email, please be sure to include the following information:

PROFESSIONAL CARE HOMES: an individual or family with education/training in caring for children or youth with complex needs opens their home to become a full-time professional caregiver.

To apply or for more information about professional care homes, contact the Department of Social Development at 1-833-998-3880 or email

About Foster Care
Becoming a Foster Family

New Brunswick has an ongoing need for foster families and foster care is considered essential part of our communities.

If you are interested in fostering or would like more information, please visit or sending an e-mail to:

To help direct your email, be sure to include your name and which area of the province you live in.