The province is honouring those who step up to care for children and youth who need a home.

October is Foster Family Month in B.C.

As of April 2019, the province raised support payments to foster parents by an additional $179 per month.

The money is used to help cover the basic necessities for children in their care, including food, clothing and shelter.

It’s the first increase in a decade.

While there are about 2,500 family-based foster homes in B.C., the province says there is always a need for more to represent the diversity of children and youth in care in need of caregivers.

On Sept. 31, 2018, there were 4,455 children and youth in foster care in B.C.

This includes 3,018 Indigenous and 1,437 non-Indigenous kids.

The province notes that there are fewer Indigenous children and youth in care now than at any time since 2014.

Through the Extended Family Program, relatives can be supported to provide care for children and youth from their extended family to keep them in their communities and connected to important relationships and cultural heritage and practices.

If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a foster parent, visit: https://fosternow.gov.bc.ca/