Foster Parent Spotlight: Brenda

In honour of Foster Parent Appreciation Month, every week we are spotlighting some remarkable Foster Parents.

Brenda Boyuk always wanted to be doing meaningful work.

So when she found her answer in helping raise children by being a Foster Parent, she knew it was the perfect fit.

“Children are more exciting,” said Brenda. “You can teach them things.” 

Brenda Boyuk, Live-in Foster Parent for Tikinagan in Kejick Bay, ON

After taking a break from fostering children in her own home, Brenda heard about the opportunity to be a live-in Foster Parent with Tikinagan. 

And she jumped at it. 

“I just love children,” she said. 

Instead of fostering in their own home, Tikinagan’s Live-In Foster Parents reside in a Tikinagan-owned foster home with children in care to create a family environment.

But even on her days off, Brenda visits the live-in home “just to be with them,” often bringing her own children. The home is located in in Kejick Bay (Lac Seul), where Brenda also lives.

“It’s like we’re one big, happy family,” she said. “Some of them get really attached to you. I get attached to them.”

Brenda added that having her children come into the home helps “break the ice,” letting children see the role she plays as a mother herself, and essentially, her family’s role in Tikinagan’s service model Mamow Obiki-ahwahsoowin. 

Most of the children who come into care at the live-in home where Brenda works are young children and sometimes teenagers. Part of her role is to help provide a nurturing, safe environment. She focuses on establishing routine, hygiene, and healthy eating.

“When they’re with us, we introduce veggies a little bit at a time, and by the time they go home, they eat veggies.”

As a part of Tikinagan’s Foster Parent Appreciation Month in March, Brenda, along with the more than 370 foster parents across the agency’s 30 First Nations and urban communities, are being recognized by the agency for their commitment to raising children.  

When told of her recognition this year, Brenda said was surprised.

“I was like, Huh? who? It’s like, ‘What did I do?’ It’s an overwhelming feeling…doing something right.” 

Live-In Foster Parents work with Tikinagan’s team of Child Welfare professionals and ensure that the Ministry Standards are met and carried out in the home. Tikinagan covers all living expenses in the home, as well as provide a foster per diem. Live-in Foster Homes are located in Sioux Lookout, Red Lake, Thunder Bay, Aroland, Muskrat Dam, Sachigo Lake, Fort Hope and Lac Seul.

To learn more about becoming a live-in Foster Parent, visit