Meet Our Foster Parents: Emma Kejick (Lac Seul)

Growing up, Emma Kejick’s childhood home was full of children coming and going as her mother regularly cared for own family members and sometimes other children.

Inspired by her mother’s compassion, Kejick continues to embody the Tikinagan service model Mamow Obiki-ahwahsoowin, which means “everyone working together to raise our children,” in her own home.

“My mom was always taking care of somebody,” recalled Kejick. “It was something my mom use to do it and I feel I can do it too.”

Tikinagan Foster Parent Emma Kejick

Kejick, who will celebrate 10 years as a Foster Parent at Tikinagan Child and Family Services on April 1, began fostering a family member, which lasted more than half a year.

A few months later, Tikinagan asked if she would be interested in caring for a baby boy. Working in an administrative career at that time, Kejick wondered if she could balance her time between work and childcare. After a two-week hiatus, she missed him and reunited as his Foster Parent.

That baby boy has remained in her home ever since, and now he’s nine-years-old.

Kejick cares for children in her home for the long term. One girl she began with she was two weeks old and stayed until she was four. Another girl, who is still with Kejick today, began living with her when she was five weeks old and is now five years old. Next month, they will celebrate each other’s birthday— shared on the same day.

Kejick, who has two adult children of her own, said it feels good again to have little people around calling her “mommy” again.

“I’m their security, and that makes me feel good,” she said.

For the last decade as a Foster Parent, Kejick has many other children come into her home. She said she couldn’t give an exact number, but noted some have stayed for a weekend, a week, or even a few hours for respite.

It’s no wonder people in Lac Seul First Nation recognize and appreciate her for her role as foster parent.

“I think my community has accepted me being a foster parent and seeing these kids here at my home, knowing it’s a safe place,” Kejick said.

“I try to explain right now these kids need a safe home and that’s what I’m providing. I feel I can provide a safe place for them.”

When asked what advice she would share with future foster parents, she encouraged them to expect them to love the children that come into care as their own.

“I forget sometimes they are Tikinagan children,” Kejick said. “I know I’m not going to be there forever, someone else will come along and step in. I remember maybe there’s another child that needs a safe home and that can be me again.”

Tikinagan has a Residential Services Unit focused on developing a range of foster care options for children and youth who need to come into Tikinagan care. This unit offers programs and services to foster parents to assist them in providing the best possible environment for children.

Tikinagan provides foster parents with orientation on the role of a Tikinagan foster parent, ongoing training and education, emergency support and crisis intervention 24 hours a day, and respite care options. As well, financial reimbursement by a daily rate for regular food and accommodation expenses, as well as allowances for special expenses such as clothing, school recreation and health care.

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