Foster children finally included in StatsCan's definition of family

The 2011 Canadian census is in, and there are some interesting updates surrounding foster children.

By Amy Valm
Foster children finally included in StatsCan's definition of family

Photo: dszc/iStockphoto

The latest Canadian census has raised the bar on how we define the word family. According to the 2011 census, which combines results spanning from 2006 to 2011, gone are the days of idealistic picket fences, exclusively stay-at-home moms, three kids and a working dad — ushering in a refreshing change to what family means to different people.

The census explores how living dynamics have changed over the past five decades: From married couples, parents with kids, empty-nesters to single dwellers — it’s all been outlined.

The new Canadian family dynamic now includes a significant increase in same-sex couples, common-law relationships and single-parent families. Traditional marriages have dwindled since the last census and single-parent homes are on the rise. Also, the age of baby-making has altered, with many couples waiting until later in life to start expanding their families. Gender roles have also changed, as the number of single dads raising their kids has seen an increase.
Blended families and foster children have been included in Statistics Canada’s definition of family, marking the first time that foster children have been counted.

Interestingly, one out of every 10 children living in private homes aged 14 and under is part of a blended family. This is good news for children living with step-parents and step-siblings as it will help them realize that their situation isn’t so unique after all.  

Whether you’re a traditionalist, living outside the box or in a blended family, these are exciting advancements.  

What category does your family fit into?

This article was originally published on Sep 21, 2012

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