NIȽ TU,O's Role
NILTU,O as an agency currently holds C4 delegation. This means that our delegated social workers: look after children who are in continuing care; recruit, train and support First Nation and other foster parents; and provide voluntary support services to the families of the local nations we serve. Those support services may include respite, voluntary care agreements or extended family program services. Voluntary services can be accessed by calling our offices and asking to speak with an intake social worker.
At this time NILTU,O does not assess child protection reports. Child protection reports concerning families who live the communities we serve are followed up on by the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) according to a protocol between MCFD, NILTU,O and our communities.
MCFD are the decision makers with regard to assessing and responding to child protection reports, determining if children need protection, approving safety plans including deciding who can care for a child and what issues a family may need to work on in order to reduce the risk to their child(ren).
NILTU,O is in the process of moving to C6 delegation which will mean our social workers taking over, from MCFD, the child protection work in the communities we serve. The current Protocol with MCFD requires that:
Before attending at a home to assess a child protection report concerning a family living in a community served by NILTU,O, MCFD must inform the Band Designate appointed by the community and NILTU,O.
A Family Support Worker (FSW) from NILTU,O, the Band Designate and the MCFD social attend the first meeting with family together.
The NILTU,O FSW can offer to work with the family to help them resolve any concerns that have been raised by the MCFD social worker; understand MCFD’s role and mandate; guide and support the family through the process with MCFD; advocate on behalf of the family; and provide information to the MCFD social worker about the community and extended family support options.
The NILTU,O FSW will also work to ensure that an Aboriginal and cultural perspective guides the work with the family.
Protocol with MCFD
On-reserve MCFD must inform either NIȽ TU,O or a band administrator that they are attending a home on reserve
Off-reserve involvement of NIȽ TU,O is up to the family to decide
NIȽ TU,O working alongside MCFD offering support services
NIȽ TU,O is familiar with the investigation process preparing the agency for child welfare delegation (C6)
Protocols between communities
Establish communication between each community and NIȽ TU,O – to identify needs
NIȽ TU,O to work alongside MCFD while they are involved with a family
To be reviewed when NIȽ TU,O begins delivering C6
NIȽ TU,O's Role
NIȽ TU,O provides MCFD with an aboriginal and cultural perspective on the child-in-care
Cultural Connections / Family Finders can provide a cultural plan, genogram and resources for caregivers
If a child becomes a Continuing Custody ward (permanent ward) the guardianship file is transferred from MCFD to NIȽ TU,O
If a foster parent resides on reserve, their resource file is transferred to NIȽ TU,O
If more than 50% of the children placed in the foster home are NIȽ TU,O children, the resource files can comes to NIȽ TU,O
If a person on reserve wants to become a foster parent NIȽ TU,O can study that home to be approved as a caregiver.
NIȽ TU,O social workers are receiving on-going training about the child protection process and can assist the family to understand MCFD’s role and mandate; as well as to ADVOCATE for the family when needed
NIȽ TU,O provides MCFD with an aboriginal & cultural perspective on the family they are investigating & information about the community where the child lives
NIȽ TU,O offers support services to reduce the risks identified by MCFD
NIȽ TU,O’s services are voluntary – a parent can choose to participate or not, MCFDs RRSP is not as flexible and often the services they ask parents to participate in are offered by NIȽ TU,O
Families can be involved with NIȽ TU,O without a referral from MCFD. They can call and request services themselves.
There are a variety of homes that may be provided for children in care. The types of Family Care Homes that can be provided are:
Care for children known or related to the Family Care parents. The agreement is restricted to a specific Child and ends when the child leaves the home or is no longer in care.
Children placed in these homes may or may not be known by the family care parents.
Care for children with moderately to extremely challenging behavioural / emotional issues or significant developmental delay. Specific approval,experience and training are required for these homes.
Family Care Homes may provide one or more of the following:
Short-term or Temporary Care
This is care for a child while a solution is being found for the conditions that led to the placement of the child. The intent at the time of placement is to return the child to the family. Depending on the progress of the care plan, short-term or temporary care can be as short as one day but is usually not longer than 24 months.
This is for a child who is continuing care by court order, through the Family Relations Act (orphaned without a guardian) or under the terms of a Special Needs Agreement. Emergency Care The home takes the child with very little advance notice (same day or less than 24 hours) Placement might be during usual working hours or, for those homes that are willing, late in the evening.
Respite care is Short term care for children to prevent burnout, stress, abuse,and neglect and to minimize the need for out-of-home placements or removals. This provides a short break for parents while the child is cared for in another home. These homes provide short-term care on an intermittent basis, taking children for a day or a few days at a time(for example, two days a week or four days a month.) Note that a child is not legally “in care” in this situation. Respite is given to the child’s parents as a family support service, governed by a Support Services Agreement between the child’s parents and NIȽ TU,O. In these cases, the child's parents retain full custody and guardianship.
This is similar to respite, except that the break is provided for Family Care parents.
Family Care Home Responsibilities
As a family care parent you have many responsibilities to a number of different individuals: the child placed in your home, the agency, the child’s biological family, the Resource team and your own family. Your goal as a family care parent is to ensure the child/children are provided with excellent care while reinforcing the belief that children and youth have the right to safety, security, continuity, consistency, as well as a loving home. A family care parent will operate as a parent, a behavior management specialist, a mentor,a guide, a protector, a team member, an advocate, a teacher, and as a caregiver. This is quite the role and one that we are in need of.
The process the Family Care Orientation begins with completing the following forms:
Criminal Record Check (everyone 18 and over are required to complete a criminal record check)
Medical Report from your doctor
Criminal Record Review
Once these are complete and submitted to the Resource Social Worker, a Home Study Assessment will begin. The Family Care Home Study Assessment will be based on the following:
Your family history
History as it relates to childcare
Child Care Experience
Motivations and reasons to foster
Upon completion of all forms an assessment will be completed and submitted for approval. The applicant will then be notified.
For more information, please contact the NIȽ TU,O Resource Social Worker.