Currently NIȽ TU,O Child and Family Services is delegated at C4 Guardianship. This level of delegation enables the delegated agency to provide the following services:
- Guardianship of children in continuing custody;
- Support services to families;
- Voluntary care agreements;
- Special Needs agreements;
- Establishing and working with residential resources for children in care.
Understanding Operational Stages
After the negotiation of a Delegation Enabling Agreement, each Aboriginal Child and Family Service Agency (ACFSA) enters into a three tiered operational process as defined in the Ministry of Children and Family Development's "Delegation of Authority to Aboriginal Agencies" matrix. The levels of operational readiness are as follows:
C3 - Resource development and voluntary service delivery
C4 - Guardianship services for continuing custody wards
C6 - Full child protection services
Each operational level has specific operational standards and practice standards associated with it. DAA may progress sequentially through operational levels C3 - C6, however, prior to progressing through the levels of delegation, each DAA must meet specific operational standards pertaining to the authorities associated with the level of delegation.
(Aboriginal Delegation Matrix)
The areas of service covered under this level include:
- support services for families,
- voluntary care agreements for children, including temporary in-home care, and
- special needs agreements, including those for children in care on no fixed term.
Operational and Practice standards address:
- case management,
- family assessment,
- service planning and agreements,
- children in voluntary care,
- standards for care in regular, restricted, and specialized family care homes,
- monitoring and evaluation, and
- closure and transfer of cases.
(Aboriginal Delegation Matrix)
The areas of service covered under this level include those found in C3, as well as guardianship of children in the continuing custody of the Director. Practice standards for guardianship are similar to those for voluntary care in C3, but also include:
- develop, monitor and review comprehensive plans of care for children in care,
- legal documentation,
- permanency planning for children in care,
- prepare youth to transition for independence,
- reportable circumstances,
- ongoing monitoring of child's well-being while in care, and
- quality care reviews.
(Aboriginal Delegation Matrix)
Practice standards address the following areas:
- taking charge of children,
- risk assessment,
- risk reduction,
- ongoing protective family service, and
- investigate allegations of abuse in foster homes.
For Reserve-based First Nations communities, urban based Aboriginal communities, and Métis communities who are seeking to develop a Delegated Aboriginal Agency (DAA).
In order to build capacity to develop and deliver services to their members, communities are to participate in the three phases of program development outlined below.
Phase 1: Pre-planning
This activity is intended to support community consultation, data collection and information gathering sufficient for the preparation of an initial community proposal and preliminary discussions with the province and Indigenous Affairs and Northern Development Canada (INAC).
This proposal should produce a detailed plan indicating the services required and how the community intends to establish these. It also must indicate community support for the development of an Delegated Aboriginal Agency (including band council resolutions for reserve based agencies).
Phase 2: Planning
This activity is intended to support all the work up to, and including, a formal agreement involving the province (represented by the Director designated under the Child, Family and Community Services Act (CFCSA)), the Aboriginal community, and AANDC.
This stage of program development entails the completion of a needs assessment and elaboration of plans which address the following operational readiness criteria:
- respective roles and responsibilities,
- service delivery model,
- personnel policies,
- financial policy,
- organizational chart,
- job descriptions,
- accounting system,
- implementation plan, and
- funding arrangements.
Phase 3: Start-up
This phase begins to operationalize the readiness criteria established in the Planning stage, and includes the following activities:
- staff are hired, oriented and trained,
- offices are established and furniture and equipment is purchased,
- information management systems are installed, and
- training is established for local committees and boards of directors.
The result is the establishment of a DAA that is ready and qualified to deliver services.
This three phased program development process is consistent with AANDC’s child and family services program delivery model (Directive 20-1). It also accommodates for all Aboriginal communities designated under the CFCSA, including urban based Aboriginal communities, Métis communities, and reserve based First Nations communities.
Delegation Agreement Requirements
Prior to receiving delegation from the Director of Child Protection under the Child, Family and Community Service Act,which will enable the Delegated Aboriginal Agency (DAA) to enter into the operational stages of service delivery, each new DAA is required to have completed the following requirements:
Signed Agreement with the Director
Components of the Delegation Agreement between MCFD and DAA pertain to the following areas of program delivery:
- delegation of the Director's authority under the CFCSA,
- contracting of legal counsel,
- provision of service and emergency/after hours service,
- policy development; standards, monitoring and reporting,
- reviews, audits and evaluations,
- information management (file transfer; confidentiality, electronic systems, etc.),
- conflict/dispute resolution,
- financial arrangements,
- liability issues, and
- terms of agreement.
Obtain Start-up Funding
Funding is provided by INAC for reserve-based DAA, and by MCFD for urban-based Aboriginal communities and Métis communities.
Pass a Program Review by the Director
The program review that occurs before an DAA can begin delivery of delegated services is based upon the operational readiness criteria which has been established. The operational readiness criteria addresses key areas of organizational development and services planning including:
- service delivery model design,
- general administration (including information sharing, management information systems, case load standards),
- financial administration policy,
- human resources policy (including staff recruitment, training, and supervision), and
- communications policy.
Upon passing the program review by the Director, a DAA will be eligible to enter operational C3 of program delivery.