WHEN CHILDREN COME INTO CARE
Some children are placed with Native Child and Family Services voluntarily by their parents, while others are placed by court order.
When a child is admitted to the care of Native Child and Family Services, he or she will be placed in a safe, nurturing home with relatives or with foster parents. In some cases, children will be placed in a group home that has specialized care. Click here for more information about residential care (group homes).
What happens when my child is taken into care?
When your child is admitted to our care, you can expect the following:
Most admissions to care are planned in advance, so you will be aware of the details and date of placement.
Some placements are done on an emergency basis because of concerns about your child’s safety. When this happens, you will be notified of the details of your child’s placement after it has occurred.
You may be asked to sign a Temporary Care Agreement (TCA), which gives your consent to having your child live in the care of NCFST. In some cases, we will determine that it is necessary to go to Family Court to seek a court order for legal custody or guardianship of your child. When this happens, you will receive a copy of the court papers and you will be encouraged to obtain a lawyer to help you through the court process.
You will be invited to attend a plan of care meeting within 30 days of placement and 90 days thereafter.
Once admitted to care, your child will have his or her own social worker, called the Child in Care Worker or Children’s Services Worker.
A Family Service Worker will be assigned to work with you and other members of your family.
Where will my child be living?
We offer several types of placement for children in our care, including foster homes, group homes and other residences. Some of these are managed directly by NCFST, while others are run by community agencies. Your child may be placed with a close relative or other member of your extended family if this is appropriate.
We will place your child in the best available home that is able to meet his or her needs. We will also try to make sure it’s as close as possible to your child’s home community, and that your child’s culture is observed and respected.
Will I be able to visit my child?
We want to ensure that the time you spend with your child on visits is beneficial for both you and your child. Your Family Service Worker will arrange for visits. You may visit with your child in private unless a judge decides, or a court order provides for NCFST to decide, that it is not in your child’s best interests.
Visits may take place at your home, in the community, in the place where your child is living, or at our office. You and your Family Service Worker (and your child if he or she is old enough) will discuss when, where, and how often you can visit.
At each plan of care meeting, the visits will be reviewed and any changes will be discussed.
How long will my child be in care?
We will try to return your child to your home as soon as possible, because we believe that children are almost always better off growing up in their own homes. To help do this, we will work with you to try to resolve the problems that brought your child into our care.
Some children may need to be cared for away from home on a long-term basis. Generally, only a judge can make this decision.