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Latest News2020-04-12T18:04:10-04:00

Latest News

3May 21

Press Release: New study is a step in the right direction to help reshape child welfare in Ontario


Monday, May 3, 2021


 New study is a step in the right direction to help reshape child welfare in Ontario

 The official release of the first study to examine child welfare investigations involving First Nations children in Ontario.

[Toronto, ON]: A new study seeks to understand the differences between child welfare investigations involving First Nations children and non-Indigenous children.

The Canadian Child Welfare Research Portal (CWRP) and the Association of Native Child and Family Services Agencies of Ontario (ANCFSAO) release the first report of the First Nations Ontario Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect-2018 (FNOIS‑2018), a study of child welfare investigations involving First Nations children. The FNOIS is embedded within the larger provincial study: the Ontario Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect (OIS), which released its sixth provincial study last year.

The sample includes 7,115 child maltreatment-related investigations reported by 18 child welfare agencies (15 Children’s Aid Societies and 3 Indigenous Child and Family Well-Being Agencies) across Ontario in 2018.

From the rates of investigations to the categories of maltreatment to ongoing services and child placements, the report seeks to explore the full spectrum of the child investigation lifecycle. “Understanding the reasons why our children come into the child welfare system is critical in reshaping a system that struggles to collectively meet the needs of our people.” Amber Crowe, ANCFSAO Board President.

Researchers, led by Professor Barbara Fallon from the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social, University of Toronto funded through a Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Chair in Child Welfare, note that the differences between First Nations and non-Indigenous children “must be understood within the context of colonialism and the legacy of trauma,” two considerations that perpetuate the overrepresentation of First Nations children in the child welfare system.

“The research speaks to the stories of First Nations children and families connected to the child welfare system. Their stories continue to enrich us with the knowledge that we can do better.” Jeffrey Schiffer, Executive Director of Native Child and Family Services Toronto.

The FNOIS-2018 was gifted the name Mashkiwenmi-daa Noojimowin: Let’s Have Strong Minds for the Healing from Elder Danette Restoule, the Elder-in-Residence at the ANCFSAO. The name speaks to the hard work that must be done to address the intergenerational effects the child welfare system has had and continues to have on First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families.

This report excludes data involving Métis and Inuit children, analyses concerning their intersection with the child welfare system will be guided by Métis and Inuit communities.

Copies of the First Nations Ontario Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect-2018 can be viewed and downloaded from the Canadian Child Welfare Research Portal at www.cwrp.ca and the Association of Native Child and Family Services Agencies of Ontario at www.ancfsao.ca.

About the Canadian Child Welfare Research Portal
The Canadian Child Welfare Research Portal (CWRP) provides access to up-to-date research on Canadian child welfare programs and policies. The Portal is a partnership supported by McGill University’s Centre for Research on Children and Families (CRCF), the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto, the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary, PART (Practice and Research Together), and PolicyWise for Children and Families.

About the Association of Native Child and Family Services Agencies of Ontario
The Association of Native Child and Family Services Agencies of Ontario (ANCFSAO) was established in 1994 and is mandated to “build a better life for all Indigenous children through promoting the delivery of culturally-based services to Indigenous children, families, and communities.” Combined, these agencies serve 90% of on-reserve communities in Ontario. Through ANCFSAO’s leadership, they support 11 designated and one pre-mandated ICFWBA who provide decolonized child welfare services to their communities.

Media Contacts
Amber Crowe [email protected]
Jeffrey Schiffer [email protected]
Barbara Fallon [email protected]

12Apr 21

Malvern Aboriginal Child and Family Centre – Virtual Grand Opening

Toronto, Ont. – April 12, 2021 – Today, Native Child and Family Services of Toronto (NCFST) celebrates the opening of the new Malvern Aboriginal Child and Family Centre, located at 31 Tapscott Road in Scarborough. This new multi-service centre will provide a new EarlyON Centre, as well as holistic, culture-based programs and services for Aboriginal children, their families and caregivers.
The virtual grand opening includes a virtual walk-through of the new site, a traditional opening, video statements from Minister of Education Stephen Lecce, Mayor John Tory and Native Child and Family Services of Toronto’s Executive Director, Dr. Jeffrey Schiffer, with an overview of the child-centred, family focused and community driven supports that will be delivered at this new centre.

EarlyON Child and Family Centre offers free programs to parents and caregivers and their children from birth to six years of age. The centre welcomes families to participate in programs that strengthens adult-child relationships, supports parent education and fosters healthy child development. Qualified professionals help families and caregivers find support, get advice, make personal connections and access a network of resources.

Funding for this initiative was provided by the Ministry of Education as part of the Journey Together Initiative – a response to the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action report. The projects were designed by the community through a needs assessment led by Toronto Aboriginal Support Services Council (TASSC).

As EarlyON Centres are currently under a provincial closure order due to COVID-19, Native Child and Family Services of Toronto will continue to offer virtual and remote services from these new locations and continue to offer land-based programming in City of Toronto parks until they are permitted to open.

11Feb 21

Indigenous Spirit Fund (ISF) launches to support healthy outcomes for urban Indigenous Youth

(Toronto, Ont., February 11, 2021) – The Indigenous Spirit Fund (ISF), which launched virtually on February 11, 2021, is changing the narrative of Reconciliation through philanthropy by Native Child and Family Services of Toronto (NCFST). This new fund will deliver long-overdue financial support for Indigenous youth and children, proving that successful decolonization can happen through philanthropy.

ISF is led by Indigenous people with expertise in child and family welfare, Indigenous cultures, and governance. Andrew Wesley, Cree Elder, explains that the fund’s vision is to create, “a world where all Indigenous children, youth and their families experience purpose, peace, joy, and love.”

ISF will create opportunities for Canada’s private, philanthropic, and charitable sectors to build new relationships with Indigenous families, and the organizations that serve them, in order to create healthy outcomes for Indigenous children and youth. It will help deliver much-needed support to some of Toronto’s most vulnerable children and families through community-driven and culture-based services, including summer culture camps, employment and education programs, and arts and entrepreneurship programs.

“The Indigenous Spirit fund, at its highest level, is here to give the philanthropic community an opportunity to actively participate in reconciliation,” said Kenn Richard, ISF Director. “All funding goes directly to Indigenous children and their families who need supports, sometimes, just to survive.”

In the spirit of reconciliation, the charitable and philanthropic sector can create a difference today by investing in the Indigenous Spirit Fund to help give youth a chance to become the leaders of tomorrow.

Make a donation

18Nov 20

Mino Bimaadiziwin Healing and Prevention Centre – Virtual Grand Opening

Today, Native Child and Family Services of Toronto (NCFST) announced it has opened the Mino Bimaadiziwin (pronounced Me-NO b-MAAZ-da-win and meaning Living the Good Life) Healing and Prevention Centre, a new permanent space in Toronto which will provide the Indigenous community with a sense of space, privacy, ownership, and belonging – all integral components to the prevention and healing work conducted by NCFST.

While the new site will bring together programs that have been running successfully at NCFST for decades, it will also offer new services such as the Tikinagan Mobile Pre and Post-Natal program. The Tikinagan team provides intensive wrap-around health and social services and works cohesively with child welfare to decolonize child welfare practices for pregnant and postpartum families, ultimately creating a healthy start for Aboriginal infants.

The activities and programs delivered at Mino Bimaadiziwin Healing and Prevention Centre include:

  • Group therapy for children exposed to domestic violence;
  • Sharing circles to assist with positive Indigenous identity development and self-care;
  • Case management for children and youth and referrals to other needed services offered at other NCFST locations or by other organizations;
  • Family support programs including family therapy, family violence and addiction services, parenting skills-building programs, and life skills building;
  • A new initiative for youth in need of preventative services for issues related to sex trafficking;
  • Maternal mental health counselling, intensive pre- and post-natal case management and housing services, doula services, infant mental health education and support and a new initiative to provide care being developed by an Indigenous midwife.

Chi Miigwetch to Knowledge Keeper, Alita Sauve who opened today’s event with prayer, Executive Director, Jeffrey Schiffer for the introduction; Manager of Clinical Services, Charlene Avalos, and Manager of Pre/Post Natal, Cathy Punnett for speaking about what integrated services are offered at this new centre. Chi Miigwetch to community members for sharing their inspiring stories and the NCFST hand drummers for grounding our new center in song.

Finally we would also like to thank The Honourable Marc Miller, MPP for Toronto Centre, Suze Morrison and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services, Pam Damoff – for your kind words, support, and for attending the opening of the centre.

If you were unable to attend the event you can view the Virtual Grand Opening here.

1Oct 20

NCFST and TPS Community Consultations

Race-Based Data Collection: Analyses and Reporting in the Toronto Police Service

Voice your thoughts about racism in policing. Share your stories and receive a generous honorarium and medicines.

Representatives of the TPS will be present to share their plans to collect, protect and use race-based data to address systemic racism. Your feedback will help police comply with Ontario’s Anti-Racism Act in a good way.

These sessions will be co-facilitated by an Elder, a Clinical Worker, and a Quality Assurance and Decolonization analyst via Zoom. Participation is limited to a maximum of eight participants per session.

Register Here: https://bit.ly/3nQQVtw

Anyone who identifies as First Nations, Métis, or Inuit ages 18 and older.

Links to Zoom will be sent out to each participant once registration is confirmed and the consent form returned.

October 13 from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
October 16 from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
October 27 from 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
October 30 from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
November 03 from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

NEW DATE ADDED: November 13 from 1:00PM – 4:00PM

For more information, or to register call Judith at 416-969-8510 ext 3709 or email [email protected].

24Sep 20



While we may not be able to drum and dance together this year, we can still feast!  Visit us at 30 College, SCFLC, the NYRC, or the Malvern Hub to pick up an NDN Taco Take Away kit, and awesome swag like orange masks (just in time for Orange Shirt Day), white buffalo sage, and cold & flu tea.

12pm FACEBOOK LIVE – our virtual Grand Entry!  Tune in to listen to Big Train open the day with an honor song, and a Community Message from Dr. Jeffrey Schiffer

For details about what’s happening at each site (or to volunteer!) please connect with:

30 College:  Kayla Vesterfelt [email protected]

NYRC:  Alexandra McMinniman [email protected]

SCFLC:  Andrea Hayward  [email protected]

Malvern:  Shannon Wooler  [email protected]

Thank you to all.  Please share widely with staff, community, families and friends.  These events are open to everyone.

Chi Miigwetch,
The Culture Team

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