Child and Family Well-being

Native Child and Family Services of Toronto (NCFST) is a Child and Family Well-being Society mandated through the Child, Youth and Family Services Act (CYFSA) of the Province of OntarioWe are required by law to observe the procedures, regulations, and standards consistent with the legislation as directed by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS). We work towards positive outcomes that result in the safety, permanency, and well-being of Aboriginal children.

Child and Family Well-being Workers are a family’s first point of contact when concerns are made that a child or youth is at risk of harm.  Worker’s walk beside families throughout the entire service continuum to build good relations and provide consistent support, leading to better service and outcomes for families until their involvement is no longer needed. Our primary goal is to achieve the reunification of children with their families. If this is not possible, we seek the repatriation of children to their home territories through alternative care arrangements including Customary Care and Kin Care. The practice is grounded in a holistic service model that promotes the spiritual, physical, emotional and mental well-being of children and caregivers while also respecting traditional practices and wisdom from diverse Aboriginal communities. Our purpose is to promote high quality, accountable, culturally grounded services that improve the outcomes for Aboriginal families and children that we engage.

Child and Family Well-being Case Management

Screening and Intake:
Engagement with a family begins with a report by a person who has concerns that a child or youth is or may be at risk of neglect or abuse.  A Screener or Child and Family Well-being Worker will record the information and determine with their supervisor if the concerns meet eligibility for direct involvement. If concerns do not meet the threshold for direct involvement, the family will be notified of the concerns and offered links to community-based supports to relevant Aboriginal or mainstream service providers and the file will be closed.

 

Assessment:
When it is determined that the information meets the threshold for an assessment, a Child and Family Well-being Worker will be assigned to engage with a family. NCFST believes it is important to keep families together and Child and Family Well-being Workers will seek to take the least intrusive measures first involving extended family and community to assist in their assessment and to offer services and supports to improve the situation to decrease the risk of harm to the children. Examples of support may include, counselling, parenting programs, traditional healing methods, and basic need assistance.

In situations where severe harm or risk of harm to a child exists and a safety plan is unavailable or cannot address the serious and immediate safety concerns, action may be taken to ensure safety and may involve bringing a child to a place of safety and placing within kin, customary or foster care arrangements.

As the Child and Family Well-being Worker continues to meet with the family and children and gather information from service providers involved with the family, a decision will be made whether or not there are child protection concerns and if there is a need for further support and involvement.

Child and Family Well-Being Program (Ongoing Service):

Sometimes the risk to a child and the services required to strengthen the family and resolve the concerns will require more time.  If a child is determined to be in need of protection, the Child and Family Well-being Worker will work with the family to create and review an ongoing service plan that seeks to resolve the concerns.  If a child has had to leave the home and be brought to a place of safety through kin, customary or foster care arrangements, all efforts will be made to reunite the family when safety has been achieved and the risk to the child has been reduced.

All efforts will be made during this phase of service to work voluntarily and collaboratively with the family until the concerns are resolved. If a family is unwilling or unable to engage in voluntary service or if a child is brought into care, court proceedings will be initiated to further ensure the safety and well-being of the child until the concerns are mitigated and service can be concluded.