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October 2022

National Day for Truth & Reconciliation: Calls to Action Webinar – Recording

On Friday, September 30th, 2022 Native Child and Family Services of Toronto hosted a webinar and simultaneously released an annual report back to community addressing the priorities for redesigning child welfare to help reduce the number of Indigenous children in care. Listen to our recorded webinar as our special guests join in a conversation around the importance of the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation and the Truth and Reconciliation’s Calls to Action.

Joined by our host Bob Goulais, Knowledge Carrier, Alita Suave, Singer and Language Instructor, Rollin Baldhead and the following special guests:

  • Hon. Chystia Freeland, Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister of Canada
  • Hon. Merrilee Fullerton. Ontario’s Minister of Children, Community and Social Services
  • John Tory, Mayor of Toronto
  • Mae Maracle, NCFST Board President
  • Jama Maxie, Former Youth in Care
  • Jeffrey Schiffer, NCFST Executive Director
  • Ron Hodson, NCFST Director of People and Culture
  • Melissa Hamonic, Associate Director of Holistic Services
  • Jennifer Turner, NCFST Manager of Child and Family Wellbeing

Download the Indigenous Child Welfare Reform Annual Report to Community

* Our apologies, the audio fades in and out through parts of the webinar.*

Indigenous Child Welfare Reform Annual Report to Community

On Canada’s first NDTR, Native Child and Family Services of Toronto (NCFST) announced its commitment and dedication to decolonize Indigenous child welfare services in the city of Toronto. Over this past year, NCFST went through a critical examination of our child and family wellbeing services, including standards, service eligibility criteria, assessment tools, and current practices. This report addresses priorities for redesigning child welfare with the intent to help reduce the number of Indigenous children in care.

Many thanks to community who participated and help us every day in our continuous efforts to heal and find a better way forward.

Annual Report to Community

As part of our annual report back to community for 2022, our Quality Assurance and Decolonization team has prepared a separate report on the activities, reform and discussion ideas provided by both the Community Advisory Circle and various Staff consultation processes, including the Staff Advisory Group.

Transformation in Action at NCTST Report

September 2022

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation: Calls to Action

September 30th is Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (NDTR). On this day, we honour the children who never returned home from Canada’s residential schools along with the Survivors, as well as their families and communities. Remembering the painful and tragic history and acknowledging the ongoing impacts of residentials schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process with Indigenous peoples.

On Canada’s first NDTR, Native Child and Family Services of Toronto (NCFST) announced new commitments dedicated to continuing our journey to decolonize Indigenous child welfare services in the city of Toronto. Over the past year, NCFST went through a critical examination of our child and family well-being services, including standards, service eligibility criteria, assessment tools, and current practices.

NCFST invites you to join us on Friday, September 30th at 10 AM – 12 PM where we will provide a report back to community addressing the priorities for redesigning child welfare to help reduce the number of Indigenous children in care. During this virtual event we will have special guests join in the conversation around the importance of this report and we will share some exciting new announcements.

To register for this event, please click HERE!

August 2022

Decolonizing Child Welfare Webinar Learning Series #6 – Recording

Webinar #6 of our Decolonizing Child Welfare Learning Series focused on the services we offer when vulnerable children must be removed from unsafe circumstances and placed in alternative care. In this webinar, we addressed some of the most crucial questions arising from the experience of Indigenous children and families with colonial child welfare systems.

  • How do we meet the holistic needs of children and youth placed in care? What are the dimensions that guide us?
  • How do we work alongside the Alternative caregivers to guide them, in helping our children and youth who are placed in their homes?
  • How do we work to keep children connected with culture, family and community while they are in care?
  • How do we work to keep children to family, extended family and community and culture?

We were joined by our host Terri Jaffe, and the following panelists:

  • Rosary Spence, Cultural Resource Worker
  • Jeffrey Schiffer, Executive Director
  • Courtney Dorion, Children’s Services Supervisor
  • Jama Maxie, Community Member
  • Mark Atanasoff, Director of Quality Assurance & Decolonization

Click to access the presentation file

Below is the recorded webinar available for viewing.

Decolonizing Child Welfare Webinar Learning Series #6 – August 23, 2022

Webinar #6 of our Decolonizing Child Welfare Learning Series focuses on the services we offer when vulnerable children must be removed from unsafe circumstances and placed in alternative care. In this webinar, we address some of the most crucial questions arising from the experience of Indigenous children and families with colonial child welfare systems.

  • How do we meet the holistic needs of children and youth placed in care? What are the dimensions that guide us?
  • How do we work alongside the Alternative caregivers to guide them, in helping our children and youth who are placed in their homes?
  • How do we work to keep children connected with culture, family and community while they are in care?
  • How do we work to keep children to family, extended family and community and culture?

Please join us to explore the programs, resources we use, and the challenges we face as we work to help children to heal and stay connected to family, community and culture.

REGISTER HERE!

June 2022

Decolonizing Child Welfare Webinar Learning Series #5 – Recording

Webinar #5 of our Decolonizing Child Welfare Learning Series focuses on Holistic Healing, Prevention and Early Intervention programs.

NCFST offers a wide array of programs available to children, youth, individuals and families open to all self-identifying community members, whether or not a child welfare file is currently open. Holistic programs seek to empower families to access resources and supports that can avert crises that may necessitate child welfare, and to support Youth in strengthening resilience and personal growth in contemporary cultural contexts.

In this webinar, we describe how our culturally grounded holistic healing and early intervention services work to provide the necessary resources and supports to families to prevent the need for Child and Family Wellbeing (child welfare) involvement or help families succeed so that time involved in child welfare services is minimized. We discuss how our services work together and work with external Indigenous and mainstream services to strengthen parents and children at risk of involvement in child welfare services or who are already working with child welfare services as part of their healing journey.

Join our host Terri Jaffe, and the following panelists:

  • Pat Green, Knowledge Carrier;
  • Daniella Robinson, Supervisor of Bekaadendang Program
  • Jennifer Gray, Supervisor of Early Years
  • Jessica Wilson, Manager of Early Years & Community Programs
  • Julianna Meawasige, Supervisor of Aboriginal Child and Family Centre
  • Siobhan McCarthy, Director of Holistic Services
  • Jeffrey Schiffer, Executive Director;
  • Mark Atanasoff, Director of Quality Assurance & Decolonization

Below is the recorded webinar available for viewing.

May 2022

Decolonizing Child Welfare Webinar Learning Series #5 – June 28, 2022

Webinar #5 of our Decolonizing Child Welfare Learning Series focuses on Holistic Healing, Prevention and Early Intervention programs.

NCFST offers a wide array of programs available to children, youth, individuals and families open to all self-identifying community members, whether or not a child welfare file is currently open. Holistic programs seek to empower families to access resources and supports that can avert crises that may necessitate child welfare, and to support Youth in strengthening resilience and personal growth in contemporary cultural contexts.

In this webinar, we describe how our culturally grounded holistic healing and early intervention services work to provide the necessary resources and supports to families to prevent the need for Child and Family Wellbeing (child welfare) involvement or help families succeed so that time involved in child welfare services is minimized. Please join us to learn how our services can work together and can work with external Indigenous and mainstream services to strengthen parents and children at risk of involvement in child welfare services or who are already working with child welfare services as part of their healing journey.

REGISTER HERE!

April 2022

Decolonizing Child Welfare Webinar Learning Series #4 – Recording

Webinar #4 of our Decolonizing Child Welfare Learning Series focuses on our Family Finding program. At NCFST we know that the removal of children can leave a lasting legacy of trauma and the longer a child remains in care, the greater the risk of negative life outcomes. The best way to reduce harm, avoid further trauma and keep children connected to their culture and community is to keep children in the embrace of extended family.

The Family Finding model offers methods and strategies to locate and engage extended family, as well as First Nation, Metis and Inuit communities for children/youth currently living in out-of-care placements. The process identifies relatives and other supportive adults in planning for the permanency of the child and a major component of the program is to facilitate the child’s connection to their community and culture in order to promote a strong sense of cultural identity. Please join us as we share what steps we take to find extended family and community to step in to create a circle of care to support children, youth and families.

Join our host Terri Jaffe, and the following panelists:

  • Vivian Roy, Knowledge Keeper;
  • Mary-Ann Rice, Supervisor of Family Finding
  • Tammi Ferguson, Kinship Support Worker
  • Jeffrey Schiffer, Executive Director;
  • Mark Atanasoff, Director of Quality Assurance & Decolonization.

Click to access the presentation file

Below is the recorded webinar available for viewing.

Decolonizing Child Welfare Webinar Learning Series #4 – April 22, 2022

Webinar #4 of our Decolonizing Child Welfare Learning Series focuses on our Family Finding program. At NCFST we know that the removal of children can leave a lasting legacy of trauma and the longer a child remains in care, the greater the risk of negative life outcomes. The best way to reduce harm, avoid further trauma and keep children connected to their culture and community is to keep children in the embrace of extended family.

The Family Finding model offers methods and strategies to locate and engage extended family, as well as First Nation, Metis and Inuit communities for children/youth currently living in out-of-care placements. The process identifies relatives and other supportive adults in planning for the permanency of the child and a major component of the program is to facilitate the child’s connection to their community and culture in order to promote a strong sense of cultural identity. Please join us as we share what steps we take to find extended family and community to step in to create a circle of care to support children, youth and families.

Register in advance for this webinar

Select here to view previous webinars

February 2022

Decolonizing Child Welfare Webinar Learning Series #3 – Feb 25, 2022

Webinar #3 focuses on the ongoing services we provide when protection concerns have been verified and when a family’s file remains open to our Child and Family Wellbeing teams.

  • Why do cases stay open for longer-term services?
  • How do we make decisions about whether a family’s file should remain open?
  • Why do some cases go to court? How is the decision to go to court made?

Please join us to hear about how we seek to empower families to reach their goals, how we connect families and children to external and internal supports, healing services and how we decide when a child and family wellbeing case is ready to be closed

Register in advance for this webinar

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Select here to view previous webinars

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