CHILD WELFARE CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT
The Goal of Achieving Child Welfare Designation as a Full Child Welfare Authority:
Since Nogdawindamin's inception in 1987, and its incorporation in 1990, the Agency has been dedicated to maintaining and improving a high quality of service to the seven (7) North Shore Tribal Council First Nation communities.
It was debated for many years when Nogdawindamin would begin working at becoming its own mandated child welfare agency. After many years of consideration on March 30th and 31st, 2009, the Nogdawindamin's Board of Directors in collaboration with North Shore Tribal Council Chiefs and Health and Social Services Managers determined and approved that the Agency would begin the work at pursuing designation as a Mandated Child Welfare Authority under the Child and Family Services Act 1990.
In July 2009, a North Shore Tribal Council Resolution was passed to serve notice to the Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) and the Children’s Aid Societies (CAS’s) of the Agency’s intent to pursue designation. In 2010, a directive from the NSTC Chiefs was given in to Nogdawindamin to achieve designation as a full child welfare authority under the Child and Family Services Act 1990 by the year 2016.
What is Child Welfare Capacity and Designation?
The authority to make this designation rests with the Minister of Children and Youth Services (MCYS). The decision to designate an organization as a Children’s Aid Society must be supported by preparation and clear evidence that the organization can fulfill its statutory mandate. For that reason, the process of designation requires understanding, participation and support from the community and its leadership including Chiefs, Band Councils, and Elders as well as the organization seeking to be designated. (“A Guide to Support Aboriginal Communities in Developing, Achieving and Sustaining Child Welfare Capacity and Designation” – MCYS May 2011 p.3)
What is the Scope of Child Welfare Service?
Members of the North Shore First Nation's, both on and off reserve within the district of Algoma and Sudbury, and the other Aboriginal population within the district of Algoma will receive child welfare services.
- Assessing community interest, support and readiness.
- Capacity development – developing the organization and service delivery capacity to deliver Child Welfare Services.
- Developing a Transition Plan and begin implementing service delivery through the Aboriginal delivery organization.
- Ministerial Designation.
- Sustaining capacity and building on standards and quality of service.
Community Readiness Consultation Sessions – Phase I to IV.
Community readiness was identified by NFCS’ Board of Directors as a crucial component to the designation process.
Phase I - Community Consultation Final Report – Developing a Child Welfare Service Delivery Model
The Community Consultation Final Report (May, 2012) has been completed and has been approved by the Board of Directors. Throughout the consultation process, participating community members wanted to continue to be a part of the process and asked NFCS to return to their communities to do a presentation on the final findings and recommendations from that report. A brief introduction into the Proposed Child Welfare Service Delivery Model will be a part of this process, as it has taken into account discussions that occurred during the community consultation process.
Phase II - Community Education and Awareness – Nogdawindamin Family and Community Services Today and Into the Future
It was clearly identified that communities are still in need of education and awareness on a number of areas pertaining to current programs and services offered by Nogdawindamin Family and Community Services, the steps involved in the designation process, duty to report, and how Nogdawindamin Family and Community Services will operate differently as a child welfare authority (proposed child welfare service delivery model). From those discussions, frontline staff and management need to begin thinking of their future child welfare service delivery model and how their existing programs and services will interface with Nogdawindamin as a mandated child welfare agency.
The Agency has identified a series of community information sessions to provide further education and awareness in order for communities to be better informed to proceed to the next phase of the community readiness process – the implementation of the community readiness assessment tool.
Phase III - Community Readiness Assessment Questionnaire – Focus Groups
Phase III looks at a process to initiate the community readiness assessment questionnaire. This process will be achieved by obtaining feedback and input from those individuals who participated in the Phase II process. The format will be through focus groups. These focus groups will engage participants in responding to the community readiness assessment questionnaire.
The Agency will then analyze the data and in collaboration with the First Nations, develop individual reports (which will include recommendations), training plans and work plans that will assist Nogdawindamin and the First Nations in defining their community readiness and next steps.
Phase IV - Preparing Communities for Child Welfare Service Delivery
Phase IV will be a community presentation that will address how child welfare matters will be handled with Nogdawindamin Family & Community Services as the new child welfare authority and what this means to our communities. Our communities will no longer be dealing with the Children’s Aid Societies and awareness and education will be vital to this process.