First Nations Child and Family Well-Being Ontario Special Study

The Chiefs of Ontario (COO) is undertaking a special study to provide options on a new First Nation’s child well-being approach that is child centered, community-directed and supports better outcomes by focusing on prevention services. The project has been designed to align with Canada and Ontario’s commitment to achieving reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and continue to support and enhance First Nation culture, control, laws, jurisdiction and autonomy.

To view full memo, please click here: COO Memo – Social Services – Ontario Special Study

To read more about the background of the Ontario Special Study, please click here: Ontario Special Study Background – Understanding the Project

Anyone in Ontario who are involved with Child Welfare services to First Nations children and families (on and off-reserve) is also invited to fill out this Online Survey regarding the Ontario Special Study. The survey can be completed here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/COO2018SpecialStudy 

Big Victory Today for First Nations Kids:

The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal issued a major ruling [2018 CHRT] February 1, 2018 in the ongoing case about Canada’s discrimination against First Nations children in the child welfare system.  The decision found that Canada continues to discriminate against First Nations kids, and ordered  short-term remedies that Canada has to provide to help fix discrimination now.

The Tribunal agreed with COO’s argument that Canada should fund band representative services and mental health services for First Nations children in Ontario.  First Nations and others that have been providing these services will be able to get reimbursed back to January 26, 2016 for the costs of the services, and Canada will have to fund these essential services going forward.

Read more about the orders and what they mean here: FAQ – CHRT ORDER TO FUND MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES IN ONTARIO

To access the Department of Indigenous Services Canada Reimbursement Form for Mental Health Services, please click here: Reimbursement Form for Child/Claimant or Reimbursement Form for Claimant

For additional information or issues with the process, please click here for contact information: Contact Information

Social Services

The work of the Social Services Coordination Unit (SSCU), under the Chiefs of Ontario, is an ongoing and dedicated effort to improve the quality of service and care for First Nations citizens according to First Nations customs and values. First Nations have long maintained that the gross disparity in the resources provided for First Nation child welfare services versus Canadian children must be addressed, especially as there are more Indigenous children in care today than at the height of the residential school regime.

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ONTARIO INDIAN SOCIAL SERVICES COUNCIL

The Ontario Indian Social Services Council (OISSC) is a technical and advisory body operating under the umbrella of the Chiefs of Ontario.  It is comprised of the Social Services Directors of the four associations, one representative of the Independent First Nations, and the Social Services Director from Six Nations of the Grand River.   The Council receives support through the coordinating capacity of the Chiefs of Ontario office.  OISSC is responsible to the Planning and Priorities Committee (PPC) of the Chiefs of Ontario.

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CHILD WELFARE

Our Nations’ children are not only being failed through a lack of equal opportunities to education, but also through a lack of culturally appropriate and inadequately resourced child welfare structures to protect and keep our children in our communities.

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1965 WELFARE AGREEMENT

The Federal and Provincial governments cost-share services to First Nations through the 1965 Indian Welfare Agreement.

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60’S SCOOP

The Sixties Scoop is a term that refers to the Canadian practice of fostering or adopting out First Nations children at high rates into non-Indigenous families between the 1960s to the late 1980s.  It has been estimated that 16,000 Indigenous children were a part of the Sixties Scoop, who as a result, experienced a loss of cultural identity, their families, histories, and status.   The assimilationist practice was noted to have formally ended in the 1980s.

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SOCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE MEMBERS

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CONTACT THE SOCIAL SERVICES COORDINATION UNIT

Toronto Office:
1-416-597-1266
or
Toll Free at:
1-877-517-6527