SOCIAL SERVICES SECTOR
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.
The Social Services Coordination Unit (SSCU) is a technical and advisory body operating under the Chiefs of Ontario. It provides advice, guidance, and recommendations to the Political Confederacy and the Chiefs in Ontario on initiatives pertaining to 1965 Welfare Agreement, Ontario Works, Child and Family Services, Daycare, and Homemakers services. Under the 4 major programs there are 30+ sub-programs.
The SSCU was set up to support First Nation participation in policy and program development of social services for their regions. The broad focus of the Unit is to:
• Support the independent efforts of the PTO Social Units directed at assisting First Nations to develop social services for their communities; resolving issues between present legislation and regulations, and First Nation requirements for social services;
• Develop strategies and policy/position papers on social services issues;
• Support the consultation and negotiation processes for the attainment of First Nation control of social services;
• Develop a working and information sharing relationship with other First Nation and non-Aboriginal social services organizations;
• Regular intergovernmental liaising with federal and provincial governments to facilitate information access for First Nations.
The members of the SSCU is comprised of Social Services Directors from the Union of Ontario Indians, Grand Council Treaty #3, Nishnawbe Aski Nation and the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians, one representative of the Independent First Nations and the Social Services Director from Six Nations of the Grand River.