Family Finding Program
In 2018/2019 KGCFS developed a new program called Family Finding to enhance family-based planning for youth in care and families based on research based “Family Finding” Model. The agency hired one Family Finding position in 2018/2019 whom had the opportunity to attend the specialized training with another Child Welfare Agency, along with the Service Supervisor and Service Manager. KGCFS also invested in a large printer to create genograms through the software GenoPro to create genograms with families to promote the full exploration of all extended families.
The Family Finding Model seeks to build or maintain the youth’s Lifetime Family Support network for all youth whom are disconnected or at risk of disconnection through placement outside of their home and community. The process identifies relatives and other supportive adults, estranged from or unknown to the youth, especially those who are willing to become permanent connections for the youth. Upon completion of the process, youth have a range of commitments from adults who are able to provide permanency, sustainable relationships within a kinship system and support in the transition to adulthood and beyond. Keeping safety at the forefront and using a family-driven process, families are empowered to formulate highly realistic and sustainable plans to meet the long-term needs of children and youth. Child outcomes may include increased reunification rates, improved well-being, and placement stability, transition out of the child welfare system, decreased re-entry rates, and stronger sense of belonging for children. © 2019 National Institute for Permanent Family Connectedness. All Rights Reserved.
KGCFS provides a Youth-In-Transition Program serving Anishinabek youth ages 16 to 24 years old that are subject to a Crown Wardship Order (Extended Society Care), Legal Custody Order under Section 65.2 of the CRSA, or Formal Customary Care Agreement immediately prior to the youth’s 18th birthday; or were eligible for support under policy at ages 16 and/or 17, whether or not the youth actually received Renewed Youth Services.
Services provided by KGCFS include opportunities for youth to engage in services and supports, enhance their life and social skills, achieve motivation, self-esteem, address peer-pressures, competencies and knowledge to become responsible adults. Training and supports offered and engagement with community partners with the youth includes independent living and life planning, education planning, money management, consumer skills, obtaining credit, finding and maintaining employment, coordinate educational life and traditional / cultural teachings to establish positive relationships and developing strong community and cultural bonds.
KGCFS has provided additional supports to seek cultural resources to ensure that youth have a balanced personal well-being plan that incorporates spiritual, mental, emotional and physical well-being. Many youths in care can now be fully engaged in learning their traditions, values and customs as an Elder will be assigned upon the youth’s consent to assist in guiding in their spiritual and healing advancements.
Housing Support Program
The Housing Support Program is a new program introduced by MCCSS in 2018/2019 to expand the Youth-In-Transition Program to improve outcomes and increase resiliency of youth.
The Housing Support Program provides culturally-appropriate housing supports to First Nation youth ages 16 and 17 years old who have entered into a Voluntary Youth Service Agreement (VYSA) by helping them find and retain housing and identify, access and navigate service systems relevant to their needs as they transition into adulthood.
Services provided by the program include locating and sustaining long-term housing, empowering the youth by the development and execution of the youth’s housing goals. With goals to connect youth participants to existing supports and resources within their communities (on and off reserve) with culturally specific supports, (e.g. ceremony and elders). Additional supports to include education resources, employment services and training, life skills, (e.g. financial management and household management), health and mental health services as well as legal services.
Family Counselor Program
The main criterion for a referral is the “risk rating.” Risk is defined as “any condition or set of conditions that pose an immediate threat to a child’s and/or communities’ safety that would result in out-of- home placement.”
Families may be eligible for services if one child/ren is in imminent risk of placement in out-of-home care due to child neglect or child abuse or risk of family break down or requiring intensive support and service integration to support a reunification to family.
The Family Counselling Program offers families intensive and short-term crisis intervention and family education services; in their home for 4 weeks with the possibility of an extension of an additional 2 weeks if eligible.
The Family Counsellors help families learn new skills and parenting strategies needed to allow children / youth to remain in their own homes and prevent potential family breakdown.
Families will be visited in their own homes or supported in the community for up to 10 hours per week.
The Family Counsellor will assist families in meeting goals by making an individual family plan that includes teaching, modeling, and reinforcing positive, responsive parenting in a culturally inclusive way. Skills will be practiced, and homework will be issued.
Advocating for concurrent services and connections to local community services will also be provided.
Aaz-Gaa-Bwi-Taad-Win (Family Team Gathering)
Aaz-Gaa-Bwi-Taad-Win ‘To Stand and Support One Another’ is an essential core of the agency’s service model based upon Family Case Conferencing. Promotes involvement and collaboration of family, extended family and / or community members in planning and decision making of a plan to resolve child welfare involvement with the goal of family reunification. Family Team Gatherings bring people together to discuss a common goal and help to establish a supportive team for the family to assist them in developing a family driven plan to address child welfare concerns, e.g. determinants of addictions and mental health concerns that may be placing children at risk.
Family Team Gathering, provides the opportunity for a neutral facilitator to coordinate and facilitate Family Team Gatherings that promote family driven planning at the onset of the first service plan or at any point during the file life to assist in the decision-making process.
Family members, natural supports, Band Representatives, service providers as well as case managers come together to support the family in establishing family driven goals and plans that are in the best interest of the child(ren).
The Family Team Gathering can be utilized in a variety of complex situations to assist with planning whereby significant decisions are required, strengthen relationships and communication.
KGCFS will honour all children and youth who may be in transition equally and will strive to provide the required supports for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender / Transsexual, Queer / Questioning, Intersexed, 2-spirited plus (+) individuals to achieve healthy self-esteem and life enrichment.
KGCFS will maintain that children and youth are ever-changing and developing individuals who explore themselves, their personalities and their potential as they grow. This includes their sense of and expression of their gender, eventually leading to their identity formation. Child and youth develop best when they are encouraged to grow and explore in loving and supporting environments. KGCFS will support children and youth to develop healthy relationships and personal identity and recommend resources as required.
Education Liaison Program
KGCFS provides an Education Liaison Program serving Anishinabek student in / or transitioning to Junior Kindergarten and up to Grade 12 that are subject to Temporary Care and Custody Agreements, Extended Society Care Agreements, Legal Custody Order under Section 65.2 of the CRSA, Formal Customary Care Agreement, Voluntary Youth Service Agreements and Continued Care and Support for Youth (including youth with Stay Home for School Agreements).
The Education Liaison Program is committed to ensuring that every child in care has opportunities to participate in an educational program and is afforded all opportunities for academic growth and achievement in a culturally responsive way. The Education Liaison Program supports improving educational outcomes, culturally responsive system navigation, helping to resolve issues that impact learning, and strengthen relationships among societies, schools, public school boards, First Nations school authorities, and community partners for eligible children and youth.