Province proposes changes to improve Indigenous child welfare

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Indigenous communities will have greater involvement in child-welfare decisions to help keep their children out of care, safe in their home communities, and connected to their cultures under proposed legislation changes that were announced by the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD).

Under current legislation, MCFD can only reach out to a child’s Indigenous community with the parent’s consent or to ensure the child’s safety and well-being. This makes it challenging for social workers and the Indigenous community to find alternatives to removing children from their home or to plan for their ongoing care and connection to their culture and community.

“Our government believes that Indigenous children should have every opportunity to live and thrive and grow in their home community, surrounded by their language and culture. This legislation ensures that the rights and needs of Indigenous communities are recognized and that children’s rights and connections to family are core to reconciliation.” – Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.