Family Support Services
The family support program is a prevention plan that permits us to decrease the number of children that are placed in the care of The Ministry of Children and Families (MCFD) by taking responsibility for the safety of the children. Offering support and intervention to children and families that may be/or become a concern to MCFD. Giving the Band more say as to what happens with the children making sure culture; family and bonding with parents are not lost, to strengthen families by keeping our children connected, leaving no one behind.
The Tsay Keh Dene Band has opened its first safe home in June 2010 for children at risk in the community, a safety plan that keeps our children in the community as opposed to being removed by the Ministry of Children and families. This keeps our children home in the community and out of foster care in Prince George and the surrounding areas.
We recognize the importance of family it is the best interest of the child to be with their family, so the planning will always involve returning the child to the home and parents. We support the parent(s) to the best of our ability in getting the help and/or treatment they need in having the child returned to a safe and healthy environment. Having the Tsay Keh Dene Band manage and implement this program gives Tsay keh the opportunity to be more aware of what is happening with our children in helping create a safe community for children and families to be proud of and know that we as a community care, and are here to offer support for families in need of intervention.
The purpose of the Safe Home is to deliver services to children and youth by:
- Relating to Children and their families by keeping them bonded with their parents by keeping the children in community.
- Safeguarding children
- Caring for the Children
- To keep children safe within the community
Current programing – The Learning Circle
A twelve week program for parents that promotes culture, education and parenting
This program will be operated through the Community Safe Home “ Huddah Coh” for families who have experienced domestic violence or have children in the Safe Home due to alcohol abuse or drug addictions creating a more structured program within the Safe home where families can access services and support they need to ensure positive changes in their lives.
The program has three cycles
1. Education – initial assessments based on family needs
Some things parents will learn:
- Parenting styles
- Traditional parenting styles
- Alcohol and its effects on the body and during pregnancy
- Information on abuse, what is abuse
- How abuse affects children
- Respectful relationships (for couples)
- Children will attend Rainbows grief and loss (currently available in community)
- Nobody’s perfect – For parents
- Individual counselling and family counselling
- Couples counselling
3. Families will participate in family culture camps
- Fmily fishing
- Tradition medicines
- Berry picking
- Drum making
- Beadwork taught by elders
The family support program has regular home visits to see what supports are needed for each family. To offer support and to address needs of parents one on one activities take place if needed such as scrapbooking, parenting information, nutrition referrals, education, and information on available resources. Families that have open files with the Ministry of Children and Families are support through family planning addressing the needs of the family to help determine a plan for children(s) safe return home to the parents.
The family support worker reviews cases that MCFD are bringing to court, read all court documents regarding all MCFD concerns with family liaise with family and explain court process so parents fully understand their rights and encourage full parental involvement in safety plans, or permanency planning for children involved.
Support worker also keeps in contact with the Ministry of Children and Families in Prince George and has a close working relationship so we can better support our children.