Report on Child Welfare Services to Indigenous Children, Youth and Families 2019-20
This report is in response to Recommendation 33 of the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate’s report “A Long Wait for Change: Independent Review of Child Welfare Services to Inuit Children in Newfoundland and Labrador (2019)”. As the first comprehensive public reporting of information about child welfare services to Indigenous children, youth and families, it sets the baseline from which the Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development and Indigenous Governments and Organizations will continue working together to reduce the overrepresentation of Indigenous children and youth in care.
The Report provides information to aid in understanding Indigenous client demographics and reasons for child welfare involvement. As the report began with a focus on Inuit children and youth; however, expanded to include all Indigenous children and youth receiving services from the Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development. This report provides baseline data and is simply the first of many important steps in responding to the recommendations outlined in the reports noted and achieving CSSD’s commitment to reduce the number of Indigenous children and youth in care and improve outcomes for those involved with the child welfare system.
This report is organized in three parts.
- The first outlines contextual information regarding Indigenous people in Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as an overview of relevant child welfare programs, legislation, and policy.
- The second provides data regarding Newfoundland and Labrador’s child welfare services in relation to Indigenous children, youth, and families.
- The third provides a summary of new and promising approaches that CSSD, in collaboration with Indigenous Governments and Organizations, is advancing and a focus on next steps moving forward.
To acknowledge the importance of culture and cultural connections and strengthen service delivery to Indigenous children, youth, and their families, the CYFA implemented a number of legislative changes, which included:
- Defining Indigenous children and Youth
- Preserving the Unique Cultural Identities of Indigenous Children and Youth
- Cultural Connection Plan
- Indigenous Representative
- Placement Considerations
- Information Sharing
Delegating Functions and Services to Indigenous Governments/Organizations