Office of the Child and Youth Advocate

Review of First Nations child welfare services underway (09/08/31)

NB

Aug. 31, 2009

FREDERICTON (CNB) - An independent review of child welfare services in New Brunswick's 15 First Nations communities is currently being conducted by the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate.

"During this review, we are examining the historical, cultural and social issues that affect First Nations children and youths in our province," said Child and Youth Advocate Bernard Richard. "The review will determine what improvements can be made to ensure that Aboriginal children receive effective child welfare services equal to those provided by government."

The review is looking at the current level of service provided by the existing 11 First Nations child and family services agencies, and will focus on ways to improve service delivery; agency structure and governance; funding; practice standards and protocols; clinical supervision and auditing systems; information sharing; case management systems; and training.

The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate has planned numerous First Nations community engagement sessions. These meetings are intended to generate community dialogue and seek public opinion on how to deliver the best possible child and family services to First Nations children and their families. Those presently scheduled are:

The child and youth advocate will also be hosting a symposium at the Fredericton Inn on Sept. 29-30. The symposium will be an opportunity for the advocate, the First Nations Child Welfare Review Advisory Committee and Research Team, and the general public to hear from leading First Nations child welfare experts.

A website with a series of surveys is available, and comments may be submitted online to the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate. The results of the review will be made public following completion of the review.

Those wishing to participate in the survey or provide comments may do so online.

09/08/31

MEDIA CONTACT: Colleen McKendy, Office of the Ombudsman and Office of the Child and Youth Advocate, 506-453-2789, nbombud@gnb.ca.

09/08/31