Navigating child protection concerns
VACFSS receives reports from families, community, professionals, and concerned citizens who have child safety concerns for children in Indigenous families. Under the Child, Family and Community Services Act (CFCSA), we are required by law to assess reports and determine if there are child safety issues that must be followed up. Our practice is grounded in restorative Indigenous Child welfare with internal policies created that exceed that standards set out by the provincial government.
Our goal is to provide support to families and children to ensure safety and keep children with or connected to their family, community, culture, and Indigenous identity.
Screening and Intake
Child protection (CP) reports occur when concerns that a child or youth may be at risk of neglect or abuse are reported to VACFSS. A screener will identify is the concerns meet eligibility for follow up assessment. If the concerns to not meet the criteria for further follow up, the file will be closed and referrals to any appropriate community services will be made.
When it is determined that the concerns meet the criteria for assessment, a Social Worker will be assigned to engage with the family. We believe it is important to keep families together and we always seek the least intrusive measures of care, first involving extended family and community to assist in their assessment and to offer services to improve the situation to decrease the risk of harm to the children. Support may include counselling, parenting programs, traditional healing, and basic needs assistance.
For more information about the process, please see this child protection chart from legal aid BC.