News & Events
Children’s Aid Society
RE: Children’s Aid Society/Indigenous Child Wellbeing Agency
We are writing to give you great news! Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag Child & Family Services is now providing child protection services to indigenous children, youth and families in southern Ontario! As you know Indigenous children are overrepresented in the child welfare system and the mainstream system has struggled to provide appropriate and effective services to our families and communities. For over the past twenty years, we have worked diligently to be responsive to indigenous needs, to support families to stay together, and to safeguard and nurture the identities of children should they need to be cared for outside their home.
Our purpose for writing is to advise you of our designation as a society under the Child Youth Family Services Act (CYFSA). We will be offering our child and family services to Indigenous persons living in our geographic jurisdiction who are otherwise currently being served by the mainstream agencies in this jurisdiction.
Some Background on Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag:
Dnaagdawenmag has been under development for twenty years by seven First Nations (now eight) in southern Ontario. We have been “designated” under the CYFSA as a child protection agency on February 28, 2019. As such we will overlap in jurisdiction with five mainstream Children’s Aid Societies (CASs). These mainstream CASs support our designation and believe as strongly as we do that we can serve indigenous, children, youth and families better.
Our Board of Directors and member First Nations believe children should be cared for and serviced by an Indigenous agency with the capacity to offer services that safeguard and nurture their identities. We fully respect and understand the First Nations’ inherent rights with respect to their children. Our service model is rooted in indigenous values and wholistic practice. We are strongly connected to and guided by frontline staff from our member First Nations.
We have worked hard staffing up and building capacity, we still have more growth and opportunities. In March 2019, we began the restoration of the child protection mandate to our agency. We announced our soft launch. This process will last for several months. We expect to provide the full spectrum of child welfare service by December 2019.
What is a Soft Launch?
While officially designated we will not be operating at the same capacity as our partner CASs. We will be taking over service on a gradual schedule. Our staff have been seconded to our 5 (five) partner CASs since May 2017, so the families, youth and children currently assigned to our staff have begun transitioning over to our agency under our mandate beginning March 4, 2019. We expect to provide the full spectrum of service including, After Hours, Screening, Initial Assessment late summer 2019.
We look forward to delivering culturally appropriate services to families, youth and children living within Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag Child & Family Services’ geographic jurisdiction. Please reach out if you need us to answer any questions.
For further information about Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag, our background, history, geographic jurisdiction and other details, please check out our website at www.binnoojiiyag.ca. We are offering our services to on- and off-reserve Indigenous populations in the jurisdiction.
Amber Crowe, Executive Director