With warm greetings, the executive and management of the Southern First Nations Network of Care (Southern Network) welcome you.
'Journey of Hope' – Message from Tara Petti, CEO
The Southern First Nations Network of Care’s path of history is a poignant reminder of the mandate we were entrusted with and embarked upon 15 years ago. That wave of change came with something called 'Devolution' of services to us. With the guidance and wisdom of our staff, leadership and elders, we keep working and move towards a new history where we believe can revolutionize a child and family services system that once refused or did not see the vision of change our way. Over the years we have forged change and transformed the delivery of child and family services for the 10 Agencies we mandate and the 36 First Nations they serve throughout Southern Manitoba.
It has been a monumental struggle with major challenges every step of the way. We continue to overcome these challenges and we do not waver from our promise to the people we serve. A promise of doing things differently has led to: Family Enhancement services throughout all of our Agencies; Agency driven resource development on and off-reserve; and building capacity through training and initiatives in Quality Assurance, Information Technology, Finance, and Front Line services. Every step of the way our leadership and elders supported and reminded us to do things in the spirit of our people. A clear message was sent to us by our Elders Council, “Keep working. Represent our future.” With that in mind, we continue to “keep working” to address issues that impact our children and families every day.
Our vision was given to us by our elders and expressed by leadership to “do our best and affect that much needed change.” There is much more work to be done on all fronts. Transformation needs to occur in the way services are delivered to our children to focus on keeping families together and preventing children from coming into care. This can only be done by recognizing and supporting practices that are community driven and come from the experience of those who work with our children and families in the communities. This must be supported by policy and effective resourcing.
In the past year, the Southern First Nations Network of Care has worked hard to transform our organization internally to meet the needs of the Agencies we serve. Through the development of a strategic plan, we have shifted our Operations to reflect the following priorities.
- Build on our cultural foundation, not a mainstream child welfare foundation
- Adopt, support and promote a customary care model, focussed on programming that prevents the breakup of families
- Improve our communication with clients, partners and political leadership in order to build trust and collaboration and promote our brand
- Forge new and more effective funding arrangements
Based on this foundation, we work side by side with our Agencies, leadership and stakeholders to affect change. More recently and notably, decisions precipitated by a landmark ruling of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal called upon the federal government to address inequitable, unfair and damaging funding models within our First Nations communities. We take on the task of responding to the federal government with our Agencies, to identify the needs in our communities and the gaps that exist in the current funding models in Manitoba. This work is coordinated by the Manitoba Regional Advisory Committee which consists of representatives from the federal and provincial governments; Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC); Southern Chiefs Organization (SCO); Southern Network and member Agencies; Northern Authority and member agencies; and Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO). By putting our minds together we believe we are once again going to affect child and family services history in a major way.
Interwoven and integral to this vision for our future is the promise to 'Bring our families together' and 'Bring our families home' by implementing policies and standards guided by and'Built upon our Cultural Foundations.' We believe these tried and true customs will lead to better outcomes for our children and families. It is a renaissance driven by a new vision of hope and customary change; a destination we all know we need to reach.
Our Journey of Hope continues!
Ekosi, Meegwetch, Wopida Tanka