The Southern Network supports agencies and communities who are currently working together to forge a new way that is in alignment with the principles set out in “An Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit, and Metis children and families.” Principles such as the inherent right of Indigenous parenting and Indigenous governance over their own child welfare laws, continuity of care in culturally safe homes, and substantive equality. The main purpose of the Service Support Unit is to provide support to our member Agencies, our Chief & Councils, and our 34 First Nation communities who have the opportunity to operationalize their jurisdiction over their children’s welfare.
With the introduction of An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families (formally Bill C-92), we continue to keep all agencies informed of new developments and implementations as we move towards engagement with the leadership of our respective communities. This change will transform not only the look of child welfare and services to our families and children but potentially our member agencies. We look forward to the continued information sessions held by Indigenous Services Canada as we all move forward together in creating a better child welfare system where our “children will receive culturally appropriate services and grow up immersed in their communities and culture”.
The Southern Network provides an intake function, and all matters are reviewed by a Service Support Specialist and followed up on accordingly.
The Service Support Specialist is typically the first point of contact when any person has inquiries, concerns, or complaints about child and family services involving our member Agencies.
Agency Complaint Resolution Process
The Southern Network Service Support Specialist provides support to agencies and collaterals when issues arise regarding the above services which are covered under the Child and Family Services Act, Child and Family Services Authorities Act, Regulations, Protocols and Field Guides sanctioned through the CFS Standing Committee.
As provided for in Section 50 (2) of The Child and Family Services Act, The Service Support Specialist reviews and approves requests at the Network level and recommends approval of Agreements with Young Adults in collaboration with the Child and Family Services Branch. The specialist provides consultation to Agency staff regarding youth transitioning out of the child and family services system. This includes providing information on transitional planning resources, including tuition waivers.
The Southern Network continues to ensure that children in care receive the best care through the approval of services such as qualified care providers, support workers, respite providers and emergency supports. The Service Support Specialist provides consultation to Agency staff regarding special rates for children in care. The specialist reviews and approves requests at the Network level and recommends approval of special rate funding requests.
Within the Southern Network and its member agencies, children in care are identified as qualifying for Exceptional Circumstances Funding which is based on the child’s needs. Children are assessed on their overall physical, emotional, mental, and behavioural health. The Service Support specialist reviews and approves requests at the Network level and recommends approval of exceptional circumstances funding requests.
The ACTION working group (Agencies Coming Together in Our Nation) is made up of service representatives from each of our member Agencies and the Southern Network Service Support unit. The maintenance of this working group continues to enable us to continue to strengthen our relationships with and support our agencies as we work together to find solutions to better support families and children.
If you would like to learn more about our organization, the services we provide or our member agencies, please feel free to start a conversation.