We Meet Over Zoom Every Wednesday @ 6pm
Designed to support families by allowing parents to have an external support available in meetings with CFS.
New content coming soon!
New content coming soon!
New content coming soon!
We believe in sharing responsibility, so we developed recommendations for the government and for ourselves.
To amplify parent's voices, we also draw on existing recommendations from outside reports.
We believe that some kids need protection - but we believe it is best for children to be raised by their own family. If that is not the case, extended family, in community and in their cultural background placements should be considered first. Here's how we work to make that happen:
The Buddy System – Designed to support families by allowing parents to have an external support available in meetings with CFS. It provides emotional and mental stability for families when the conversation with CFS may be difficult for the parent to handle by standing up for the parent when the agency is being unreasonable, keeping the conversation focused on the positive, and suggesting small breaks when the situation seems to affect the emotion of the parent too much. This also shows CFS that the parent is not alone, and that the parent does have supports in place.
1-on-1 Meetings with Parents – We connect with parents who need questions answered or an informal supporter to attend meetings with social workers.
Community Meetings with Organizations & Government – We invite helpers with Fearless R2W to attend meetings out in the community or meet with CFS or government officials to discuss our recommendations.
System Literate Helpers – We use our ongoing education to explain system processes and attend meetings with social workers with parents.
Parent Advocacy Training – We are currently training advocates with our 15 part advocacy system to expand the helpers available to meet with families.
Advocacy Tips – In March 2018 Fearless R2W sat together and brainstormed a few advocacy tips for community members. Check out our advocacy tips and be sure to join us in our coming learning and sharing circles for in person advocacy tips.
Over the past 2 years, local parents and community helpers have been working on building our system literacy and have since developed 2 lists of recommendations. One set for our parents locally and one for the Manitoba provincial government that is in charge of child welfare in the province.
1. Increase access to local addiction programming (including child care without CFS/justice penalty for seeking help)
2. Support Safe Spaces for parents and their kids/Temporary drop off point. This includes sustainable funding for 24/7 Community Centres in R2W
3. More Cultural Opportunities (as a replacement to negative activity) aka Support Thunderbird House
4. R2W parents increased Access to Manitoba Housing. If kids in care, families should remain with their home intact (social assistance) (As long as it’s temporary). Develop a Mutual Family Housing Policy as well.
5. Supportive transition to independence (MB Housing – example in Lord Selkirk Park). Supports like: Someone to help with spring cleaning, Respite for Parents (help with childcare from person of parents choosing)
6. Create local employment (i.e. Building Construction Mentorship Program) including pathways to employment (Training / School, info on how to be good tenants, etc)
7. TRAINING: Traditional Family Parenting Orientation available to R2W families, as well as foster parents [mandatory]. Additional Trainings To be made available to natural families, foster parents and children in/exiting care such as: Domestic Violence Prevention or Healthy Relationships, Advocacy training for Parents and Public. Establish R2W Parent Advocacy Centre – Strength Based Always. In the interim, provide bus tickets and food for FEARLESS R2W meetings
8. COMMUNICATION: We recommend increased communication from the provincial government to families, as well as support for: Indigenous Language Immersion; Education supports to help parents understand legislation; increased access to safe helpers; Support for increased parent communication skills; Increase social workers communication skills;
9. Re-assess the risk assessments (family vs child vs agency risk); Are they strength based? Include Family Group Conferencing part at CFS First Response.
10. Increase Parent Networking Supports: Help parents who are new to the community demonstrate positive and supportive relationships. Help people network to gain access to additional supports.
"10x10" from our Advocacy Model means we split the workload - 10 Government Recommendations and 10 for us.
1. Increase access to safe social opportunities (alone, with kids and family, with friends, government support).Create a Mentorship/Sponsor program for community members; Increase parent access to safe helpers
2. Support where you can community involved in a temporary drop off point for parents(including government support)
3. Attend necessary training programs or education programs to get kids back;Advocacy training for parents, Help parents understand legislation; Continue attending Fearless R2W meetings
4. Take steps to improve your own (parents) communication skills. Learn how to communicate and use Strength based approaches; LEARN How to ask constructive questions;Learn how to ask for help
5. Build your own system literacy; Familiarize parents with RISK ASSESSMENTS that are done when workers come in to investigate
6. Learn to be good tenants – communicate with landlords etc
7. Research other jurisdictions and their best practices when it comes to CFS Advocacy/improvements
8. Connect with all child welfare groups in the area; Invite other CFS Advocacy groups to participate and share their solutions; Invite the Office of the Children’s Advocate to come and present to our group
9. SHARE: Success stories of families that have broken the cycle of CFS, or families that have been able to avoid having CFS Apprehensions in their kids
10. Develop Parent Networking Supports: Help parents who are new to the community demonstrate positive and supportive relationships and help people network to gain access to additional supports
Beyond our own group's recommendations, many others have been making demands for change to child welfare internationally and locally. Here you can read up on many of these documents to get familiar with the bigger picture of child welfare and what people are pushing for.
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child – 1990
The Aboriginal Justice Inquiry – 1991
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – 2007
The Phoenix Sinclair Report – 2013
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Calls to Action – 2015
(The first 5 Calls to Action all talk about changes to child welfare.)
Manitoba Child Welfare Legislative Review Committee Report – 2018
The Tina Fontaine Report – 2019
The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls – 2019