If a social worker contacts you or visits your home to ask you questions about your family, they may be working for a delegated Aboriginal child and family service agency. Delegated agencies have an agreement with the Ministry of Children and Family Development to provide certain child welfare services to Aboriginal communities.
You have the right to get legal advice. If the social worker's concerns are very serious, the social worker may take your child from your home. Call Legal Aid immediately to find out if you qualify for a free lawyer.
To find services that can help you, see Who can help.
Child protection laws in BC recognize the importance of Aboriginal family ties to Aboriginal children. Delegated agencies are part of an effort to restore the responsibilities of child protection and family support to Aboriginal communities.
Delegated agencies may offer the following services:
Some delegated agencies may also have the power to:
Aboriginal delegated agencies work with families living on and off reserve across BC.
Aboriginal Child and Family Services
Métis Family Services (Surrey)
|Surrounded by Cedar Child and Family Services
The ministry's website has a full list of the delegated agencies across BC. Check the list to find out if your band or community is involved.
You have the right to get legal advice if a social worker from the ministry or a delegated agency:
Child protection matters are covered by Legal Aid. Call Legal Aid immediately to find out if you qualify for a free lawyer. If you don't qualify for a lawyer, there are other free legal aid resources available to you.
You can ask for support from your Aboriginal community throughout the child protection process:
A mediator can help you work with the ministry. A mediator is a professional who's specially trained to:
You can ask for a mediator as soon as the social worker has contacted you.
Mediation is free for families who are involved with the ministry. Mediators can travel to remote communities.
Ministry of Justice — Child Protection Mediation Program
BC211 — Free confidential referrals to help and information — Call 211
PovNet — Information about poverty issues and links to organizations that can help
BC Association of Friendship Centres — Find a friendship centre in your area
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation — See their A Guide to Aboriginal Organizations and Services in British Columbia for organizations that can help
Aboriginal community legal workers — Give legal information and limited advice services
Legal information outreach workers — Give legal information and provide referrals
Access Pro Bono Law Clinics — Free legal help
Carole James, MLA, Community Office — Free legal clinic, including family matters — Call 250-412-7794
Family duty counsel — Free legal advice on family matters — Kwadacha and Tsay Key Dene — Call 1-877-601-6066 (no charge)
Family duty counsel — Free legal advice on child protection matters — Williams Lake, call 778-395-6200
First Nations and Métis Outreach Program (The Law Centre) — Free legal help, including family matters — Victoria
Bella Coola Legal Advocacy Program — Legal advocacy on a issues, including child protection — Bella Coola
UBC Indigenous Community Legal Clinic — Free legal help on various legal matters — 604-684-7334 (Greater Vancouver) or 1-888-684-7334 (call no charge)
Upper Skeena Counselling & Legal Assistance Society — Help with family matters —Hazelton
Victoria Native Friendship Centre — Free legal clinic, including family matters — Call 250-412-7794