If a social worker from the Ministry of Children and Family Development (or a delegated agency) takes your child from your home because you're temporarily unable to take care of them, you can ask to have family or friends care for them. This means that instead of going into foster care, your children will stay with someone they know.
You can arrange for this through an Extended Family Program agreement. (These are sometimes called EFP agreements.)
Remember: If you're being investigated for a child protection matter, you have rights.
To find services that can help you, see Who can help.
The Extended Family Program is a government program. The Ministry of Children and Family Development runs the program.
The program allows your children to be placed with someone they know if you're temporarily unable to take care of them. This means that if a social worker takes your children from your home (or is going to take them), you can ask the social worker to place them in the care of:
For example, a grandparent, aunt or uncle, or a family friend could take care of your children.
The program's goal is to return your children to you whenever possible.
The Extended Family Program:
The person looking after your children is called their care provider.
Your children are placed with their care provider through an Extended Family Program agreement (sometimes called an EFP agreement). This program gives your children's care provider financial support and other support services.
Not everyone is eligible for the program:
An Extended Family Program agreement:
Extended Family Program agreements replaced kith and kin agreements in April 2010.
An Extended Family Program agreement requires the following:
The length of the agreement depends on:
Age of children
|Under five||No longer than three months|
|Five to 11||No longer than six months|
|12 and older||No longer than 12 months|
If a longer placement would be better for your children, you may be able to renew the agreement. The total length of the agreement, including all renewals depends on:
Age of children
|Under five||No longer than 12 months|
|Five to 11||No longer than 18 months|
|12 and older||No longer than 24 months|
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. You can also ask at any time during the child protection process.
Mediation is free for families who are involved with the ministry. Mediators can travel to remote communities.
Parent Support Services Society of BC — Information and support to parents and care providers. For information about the Extended Family Program or help with your application, call the society's Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Support Line at 1-855-474-9777 (no charge)
Ministry of Justice — Child Protection Mediation Program
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