Indigenous Child & Family Development

Last updated on December 28, 2023

All 203 First Nations and the seven agencies that serve Métis people in B.C. were invited to apply for up to $30,000 in family support funding for their community’s prevention and family-support needs, outlining how the funding can help address those needs and improve Indigenous child welfare across B.C.

167 First Nations and agencies recieved funding towards a variety of programs or services, including:

  • Supporting parents from rural communities who may benefit from transportation assistance to court or counselling;
  • Hiring a family-support worker to help guide parents through the child-welfare process;
  • Working with an Elder to teach parenting skills from a traditional point of view;
  • Strengthening traditional Indigenous skills within families, such as fishing, hunting or storytelling; or
  • Pooling the funding to work with other communities on a new or existing program or service.

In total, First Nations and Métis-serving agencies will share $6.4 million to help keep Indigenous families together and improve outcomes for children and youth.

Building Relationships

Based on the New Relationship, the Indigenous community, provincial and federal governments, and other agencies are working together to improve government-to-government relations with First Nations.

The Recognition & Reconciliation Protocol on First Nations Child, Youth & Families (PDF, 1.6MB) outlines the commitment between the First Nations Leadership Council and the provincial government to define clear goals and actions that will help improve the well-being of First Nations children, youth and families in B.C.

In May 2018, amendments to the Child, Family and Community Service Act (CFCSA) were introduced and passed in the legislature as Bill 26. These changes respond to the immediate need to share information, engage Indigenous communities early when involved with families and children and seek solutions to keep children and families together and connected to their communities.

A specific set of the amendments was brought into force in October 2018. The remaining amendments came into force on April 1, 2019, recognizing that Indigenous families and Indigenous communities share responsibility for the upbringing and well-being of their children, and underscore the importance of Indigenous children learning about and practicing their traditions, customs and languages, and belonging to their Indigenous communities.

Aboriginal Policy and Practice Framework

The APPF is an overarching framework intended to improve outcomes for Indigenous children, youth, families and communities through restorative policies and practices. It applies to policy and practice involving Indigenous children, youth and families on and off reserve regardless if they are being served by a Delegated Aboriginal Agency or the Ministry of Children and Family Development. Restorative policies and practices are culturally safe and trauma informed, supporting and honouring Indigenous peoples’ cultural systems of caring and resiliency. The framework’s model for restorative policy and practice is Child, Youth, Family and Community-Centred; Culture-Centred; Inclusive, Collaborative and Accountable; and focused on Resilience, Wellness and Healing.

The framework was endorsed by the Delegated Aboriginal Agency Directors Forum and the Ministry in 2015.

Funding & Programs

Working together has resulted in a wide range of programs and services available to Indigenous children, teens and families, and the professionals who support them.