Proposed Legislation to Restructure Child and Family Services System
June 10, 2002 marked an important day for the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry - Child Welfare Initiative, bringing the restructuring of the child and family services system in the Province of Manitoba one step closer to realization.
Tim Sale, Minister of Family Services & Housing, introduced significant legislation that will support the creation of a child and family services system that is more responsive to the needs of children, families and communities throughout Manitoba.
The legislation is consistent with the work of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry - Child Welfare Initiative, which is comprised of representatives of:
- The Manitoba Metis Federation;
- The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (representing Southern First Nations);
- Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (representing Northern First Nations); and
- The Province of Manitoba.
The legislation is an important first step toward a new Child and Family Services Act and Adoption Act.
The most significant changes reflected in the proposed legislation are:
Child and Family Services Authorities
The establishment of four Child and Family Services Authorities
- The Metis Child and Family Services Authority;
- The First Nations of Southern Manitoba Child and Family Services Authority;
- The First Nations of Northern Manitoba Child and Family Services Authority; and
- The General Child and Family Services Authority
Each Authority will have the responsibility to administer and provide for the delivery of child and family services to families who identify with their respective Authority. For example:
- The Northern Authority will have responsibility to people who are members of the northern First Nations specified in regulations, persons who are identified with those northern First Nations; and other persons; as determined in accordance with a protocol specified in the regulations.
- The General Authority will have responsibility for all persons not receiving services from another authority.
Duties and Powers of Authorities
Each Authority will oversee the provision of child and family and adoption services to their respective constituents.
In the proposed legislation Authorities would not provide the statutory services of child and family services directly. Instead, Authorities must provide for the delivery of child and family services through one or more agencies. The Authority will be empowered by the legislation to grant mandates to its agencies.
Review and Appeal Process Available - Removal of a Child from a Foster Home
The legislation sets out a review and appeal process for use if foster parents object to an agency decision to remove a child from a foster home. If it is reasonable to do so, the process provides for the child to remain in the home of the foster family until completion of the review and appeal process.
The final level of appeal includes an independent hearing by a person or persons appointed by the Minister from a roster of persons which the Minster has established after consulting with Authorities and other affected persons.
This legislation was introduced in The Legislative Assembly for First Reading on June 10th, 2002. It passed Third Reading and received Royal Assent on August 9, 2002.
By clicking on the link below, you can obtain an unofficial copy of the Act.
TThe Child and Family Services Authorities Act
The Act does not come into force until it is proclaimed, and this is expected following the approval of necessary arrangements by the parties to the AJI-CWI.