Alternative Care Process

Step 1: Initial Inquiry/Intake

The first step is to request information about alternative care from our agency. This can be done by calling, emailing, or dropping in at the office. This inquiry will start the process whereby we will begin to work with you in assessing whether or not alternative care (fostering) is right for you, and whether or not you are right for the program. A worker will take all of the necessary information and complete the agency inquiry form with you.

Step 2: Initial Home Visit: Homestudy Process

An alternative care worker will contact you to set up a home visit. This initial home visit will provide you with information on the agency alternative care process, answer any questions that you may have and provide forms that need to be completed by you to further the assessment process. The forms needed to be completed include:

Child Welfare Check, Medical Form, References (5 for a couple and 3 for a single applicant), Police record check & Vulnerable sector screen (all adults age 18 and over residing in the home)

Step 3: Assessment Process

Once the forms have been received and the decision to continue is made by the agency, the assessment can begin. There will be continued home visits by the assigned alternative care worker who will meet with you in your home to complete the assessment including the initial home safety.

Niijaansinaanik  utilizes the SAFE & Pride and Heart and Spirit programs. The program has a strong indigenous focus. It honours indigenous ways of learning and is delivered during “heart engagements” (visits to your home) and a series of group training.  This program involves individual and group learning and will help prepare you to become a successful alternative caregiver.

Step 4: Pre-Service  Sessions

The alternative care worker will invite you to attend the  group sessions.. This consists of group learning over two weekends for a total of approximately 24 hours of alternative care pre-service training. The intention of the sessions is to engage, prepare and develop participants to become caregivers for Indigenous children and youth. The sessions cover First Nation child welfare history, cultural teachings, meeting developmental and spiritual needs of Indigenous children/youth, planning for change, and making the decision to extend your family.

Step 5: Decision

The final decision to approve or not approve your application is determined by the Niijaansinaanik Alternative Care Review Committee. Once the decision has been made, the assigned alternative care worker will notify you verbally and in writing.

How we support Alternative Caregivers

  • Provide training and educational opportunities to gain knowledge and skills

  • In home support between the Alternative Caregiver and the Child(ren) and/or youth.

  • 24 Hour Support

  • Financial support and compensation for extracurricular activities, sports etc.

  • Opportunities to participate in cultural activities.

  • Provide resources to meet the needs of the child(ren)

Alternative Care Program

Niijaansinaanik Child and Family Services is licensed by the Ministry of Children Community Social Services to approve Alternative Care Homes.

The Alternative Care Program is a family based model that puts the child’s needs at the centre and ensures that services are provided in a holistic cultural approach.

The Program also provides family based residential care for children/youth in need of protection and out of home placement inclusive of: Alternative Care, Customary Care(formal) and Kinship Care.