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.