Niijaansinaanik Alternative Care Program is a Family-Based Model that puts the child’s needs at the center and ensures that services are provided in a holistic cultural approach. It is a firm belief that children/youth will be seen, heard and respected. The Alternative Care Program will provide services that are rooted in cultural values and beliefs and as such ensure that both the Alternative Caregivers and the children/youth in the home receive culturally appropriate, holistic services that encompass the child/youth’s mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.
The Rights of Anishinaabe children are inherent and forever in all our practices. View Rights Poster here.
What is Alternative Care?
Alternative Care provides family-based residential care, routine, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual support to children and youth in need of protection and out of home placement, inclusive of:
Alternative Care: The provision on a daily basis of all the essential elements of family life that a child/youth needs. The child/youth can be readily integrated into the alternative caregiver’s family and have their needs met by following the family’s normal daily routines.
Customary Care: Care and supervision of a child/youth by a person who is not the child’s parent, according to the custom of the child’s band or First Nation, or Inuit community.
Kinship Care: Pre-existing relationship between the alternative caregiver and the child/youth that requires out-of-home placement. May be a familial relationship or an adult with no blood relation, clan affiliation, but who has played a significant role in the life of the affected child/youth.
Niijaansinaanik Child and Family Service Agency is licensed by the Ministry of Children Community and Social Services as a Licensed Foster Care Operator under the Child Youth and Family Services Act (CYFSA).
Pre-Service training for new Alternative Caregivers and applicants who are in the process of becoming an Alternative Caregivers is available. The training is customized to blend both the provincial guidelines (SAFE curriculum) and Indigenous cultural practices and values (SPIRIT curriculum).
Parenting Pre-Service Training
The “HEART and SPIRIT” course was developed by Mnaasged Child and Family Services and ANCFSAO, to balance western parenting techniques and knowledge with Indigenous traditional roles, teachings and practices.
The Heart and Spirit course is used by our agency to share these techniques with Alternative Care parents and participants. Ceremony, intellectual and experiential learning is the basis for this 4-part session.