Transparency of child welfare funding in Canada
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We are Thompson Rivers University Social Work students who have created this petition for a class project.
Indigenous child welfare agencies (Delegated Aboriginal Agencies or DAAs) in Canada are grossly underfunded which has resulted in issues such as:
-DAAs are chronically understaffed and unable to provide services comparable to those received by children and families who are served by the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD)
-Staff retention is made difficult because their funding constraints mean they often cannot afford to pay equal wages or offer training and benefits comparable to what is offered by MCFD
-Shortage of services for children and families served by many of these agencies, especially in rural and remote areas – most notably Child and Youth Mental Health services, parenting programs and early childhood development programs.
-Has contributed to the overrepresentation of Indigenous children in foster care
There have been numerous studies and reports that outline the problematic funding formula and its impact.
The government is currently in the works to establish new funding procedures, however, there is limited information regarding what these changes will look like, how they will be implemented, or how they will address the issue.
We demand that the government be held accountable. We are seeking transparency in the process of funding distribution to all Delegated Aboriginal Agencies (DAA) due to the overrepresentation of Indigenous children in care.
In conjunction with the Representative for Children and Youth, we recognize the need for transparency because of flawed and discriminatory funding practices, inequitable and inconsistent funding to DAAs, lack of trust and communication, and unable to provide comprehensive services that are needed. As well, DAAs have limited capacity to offer culturally-based prevention services staff retention and funding issues.
In response to the recent announcement regarding the increased federal budget for Indigenous child welfare services in Canada, we request the federal government to be transparent with communities in regards to funding for DAAs to ensure accountability. We request the government's transparency through posting reports on the progress being made. We request the reports to be posted in quarterly periods at the minimum on the:
Truth and Reconciliation Website
Assembly of First Nations Website
First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada Website
Human Rights Tribunal
Image Credit: Indigenous Peoples in Canada. (2016). In Amnesty International. Retrieved from http://www.amnesty.ca/category/issue/indigenous-peoples-in-canada?page=1
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