Permanency Planning is based on the philosophy that every child has the right to a stable, nurturing family, preferably with the child’s own family and community. For older youth, permanency may be an unconditional, life-long commitment by an adult who is nurturing, supportive and can provide the young person with a sense of emotional security and belonging. Permanency Planning begins from the first contact with a family and continues until a child leaves our service.
Admission Prevention – The initial focus of child welfare work is ensuring child safety while maintaining the child in the family home whenever possible. Social workers provide support to families to prevent the child from coming into care and if a child does come into care, workers continue to provide support so that the family can be re-united.
Kinship Service – If a child is unable to remain in his/her immediate family’s care, outreach to extended family/kin is an option which is explored. The child is not in care of the agency but is placed with an extended family member or with a community member known to the child. The goal of is reunification of the child with his/ her family or a permanent home with an extended family member through legal custody.
Kinship Care – When a child must be admitted to the care of the agency, children are placed with extended family or community members wherever possible. The kin home is opened as an agency resource and financial support to care for the child is provided.
Family Finder – The agency employs an individual whose responsibility it is to search out the extended family of a child in care who can contribute to the permanency planning for the child or youth.
Foster Care – Children in the care of the agency (temporary care agreement, society wardship or Crown wardship) are placed with a foster family when family placements cannot be located. This placement option is meant to be for short-term care.
Customary Care – Customary Care is part of the continuum of care for Aboriginal children. Customary Care is a traditional method of caring for children, premised on the belief that a child is a sacred gift from the Creator and as such is the collective responsibility of the community. Customary Care Agreements are utilized when protection concerns in a family require out-of-home placement.
Legal Custody – This is an option to provide legal guardianship of a child to a parent, extended family member, community member or resource parents who have a demonstrated relationship and commitment to the child. This option is designed to address the special challenges for families who make a permanent commitment to care for the child.
Adoption – Adoption provides the child with a new legal family and identity. A child who is adopted has the same status and rights as if he/she were born into the family.
Youth Exiting Care – Supporting youth leaving care is a critical element of planning for the future of children and youth. Youth over age 18 are eligible for extended care and maintenance funding and social work support until they are 21 years of age. Permanency planning with youth also involves ensuring that they have a lasting, nurturing relationship with at least one adult who will continue to be in the youth’s life long after they leave involvement with the agency.