Frequently Asked Questions

What is The Metis Child and Family Services Authority (MCFSA)?

The Metis Child and Family Services Authority is an incorporated entity responsible for administering and managing the delivery of child and family services for Métis and Inuit people in Manitoba, as well as those who choose to receive our services and are eligible. Our services are open to anyone who chooses to receive them, providing they are not currently involved with an outside agency through a court process and providing that the children are not Treaty Status with a First Nations Band.

Overall, we ensure the provision of quality Métis and Inuit specific child and family supports and services that are culturally relevant and community-based in order to effectively build the capacity of Métis and Inuit families and communities to care for themselves and each other. We are charged with ensuring that child and family services are available and accessible,

We are one of four Child and Family Services Authorities that operate within the province. The other three Authorities are:

Metis Child and Family Services Authority delegates the provision of services in Manitoba to our two agencies, Metis Child, Family and Community Services Agency and Michif Child and Family Services Agency.

Why was the Metis CFS Authority created?

In August 2000, as a result of child welfare recommendations in the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry Report, the Manitoba Metis Federation, Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak and the Province of Manitoba began working together on a plan to restructure the child and family services system.

This collaboration was based on the common understanding that local strength based solutions which are community driven and culturally relevant hold the key to ensuring the health and wellbeing of Métis and First Nation families.

As a result of these discussions about Child Welfare, the Manitoba Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Indigenous leaders, officially creating the Devolution of child and family services, Since then, the restructuring of Manitoba's child and family services system has seen Métis and First Nation peoples reclaim their rightful role in the creation and delivery of services to Indigenous families.

Today, four Child and Family Service Authorities exist in Manitoba - three of which serve Indigenous communities:

  • The Metis Child and Family Services Authority
  • The First Nations of Northern Manitoba CFS Authority
  • The Southern First Nations Network of Care
  • The General Child and Family Services Authority

Who is the Metis CFS Authority accountable to?

The Metis CFS Authority is an incorporated entity that is responsible for administering and managing child welfare service delivery for Métis and Inuit people in Manitoba, as well as those who seek or services and are eligible to receive these services. We are an affiliate of the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF), who appoint our Board of Directors.

Through the Child and Family Services Authorities Act, the Metis CFS Authority has the power to grant mandates to our service delivery Child Welfare agencies. The Authority currently receives its legal mandate as well as its current funding from the Provincial Government.

In order to fulfill its mandate, the Metis CFS Authority manages and monitors the provision of services to Métis and Inuit children and families by developing policy, setting priorities and assessing the needs of Métis and Inuit communities in consultation with the Metis Child, Family and Community Services Agency and the Michif Child and Family Services Agency, through its Manitoba Metis Governance.

What is the role of the Metis CFS Authority?

Aside from ensuring that services are delivered through its agencies, the Metis CFS Authority has a number of broad responsibilities including, but not limited to:

  • Ensuring that children and families have access to quality services throughout the province
  • Ensuring that appropriate policies, standards and processes are developed to guide service delivery by its agencies
  • Ensuring compliance to the policies and standards through the agencies' service delivery
  • Working with other Manitoba CFS Authorities and agencies, Inter-provincial CFS agencies, community partners, and governments (Métis, Provincial and Federal) to coordinate services for children and families
  • Promoting collaboration and cooperation among communities, service affiliates, and other CFS Authorities
  • Assessing services needs and setting system priorities
  • Allocating funding and other resources to our agencies mandated through the Metis CFS Authority
  • Hearing and deciding appeals respecting the agencies' licensing of foster homes
  • Complying with written directions given by the Provincial Minister of Families as well as any requirements specified in the regulations
  • Ensuring accountability through any decisions and directions provided by the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF), our Manitoba Metis Government

What is the Authority Determination Process?

Every family that comes into contact with an Agency that will result in an open file must have an Authority Determination Process (ADP) Form completed. The worker is responsible for ensuring the completion of the ADP form with the family. The family makes the determination of their culturally appropriate Authority, but has the right to choose their Authority of Service. This means they can have service from their culturally appropriate Authority or another Authority. Should a family not agree on Authority of Service or decide not to choose Authority of Service, the worker will note this in the form and choose the Authority of Service for the family based on their culturally appropriate Authority.

Is it possible to change Authorities?

Yes, it is possible to change Authorities.

If you have had previous contact with the Child Welfare System but your file has been closed for one year or longer you will be given the opportunity to choose your Authority of Service.

If the family component or their situation changes, the Authority Determination Process (ADP) will be revisited. Examples of these are:

  • If the custodial parent changes
  • A youth who is in an established independent living arrangement and is being monitored by a mandated child and family services agency has the choice to determine their Authority of Service
  • Youth (minor) parents who receive or are about to receive expectant parent services from a mandated child and family services agency have the right to choose their own Authority of Service for their child
  • If a person feels they want to transfer to a different Authority for service, for any other reason than stated above, the case would be examined on an individual basis through the Request for Change of Authority Process.

How can the Metis CFS Authority assist you?

As the Authority responsible for services to Manitoba's Métis and Inuit communities, our responsibility first and foremost, is to ensure the provision of culturally relevant, accessible and meaningful services to Métis and Inuit children, youth and families. This means working in close collaboration with our agencies to make certain that children and families have access to quality services and that legislation, policies and standards are followed.

On a daily basis, we are involved in monitoring and determining what services are offered and how they are delivered through ongoing policy development, needs assessment and the setting of priorities. We also respond to inquiries from the community and service providers dealing with everything from information requests to child protection referrals.

While we do not deliver services directly to families, we are directly responsible for ongoing quality assurance of such services. In doing so, we continue to serve as a valuable resource to our agencies, our community and the Manitoba Metis Government.

Who do I contact about service issues/concerns?

The public or any other Agency or Authority may call, e-mail, send a letter or fax the Metis Authority with their issues or concerns. The Authority Service Specialist - Community Inquiries will take their call or respond to any letter, e-mail or fax on condition that the individual has provided contact information.

If the issue or concern has to do with an open case at an agency, the Service Specialist will first ask if the caller has gone through the lines of authority within their agency's structure.

This would require them to contact first the Worker, and then the Supervisor. If they are still not satisfied that the issue has been dealt with, they can contact the Director of Service that oversees the Supervisor involved. The final step within the Agency structure would be to contact the Executive Director. If they have exhausted all avenues within the Agency structure, then they may contact the Authority.

Frequently Asked Questions About Caregiving

Part of the mandate of the Child Welfare System is to strengthen families to successfully care for their children by providing a safe environment. Sadly, at times this might require our agencies to provide an alternate sage environment. In order to do this our Metis CFS System relies on family and community members who are willing to come forward to offer their homes and loving care to these children.

How do I become a Caregiver/Foster Parent?

We welcome inquiries from people interested in becoming Caregivers/Foster Parents.

Minimally, prospective Caregivers/Foster Parents must:

  • Be over the age of eighteen (18) years
  • Be medically, physically, and emotionally prepared, and able, to fulfill the responsibilities required to meet the needs of the child(ren) in their care
  • Be able to provide character references
  • Be able to provide Criminal Record and Child Abuse Registry checks that are current to within three months of becoming a foster parent
  • Consent to a Prior Contact check (with Child and Family Services), and Consent for Release of Information if the Prior Contact Check reveals prior involvement with Child and Family Services
  • Consent to release of information about current employment, previous employment and volunteer work
  • Caregivers/Foster Parents must recognize the importance of promoting and supporting the emotional, physical, social, spiritual, cultural identity and well-being of our children

New caregivers are involved in an extensive orientation and training program before being licensed to care for our children. Ongoing support and periodic training continues throughout the time Caregivers are providing services.

Contact us about the possibility of being a caregiver

Winnipeg, Interlake & Southeast Regions

Alternate Care Intake
Contact: 204-927-6811

Southwest, Northwest,
The Pas & Thompson Regions

Contact: 204-622-3520

You can also find more information here: Be a Caregiver

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