The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations says Indigenous involvement in the province’s child welfare system needs to increase if the system has any hope of improving.
The FSIN was responding to last week’s Children’s Advocate Report which says the provincial system is not serving children in foster care adequately.
FSIN director of social development, Shaun Soonias, says very little has happened in terms of implementation since the FSIN and province signed a letter of understanding to increase First Nations involvement in the child welfare system two years ago.
“When we are looking at our LOU, where it’s talking about jointly engaging in child welfare transformation, we don’t see that relationship being reciprocated,” he says.
Nevertheless, Andrea Brittin, the assistant deputy minister of child and family services, says the two sides continue to meet regularly in a review of legislation affecting child welfare policies.
“We have had them at the planning stage and as we move into the phase of consultation and engagement on the legislative review, certainly FSIN will be there with us alongside to develop those plans and to be involved in the actual engagement and consultation process,” she says.
Many of the children currently in foster care in Saskatchewan are Aboriginal.