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B.C. Marks Milestone Agreement on Aboriginal Services

by NationTalk on April 1, 2008451 Views

NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
2008CFD0010-000447
April 1, 2008

Ministry of Children and Family Development

VANCOUVER – The Province and the Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Services Society have celebrated the organization’s inception as B.C.’s first urban Aboriginal agency to assume authority over the full spectrum of child and family services in their area, announced Tom Christensen, Minister of Children and Family Development.“This is a significant step forward in recognizing the importance of assisting Aboriginal children and families within the context of their heritage, spirituality and culture,” said Christensen. “This agreement truly reflects our shared goal of strengthening Aboriginal families and communities.”

Effective today, ministry-funded delegated services for Aboriginal children and families in Vancouver and Richmond will be transferred to the Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Services Society. The five-year agreement – the highest form of delegated service delivery in B.C. – empowers the agency to provide child protection services to approximately 500 Aboriginal children and youth in care.

“This agreement signifies a shift in the thoughts and actions in British Columbia towards the care of Aboriginal children and families by Aboriginal agencies,” said Society CEO Bernadette Spence. “It is strong recognition of Aboriginal peoples’ inherent responsibility and authority for their own social well-being, family matters, child rearing and protection and for the design and delivery of services to families and children.”

Ministry and society staff will continue to support an effective and successful transfer of child protection services for Aboriginal children, youth and families. The society – one of 24 delegated Aboriginal agencies in B.C. – is the province’s largest urban, provincially funded Aboriginal agency.

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Media contact:

Seumas Gordon
Ministry of Children and Family Development
250 356-2939

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