Picking up the phone or reaching for the computer may seem like an ordinary daily task. But for employees at Kw'umut Lelum Child and Family Services, having the technology and ability to instantly connect with their remote Penelakut Island satellite office will mean better services and more accessibility for Aboriginal children and families who need help.
The Province is supporting Delegated Aboriginal Agencies through a $3.7-million investment to assist with infrastructure projects - helping ensure they have the capacity to successfully deliver culturally-relevant services to Aboriginal children and families. Children and Family Development Minister Mary McNeil and Parksville-Qualicum MLA Ron Cantelon made the announcement today during a tour of Nanaimo's Kw'umut Lelum Child and Family Services - an Aboriginal society dedicated to the well-being of children from nine surrounding communities.
Delegated Aboriginal Agencies provide a range of services to children and families, including volunteer services, guardianship and child protection services.
The funding has been allocated to 22 delegated Aboriginal agencies and eight Aboriginal organizations in the start-up and planning stages for a total of 30 projects. This funding helps offset infrastructure expenses, including upgrades to systems, staff training, office equipment and current facilities - as delegated agencies develop capacity to deliver services tailored to the unique needs and values of Aboriginal children, youth and families.
The Ministry of Children and Family Development is committed to providing the best possible services for all children and recognizes Aboriginal people are in the very best position to lead development of services for their children and families. First Nation, Urban Aboriginal and Métis Delegated Aboriginal Agencies require upgrades to administration, human resources, communications and facilities to strengthen the delivery of services in their communities.
- Kw'umut Lelum is an Aboriginal society dedicated to the well-being of children from: Halalt, Lake Cowichan, Lyackson, Malahat, Penelakut, Qualicum, Snaw-naw-as, Snuneymuxw and Stz'uminus.
- The organization was formed and received Guardianship Services Delegation in 1997. In 2002, a Delegation Confirmation Agreement was signed. In 2009, an extension agreement was signed, effective until 2014.
- There are approximately 4,622 registered on-reserve band members for the nine communities Kw'umut Lelum serves.
- Delegated Aboriginal Agencies currently serve 44 per cent of the approximately 4,654 Aboriginal children in care in the province.
- Delegation agreements return historic responsibilities for child and family services to Aboriginal communities.
- There are 22 Operational Delegated Aboriginal Agencies in B.C. representing approximately 114 First Nations bands as well as Urban Aboriginal and Métis communities.
- Of the 22 operational agencies, nine are delegated to provide full child-protection services, 10 provide guardianship services and three provide only voluntary services.
- There are eight agencies in the delegation planning process, representing an additional 31 Aboriginal communities.
- In total approximately 145 First Nations, Urban Aboriginal and Métis communities have Operational Delegated Agencies or are in some phase of delegation planning.
For more information about Delegated Aboriginal Agencies, please visit: http://www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/about_us/aboriginal/delegated/index.htm
For more about Aboriginal Child and Family Development, please visit: http://www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/about_us/aboriginal/index.htm
Ministry of Children and Family Development
250 812-7977 (cell)