The Ministry of Children and Family Development (the ministry) or a delegated Aboriginal agency gets involved with families when parents ask for help looking after their child. Delegated Aboriginal agencies have agreements with the ministry to provide certain child protection services to Aboriginal communities.
You might need help to look after your child in these situations:
- You have a serious illness or injury.
- Your child has an illness or medical condition you can't manage on your own.
- Your child has special needs that are too hard or cost too much for you to manage alone.
- Your teenager is involved with drugs or alcohol.
- You need time in a treatment centre.
- You're a young, new parent, and you're having trouble coping.
- You're about to become homeless.
- You're living in a situation where there's family violence.
Try other options first
Before you contact the ministry or a delegated Aboriginal agency, you can also try to get help or information from other places such as:
- your family doctor or medical clinic
- family service agencies, Aboriginal friendship centres, multicultural agencies, and anti-poverty groups
- community health organizations, addiction agencies, and mental health services
- victim services and crisis lines
- Legal Aid BC and Parents Legal Centres
Help from the ministry
If you can't get what you need from other sources, check the ministry's website to find out what the ministry can and can't do for you. Ask an advocate to help you decide whether to contact the ministry. An advocate can help you make a plan to get the support and services you need.
When you contact the ministry
- When you speak to someone at the ministry or a delegated Aboriginal agency, explain your situation briefly and clearly.
- Know what help you need from the ministry and what you want to do, based on what's best for you and your child.
- Show you've thought carefully about your plan.
What the ministry might do
- The ministry or a delegated Aboriginal agency might refer you to community services that can help.
- Or it might provide the services you need through a support services agreement, voluntary care agreement, or Extended Family Program agreement.
Don't be afraid to ask for help. People are available and willing to help you.