FACS is committed to the safety, wellbeing and permanence of all children and youth in the community. We strive to practice from a strength-based perspective working with caregivers, their formal and informal support systems and in collaboration with community partners. Our clinical model of child welfare practice is a philosophy of early help, anti-oppressive practice and family conferencing on the foundation of our approach to Walk Along Side families we serve. We utilize practice approaches such as: Signs of Safety (SoS), Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), Together with Families, Circles of Security (CoS) and Family Visitation. (all have hyper-links to describe each practice area).
FACS is also committed to Journey Together towards the Truth and Reconciliation with our First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples (FMNI). We support the restoration of jurisdiction of child welfare back to the Nations that serve their communities and to Jordan’s Principle so that all FNMI children and youth have access to services in a timely matter no matter where they reside.
We work with families utilizing a clinical model of child welfare practice with an emphasis on a strengthed based, anti-oppressive, collaborative and evidenced informed framework. We utilize practice approaches such as: Signs of Safety (SoS), Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), Together with Families, Circles of Security (CoS) and Family Visitation. We are committed to providing services to our Indigenous families in a manner that honours Truth and Reconciliation principles, the restoration of jurisdiction back to Indigenous Nations and adhering to Jordan’s Principle.
We are here to help. Families face a number of stressful situations that at times become more than they can manage. We can link you to the right services and resources in the community and support your goals of positive parenting of you children. For more information on community services and resources click here. For more information on positive parenting click here.
Assessment and Investigations:
Ontario’s Child and Family Services Act mandates that FACS must undertake prompt investigation of any referral alleging that a child may be in need of protection. Working with the family, we assess the harm or risk of harm to children and youth and develop a safety plan that addresses the safety and wellbeing of children and youth. While our primary priority is always the safety and wellbeing of children and youth, we do this with families and in the least disruptive way possible.
Ongoing Family Services:
Sometimes families require longer term protection services from the agency, most of the time through a voluntary agreement but some of the times, when an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is not successful, this happens through a court order. We have highly trained staff who support families in learning about child development, positive parenting, attachment and children with complex needs to name a few. We develop service plans with the family to achieve identified goals that lead to increased safety and wellbeing for children and youth.
Children in Care:
About ninety percent (90%) of the children we serve reside with their family in the community. For the small percentage of children and youth who required an alternate placement from their caregivers, we first and foremost seek out the resources of family members and Kin (see Kinship Service and Kinship Care section) to provide alternate care. Failing that, some children and youth do require to come into formal care of the agency. Our agency has a foster to permancey model which stresses the importance of supporting children to be reunified with their caregivers first. We provide a Children’s Services Worker for children or youth who come into the care of the Society. The Children’s Services Worker is responsible to manage the planning and oversee the care of the child or youth while in the Society’s care. The case management responsibilities include arranging regular plans of care for the child that involve the foster parent, the family and other important people in the child’s life. Plans of Care are held to ensure that the planning for the child/youth incorporates all the dimensions of a child/youth’s life that are important to them as well as ensuring that the child’s needs are met.
Kinship Service and Kinship Care:
There are two kinship programs available through FACS - Kinship Service and Kinship Care. Both programs are designed to allow children to be placed in the care of people they know, often members of their extended family and/or other members of the child's community support group - someone the child is familiar with. Kinship options are always explored for children who are in need of protection, prior to having a child placed in foster or group care situations.
Youth in Transition:
The Youth in Transition program is available for all youth in care who are preparing to transition into independence. This program offers support, advocacy and teaching in the areas of finance/budgeting, mental health, addictions, and any other areas that may help youth reach their full potential in their life. The program is youth driven and helps support youth in care to be better prepared for life after their time in care has come to an end
Family Visiting Services:
Family Visiting services are provided where alternate less intrusive methods of family contact is either unavailable or deemed to be unsafe. Family visits are facilitated according to the level of service required and risk involved. Family Visiting is facilitated to support ongoing attachment as an important and vital aspect of a child’s healthy development. Family visiting provides learning opportunities through teaching according to a strengths-based model.
Adoption occurs when a child or youth becomes a permanent member of another family. Our child-centered foster to permanency program minimizes change for children and youth. Whenever possible, foster parents adopt the children placed with them if the children become available for adoption.
Adoption Disclosure Services:
Information, counselling, and referral services are available to adult adoptees and their birth family members who wish to learn about or re-establish contact with someone separated by adoption. Persons may seek information such as a social or medical history, or may request to meet a birth child or parent.
Volunteers contribute their knowledge, skills and enthusiasm in support of the agency’s programs and the families we serve. They drive children and parents to and from appointments, provide child care in agency programs, and befriend families we work with and much, much more.