Roots Workers for Indigenous Children in Government Care

An article by the Discourse highlights the limited number (16) of Indigenous Roots workers employed by the Ministry of Children and Family Development for working with children and youth in care who are not cared for by Delegated Aboriginal Agencies. The ministry is mandated by legislation to ensure that Aboriginal children’s cultural identity is preserved and that Aboriginal people are involved in their plans and services. Only 4 ministry service delivery areas out of 13 have Roots workers. However the ministry states that all social workers and foster parents are responsible for strengthening cultural connections, and they have no plans to increase the number of Roots workers.

The ministry is actively working with Indigenous nations to increase their capacity to support their own families, such as the Individual agreements with the Wet’suwet’en and Secwépemc Nations and Métis Nation British Columbia to work together to transfer jurisdiction for child and family services. These and other initiatives are summarized here.