Mediation and Family Justice Services

Carrier Sekani Family Services offers specialized facilitation for families in crisis or needing extra support to resolve a dispute. This program is based on research conducted around Carrier decision-making practices to ensure that families receive culturally relevant support to address their needs. A variety of services are available and include the following;

Family Group Conference

When children are in the care of the MCFD, or a delegated agency, or are at risk of going into care, the family is eligible to be referred for a Family Group Conference. The purpose of the conference is to empower families to play a major role in making plans for their children. The extended family and support people identified by family gather to create a plan that addresses the best interests of the child(ren)and with the assistance of a neutral facilitator. Once a plan is satisfactory to the parents and meets the goals of protection of the social worker, the plan can be implemented.

Parents or guardians of the children determine who should be invited to help them create a plan and to what extent they would like to include cultural activities as part of their meeting. During the conference there is time available for all parties to share information. Later the family is provided with private time to discuss and create a plan. Once the family has developed a plan, they present the plan to the social worker who will in turn support the plan or offer feedback if she cannot. Once a plan has been made that the family and social worker agree upon, it is printed, signed, and put into practice. Often a review meeting is planned for 8 to 10 weeks later to determine progress and next steps.

Family Case Planning Conference

Family Case Planning Conference (FCPC) is a 90-minute meeting facilitated by a CSFS Family Justice Facilitator and is initiated by a social worker. The social worker determines who will attend the meeting, invites the participants and arranges the time and the place. These meetings are crisis driven, meant to address immediate safety / protection issues for a child. Ideally it is a precursor to a Family Group Conference where the family can make long-term plans. The CSFS facilitator guides the meeting by leading discussions to create an immediate safety plan for the child(ren), writes up the plan, which is signed by all parties and is distributed to each participant. Often a follow up meeting is booked for approximately 6 to 8 weeks later to determine progress and next steps.

Prevention Meetings

Prevention Meetings are available for families to address issues that may impact the safety of a parent, or children. Prevention meetings are used to assist family members in resolving conflicts and improve relationships between family members. Anyone can refer a family for a Prevention Meeting including band representatives, service providers, family members, or concerned friends. A meeting can take place any time family members agree there is a dispute and are willing to work with a CSFS facilitator to resolve it. Family members are encouraged to include their cultural ceremonies, prayers or other rituals that are meaningful to them in the meetings.

Once a referral has been received the facilitator will contact the parent – or the identified person on the referral. If the person identified is interested in working with a third party the facilitator will work with them to identify the issues and who else needs to be involved to resolve the issue, once identified the facilitator meets with each person individually to invite them to take part in the meeting.

When all participants have been contacted a time and a venue will be set. The facilitator will work with all involved to create a plan to address the issues. Once there is an agreement, a plan is printed off and signed by all and put into place. Several meetings are generally held over the course of a few months to monitor progress and make sure the family members are getting the support they need.

Youth Transition Conference

A Youth Transition Conference (YTC) is a voluntary process based on the goals and needs identified by the youth involved. The conference is driven by the youth; who works with the facilitator to determine all aspects of the conference such as who will attend and when and where the conference will be held, whether the youth is knowledgeable of their culture and if they want to incorporate any cultural components into their conferences.

The objective of the program is to assist youth from 16 to 19 years of age to successfully create a network of family and friends to support them as they transition into adulthood and beyond. Youth are referred for a YTC from social workers, band representative, group home staff, the youth themselves or anyone else who recognizes a gap in services for the youth. The youth must agree to take part in the process. Once a referral has been accepted, the facilitator will work with the youth to identify goals and needs and to create a list of people to invite; together they will determine a date and venue for the meeting. The facilitator will contact everyone identified by the youth and invite them and explain the process, their roles, etc. Depending on the youth's abilities they may or may not lead the meeting.

Meetings will continue every 6 months until the youth has reached 19 years of age and has been successfully empowered to enter into adulthood with a network of people to support and engage with. For the duration of services, the facilitator holds an open file that documents meetings, plans and correspondence, and generally follows the youth to ageing out.

To contact the Family Justice program, please call toll free 1-800-889-6855, or email them at familyjustice@csfs.org


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Last modified: Sunday 01-May-16 15:08:24 PDT