Early Childhood Development Services
Métis Early Childhood Development Services consists of two programs: (1) Aboriginal Supported Child Development and (2) Aboriginal Infant Development. These programs are designed to help parents, service providers and family members provide the best possible start for their Métis children.
Michif Family Circle
The Michif Family Circle is a program to support families and communities develop safety and permanency plans for their children. The process is facilitated by a Michif Reconnection Coordinator in partnership with a child’s family, community and the social worker. Through this circle, we strive to restore traditional ways of problem solving which begins with honoring the voice of family and community in planning for their children.
Michif Family Support Services
Our Métis Family Support Services Program has evolved over the recent year in an effort to align not only with provincial child welfare practice standards and our delegation aspirations but, perhaps more importantly, with our desire to strengthen our ability to participate in a meaningful way in the development of plans and decisions made concerning Métis children, youth and families receiving services from the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD). To support this direction, we recently introduced a key worker model to our practice. This model promotes a holistic approach to our services and increases our capacity to represent the views and voice of the Métis community in child welfare services to our Métis children, youth and families. We are pleased to serve both the Kamloops and Merritt communities in this work.
Michif Roots Practice and Cultural Program
The teachings of our ancestors and contemporary research reinforce the importance of instilling within a child a sense of belonging and how doing so contributes to a child’s healthy development and also serves as a profound protective factor throughout a child’s life. Therefore, in addition to seeking family placements for our children, our Métis Roots Practice and Cultural Program is also committed to providing opportunities for our children and youth, particularly those place in foster care to develop positive connections to their families, community and cultural identity as Métis people.
Michif Otipemisiwak Program
The Michif Otipemisiwak Program provides weekly programming covering a range of themes including:
∞ Métis History
∞ Conversations with Elders
∞ Life skills workshops
∞ Securing housing
∞ Securing employment
∞ Post-secondary education
In addition to our regular programming, The Michif Otipemisiwak Facilitator provides one-to-one outreach support services to Métis youth who are preparing to or who have already transitioned out of the foster system. The focus of the program is to support the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of the youth while supporting their personal goals and the development of life skills. Additionally, the youth are supported in strengthening their connection to their Métis culture and community; thereby, promoting a sense of belonging and cultural identity.
Michif Mentorship Program
Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Family & Community Services wishes to reach out to Métis children, youth and families who may feel culturally invisible and/or unaware of their unique and colourful history, heritage and cultural identity as Métis people. We wish to expand their circle of care to include their Métis community within which we hope they will find a sense of belonging, purpose and strength.
To support this work, the Michif Mentors will provide one-to-one support to some of our more vulnerable children, youth and families.