Delegated Aboriginal agencies

If you or your child is Aboriginal and a social worker contacts or visits you to ask questions about your family, they might work for the Ministry of Children and Family Development (the ministry) or a delegated Aboriginal agency. Delegated Aboriginal agencies have agreements with the ministry to provide certain child protection services to Aboriginal communities. Call Legal Aid BC immediately to find out if you qualify for a free lawyer.

Legal Aid BC

604-408-2172 (Greater Vancouver)
1-866-577-2525 (elsewhere in BC)

You have the right to get legal advice.

If you're pregnant and worried the ministry might get involved because of your current circumstances or history with them, get legal advice as soon as possible.

An advocate can also help you understand the situation and your rights.

Parents Legal Centres

Parents Legal Centres are Legal Aid BC services. A lawyer and an advocate will help you address the social worker's concerns about your children's safety. This service is available any time after a social worker contacts you.

To find out if a Parents Legal Centre is near you and if you qualify, see the Legal Aid BC website or call Legal Aid BC at the numbers above.

How delegated Aboriginal agencies work

Delegated Aboriginal agencies work with families who live on reserve and off reserve.

  • If you live on reserve, your band might already work with or have an agreement with a delegated Aboriginal agency.
  • If you live off reserve, your local city or town might have an Aboriginal organization that's also a delegated Aboriginal agency.

If the ministry is investigating you, and a delegated Aboriginal agency works with or has an agreement with your band or Aboriginal community, you can ask the ministry to tell the delegated Aboriginal agency about the investigation. Also, no matter which one is investigating you, you can ask for a representative from your band or friendship centre.

Your representative

  • supports you during the investigation
  • helps you any time you're involved with the ministry or a delegated Aboriginal agency

Services and powers

Some delegated Aboriginal agencies have the same powers as ministry offices. Some provide only limited services to families.

Delegated Aboriginal agencies might offer the following services:

  • support services for the whole family
  • help with preparing a voluntary care agreement for your child
  • help with writing, monitoring, and reviewing your child's plan of care
  • help with writing special needs agreements if your child has special needs
  • monitoring how your child is doing while they're in foster care
  • help for youth who are moving toward independence

Some delegated Aboriginal agencies also have the power to:

If the ministry is investigating you and a delegated Aboriginal agency represents your band or community, you can ask the ministry to tell the delegated Aboriginal agency. The delegated Aboriginal agency might be able to give culturally appropriate help. For example, some delegated Aboriginal agencies get your entire family involved in your child's care, and some have Aboriginal mediators.

How to contact a delegated Aboriginal agency

Your band office or government agent office in your community might have the name of the delegated Aboriginal agency in your area.

You can also check a full list of the delegated Aboriginal agencies in BC on the BC government website.

Wellness

Elders and others in your Aboriginal community are there to help you and your child.