Child and Family Services
Band Representatives Overview
The role of the Band Representative is to act on behalf of our children and our First Nation with ALL child welfare matters within Canada. Our role is to guide our families through legal matters and ensure that customary care is the first option for families involved with any child welfare agency.
A Band Representative CANNOT get involved with criminal cases and family law. Part 4 of the Child and Family Services Act allows First Nations to step in and become involved with our families and children. However, legislation with family law and criminal law, which is different, does not give a First Nation the authority to step in.
Roles of a Band Representative
- A Band Representative acts on behalf of our children and our First Nation with all child welfare matters within Canada. We help families better understand the child welfare system and guide them through legal matters. We ensure that customary care is the first option for families involved with any child welfare agency within our country.
- We cannot get involved in family law matters or criminal matters. We can assist with direction if needed or call legal aid if the family is involved with a child welfare agency.
- We support families that are going through any process with any child welfare organization. Our goal is to help families reunite with all parties working together. We cannot intervene if a child is at risk, but we can ensure that children remain with family or community.
- We understand that contact between children and their family is of the utmost importance. We advocate for children and families to have regular contact and provide the families with a clear understanding of the legal process to gain access.
- We provide support to families that are going through the court system with a clear understanding of all options. We ensure that our members understand that they have a choice of customary care or applying for a lawyer who will represent your case within the judicial system.
- We can take part in plan of care meetings for Moose Cree children. We are available to attend visits either in person or by phone while a child welfare worker is in the home. We can take part in alternate dispute resolutions or Talking Together Circles either in person or by phone or video chat.
- We can help families and community understand the Child and Family Services Act and Part 4 of the Child and Family Services Act.
- Help families understand the Child and Family Services Act at all levels.
- Provide advocacy to our Moose Cree First Nation children and families.
- Provide advocacy for our youth, children, and families to clearly understand the child welfare system and help guide families through it.
- Represent or become a party to in any court proceedings that pertain to child welfare matters.
- To be available with planning meetings and child welfare matters with notice to our department.
- Assist families with navigating through the child welfare court system, ensure that schedules are set for visits with access.
- Assist families with customary care agreements and help families understand what customary care is about.
- Ensure that our children and youth in care have a connection to their Cree culture, community, and family.
- Other duties may be identified with each individual family.
- Document what the call relates to, along with the dates and time.
- Call your Moose Cree First Nation Band Representative.
- Contact legal aid immediately for a lawyer to assist with the child welfare matter.
- Request a schedule of all visits that will occur between your family and the worker.
- Document everything that takes place between the worker and your family during meetings.
- Read over and initial the case note that the worker is writing before she/he leaves your home.
- What is the process of filing a complaint if services are not being provided by my child welfare worker?
- What is the line of authority within the child welfare organization that I am involved with? Who are the board members?
- What are the rights of my child? Who can they call?
- Where do I direct questions and file complaints about child welfare organizations?
- What is the process of going into a customary care agreement?
- How can I get information on my file and children?
- Who can I call if I cannot get a hold of my worker?
- How often does a service plan need to be done with a worker and client?
- What happens if I do not get served court papers on time? Who can I call?
- How often is a plan of care completed with my children? What do I do if I am not invited?
Why can’t a band representative get involved with criminal cases and family law?
A Band Representative can only act on behalf of a family under the Child and Family Services Act due to legislation. Part 4 of the Child and Family Services Act allows our First Nations to step in and become involved with our families and children. Legislation with family law and criminal law, which is different, does not give a First Nation the authority to step in with any other legislation.
Contact a band representative
Contact information can be found on our contact page.