Open letter on changes to MCFD’s Out-of-Care Policy on Extended Family Program Agreements

West Coast LEAF, alongside other legal advocates, impacted parents, and front-line family support organizations, has written a letter to the Premier and Minister of Child and Family Development to voice serious concerns about amendments made to Ministry of Child and Family Development’s (MCFD’s) Out-of-Care Policy. 

In the fall of 2023, MCFD amended its Out-of-Care Policy to require that MCFD workers maintain in-person, private contact with a child/youth who are placed with family, community, or kin through an Extended Family Program (EPF) Agreement every 90 days at home and ensure the home environment is meeting the child/youth’s needs. The amendments also require that MCFD staff be present whenever possible on the day a child/youth is placed in a home outside of government care to support the transition of the child/youth to the home and observe the child/youth in the home.

The routine surveillance introduced by these amendments reflects a culture of risk and surveillance at MCFD that has been shown to harm Indigenous children/youth, families, and communities. Our letter raises concerns about the potentially traumatic and harmful impacts of routine surveillance of Indigenous families who provide care through EFP Agreements, as well as how these amendments may impact the willingness of Indigenous caregivers to enter this arrangement. EFP Agreements are an important avenue for Indigenous children/youth to stay within their families, communities, and Nations through kinship care while maintaining cultural and community ties and offer an alternative to being placed into government care, such as foster care.

Our letter also expresses concern about MCFD’s lack of consultation with family support organizations and advocates who support Indigenous kinship caregivers prior to amending its Out-of-Care Policy.

We make several recommendations to the Premier and Minister of Children and Family Development, including:

  • Stay the implementation of routine surveillance of Indigenous EFP families.
  • Provide information on what consultation MCFD undertook prior to implementing the amendments.
  • Consult with family supporting organizations and Indigenous organizations on the amendments.

Read the full letter. (PDF, 292 KB)


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