Healthy and happy families make a strong community. This is why the welfare of parents and children is a government priority. There are several agencies that ensures this in Manitoba. Foremost among these is the Child and Family Services or CFS.
What is the CFS?
In Manitoba, the CFS is a system that “helps ensure that families and communities provide for the safety and well-being of their children” (CFS). The CFS does not only provide services that protect parents and children who are at risk due to neglect, violence, abuse, and others, they uphold various provincial laws that help families grow and thrive. This means that the CFS system has a vast network of services that touches most aspects of family life.
The CFS provides services through CFS authorities and its agencies:
Child Protection Branch –This government office monitors and oversees the entire range of child and family services. It also provides other services such as post-adoption services, the adoption registry, the Child Abuse Registry and other registries. It licenses residential care facilities for children and adoption agencies. The Child Protection Branch handles all concerns and complaints related to the CFS system.
Child and Family Services Authorities – Four CFS Authorities manage child and family services throughout Manitoba:
- Metis Child and Family Services Authority
- First Nations of Southern Manitoba Child and Family Services Authority (Southern First Nations Network of Care)
- First Nations of Northern Manitoba Child and Family Services Authority
- General Child and Family Services Authority
Each of the Authorities creates and oversees one or more child and family service agencies. The agencies are the places that provide services to children and families.
Other contacts include:
- Manitoba Foster Family Network
- Private services providers (foster care, counselling, etc.)
- Private adoption agencies
A complete directory of the offices may be found here: Child and Family Services Contacts.
How do you get help from the CFS?
You can call or go directly to any Child and Family Services agencies nearest you (see the directory above). For immediate concerns such as reporting family violence or if you suspect child abuse, call your local emergency police number or the Designated Intake Agency (DIA) in your area. If you are already receiving CFS services and have questions, you can ask your case worker or consult Child and Family Services agencies. For other concerns:
- If you’re a child and you need confidential advice, call the Kids’ Help phone line (1-800-668-6868).
- If you need an advocate and help about decisions being made for you, go to: Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth.
- If you are a youth in care and need support: Voices: Manitoba’s Youth in Care Network
- If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, go to: Community of Care and Manitoba Foster Family Network for more information.
- For adoptions, learn more from the: Adoption page.
- For parenting resources or financial help, these agencies can help you: Addictions Foundation of Manitoba, Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre Inc., ANCR, Manitoba Housing Authority, Andrews Street Family Centre, Native Women’s Transition Centre, Aurora Family Centre, New Directions for Children, Youth, Adults and Families, Pregnancy and Family Support Services, Rehabilitation Centre for Children, Employment and Income Assistance, Villa Rosa, Family Dynamics, Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc., Legal Aid Manitoba, Legal Help Centre, MacDonald Youth Services.
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