Strengthening Families

Family Support Program (All Regions)

The Family Support Program provides a range of prevention and early intervention services to strengthen families and reduce risk factors in order to prevent family disruption or alternately to be able to reunify children with their families. The program uses a strength-based, solution focused planning model in its work with families and identifies the individual strengths of parents as well as overall family strengths.

The Family Support Program provides:

  • Parent Support Education involves individual work with parents in their home to enhance their parenting skills and abilities and build on their existing strengths.
  • Respite involves the provision of safe alternative care for children so that parents are able to attend programming, classes and therapy.
  • Supported Family Time involves supporting parents who have children in the care of the Agency engage in a gradual resumption of their role as the caregiver to their children in order to facilitate reunification. Individual support is provided to the family in order to resolve identified concerns and enhance the parent's competencies and strengths.
  • Emergency Support - In times of crisis the Agency provides families with support such as transportation, emergency food, milk and diapers, emergency respite and support services.

Family support services are accessed through referrals from your family services worker or intake worker.

L.I.F.E. Program (Lord Selkirk Park; St. Laurent)

The L.I.F.E. (Living in Family Enhancement) program offers a unique alternative to the apprehension and removal of children from their family. The program provides the opportunity to keep the family together while the children are in care through the placement of the entire family in a supported and supervised setting. All families will reside with a trained foster parent who will act as a role model and will support, guide and mentor the parents in order to restore the strength, health and well-being of all family members and to strengthen the care provided to the children within the circle of their family. Referrals to this program are made through the family services worker.

Parenting Support and Education

Through various parenting and support education programs, Michif Child and Family Services strives to provide a supported learning environment where parents can learn from each other. Michif Child and Family Services regularly offers the following programs in different regions at various times throughout the year - Triple P Parenting, Nobody's Perfect and Young Mother's and Kookums Program.

Family Mentorship (Winnipeg Region)

The Family Mentor Program provides the Metis and Inuit community with the opportunity to fulfill their traditional roles by allowing community involvement in strengthening and supporting families. It is premised on the belief that all families need support and encouragement from trusted individuals in order to effectively use their strengths to overcome challenges. Families access these supports from their extended family and community network. When this natural support network is not available a family mentor from the community is a valuable alternative. The program promotes the development of natural support networks, family strengths and self-reliance.

The Family Mentor supports, coaches, guides, role models and advocates for the family to develop self sufficiency in problem resolution and the development of healthy coping strategies to overcome existing and future challenges.

Family Mentors receive 15 hours of initial training as well as ongoing training, support and supervision. For more information on our Family Mentorship Program please contact the Winnipeg Region, 2000 Portage Avenue office.

Volunteer Program

Michif Child and Family Services believes it is important to partner with the community to support our children and families. Volunteers provide a unique opportunity for community members to help support Metis and Inuit children and families.

Michif Child and Family Services uses volunteers to support family reunification by facilitating family supported time between parents and children. Volunteers transport children to family supported time which increases the amount of time children have with their parents. Volunteers are also used to support parents and children's attendance at therapy, groups and activities.

For more information on volunteer opportunities please contact the Winnipeg Region, 2000 Portage Avenue office.

Differential Response / Family Enhancement

Differential Response / Family Enhancement involves changing the manner in which families are approached following a report of child maltreatment, and the types of services that are provided to families following such a report, rather than responding with the traditional investigative approach. This allows the Agency to provide a supportive service focusing on the overall needs of the family and the well-being of the children. Services are goal focused and time limited (up to 270 days). Planning builds on identified strengths and focuses on needs identified through an assessment process with the family. Sharing circles, with the support of the program's cultural worker, and planning meetings with extended family members, are used to broaden families' support networks.

Winnipeg's Family Enhancement team consists of 5 family enhancement workers, 2 family enhancement mentors and a cultural worker.

Dauphin and Swan River (DIA-Intake) operates a team of 3 family enhancement workers.