Child Welfare


Child Welfare Services work to promote family strengths to ensure that the health, safety and well-being of Anishinabek children are upheld and protected. With a focus on prevention, early intervention and protection in partnership with individuals, families and communities, children are cared for with respect of their cultural background and overall quality of life.

Dilico is mandated as a children's aid society under the provincial Child and Family Services Act


Protection Services 

To ensure that the health, safety and well-being of First Nation children are upheld and protected, Protection Services works to promote and enhance family strengths through collaboration and partnerships with families, communities and service providers.

As the first point of contact Intake Screeners engage the caller to gather relevant and detailed information regarding the incident or condition that is causing concern. They further check both Internal and Provincial data bases to determine if there is any record of prior contact with the family in question. All referrals are rated using the Eligibility Spectrum showing reason for service.

If an investigation into the concerns is deemed to be the best course of action, the case is assigned to a Child Protection Worker/Case Manager, whose duty it is to investigate, assess safety of the child(ren), assess risk of future harm and determine if the case can be closed or is to remain open for on-going services. If the case remains open for on-going service a Service Plan is developed collaboratively with the family to ensure the ongoing safety of the child(ren). With a goal of family unity, services include intervention, advocacy, support and guidance. 

Protection Services is divided into six teams of workers each being led by a Manager whose role is to provide regular support and clinical supervision to the Child Protection Workers/Case Managers to ensure the best interests of children remain at the forefront of services.


Children's Services

The Children’s Services program believes that all children and youth should be supported to reach his or her full potential. Children’s Services Workers provide services to children and youth in the care of the agency from admission to reunification with family. Children’s Services Workers work in partnership with the child or youth, protection staff and the alternative care units to ensure the child’s and youth’s needs are met through the development of a Plan of Care.

The Children’s Services program also provides ongoing support, guidance and direction to children and youth to the age of 18 who reside in an alternative care placement. Services for youth 18 to 21 years who are on Extended Care and Maintenance are offered support in their transition to adulthood.

Children’s Services consists of 6 teams-an Admissions Team responsible for children and youth newly admitted to care and 5 teams providing ongoing services to children and youth.  


Support Services

Alternative Care Service

The Alternative Care service consists of establishing and maintaining a network of alternative caregivers within the city of Thunder Bay, as well as throughout the district. When a child needs an alternative caregiver as a result of problems or challenges that are taking place within the child’s family, the Alternative Care service identifies an alternative placement for the child. Alternative placements may include customary care homes, kinship care homes and/or foster homes.

The Alternative Care service provides the following to the alternative caregivers:

  • Recruitment and Assessment
  • Pre-service and in-service training
  • Placement
  • Support
  • Financial assistance

Become and Alternative Care Provider!  When a child has been placed in the care of Dilico, families in Thunder Bay and the district provide temporary homes for the child until they return to their family, or a permanent plan is made. Children are of varying needs and ages. Dilico provides ongoing support services for alternative care families.

Support Services

The Support Services program provides assistance to other internal child welfare units.

The largest area of Support Services is provided to the staff of the Children’s Services and Protection Services units within the child welfare program. Support such as completing transportation requirements of children, one to one support for a child, access, and/or other tasks are the most usual, and are completed by casual Prime Workers.

The second area of Support Services provided is to the staffed foster homes within the child welfare program. Support in this area requires providing casual Residential Workers to enter a staffed foster home in order to provide shift coverage when the full time staff are not at work due to illness, or vacation.

There are also a small number of requests from other internal services which the support services program tries to accommodate, whenever possible.

All support requirements of staff are initiated through the use of an internal request system, which is maintained by a Scheduler.