Customary Care (Mikinaak Model)
Customary Care requires that the child’s First Nation community is involved in his/her placement within Dilico. The First Nation community has stated that Dilico is to care for the child on its behalf and the on-going planning for the child requiring out-of-home care is to be done jointly between the First Nation and Dilico. At Dilico, Customary Care means the First Nation and Dilico are “partners in care”.
In a broader sense, Customary Care refers to the traditional practice of raising a child within the First Nation, where all members of the family, extended family, relatives and community are involved. Traditional Customary Care practices are influenced and determined by the culture of the parents and community in which the child is raised, and does not require agency involvement as the child is not in need of protection (based on criteria outlined under the Child and Family Services Act.)
The Kinship Service program provides services to children who, due to protection issues within their home, cannot be cared for by their parents but are not in the care of Dilico. Kinship Service or Kinship Out of Care refers to the full time care and nurturing of a child by a relative, extended family member, a member of the child’s community or another adult with whom the child has a significant relationship. The Kinship Service caregiver undergoes an assessment conducted by the Kin Service staff and is eligible for financial assistance to assist with the introduction of the child into the home. The Kinship Service caregiver works collaboratively with Dilico staff to develop and carry out plans of service for the child.
Benefits of Customary Care and Kinship Service
Customary Care and Kinship Service allow children to remain in their home communities with a relative, family friend or community member. This allows the children to continue to strengthen their ties to family, friends, culture and traditions.
Children have a right to maintain connections to their culture and traditional ways of life.