Current Issues in Indigenous Child Welfare

Dr. Cathy Richardson, Dr. Jeannine Carriere, Donny Riki, & Cheryle Henry

     In this session, the presenters will share information from their research and practice pertaining to child welfare work that maintains dignity and aligns with an Indigenous worldview and community life. This will include the historical context for Indigenous child welfare in Canada and how structural violence and other barriers have interfered with the identity and wellbeing of Indigenous children.

     Jeannine Carriere will share information about her research on cultural planning for Indigenous children adopted into non Indigenous families and her past research with First Nation adoptees. Cathy Richardson will discuss “Response-Based approaches to understanding how children resist disconnection and the strategies used to help find their way home whilst attending to their needs for immediate survival. Cathy and Jeannine will both share some of their experiences in working with Indigenous families involved in child and family services from a decolonizing perspective. Donny Riki will talk about Maori practices that support children and families while Cheryle Henry will offer insights about the importance of connection to family and how to support Indigenous children. 

     Presenters will use approaches such as storytelling, interactive methods, film and artifacts that bring this topic to life in a way that involves the audience in meaningful learning and exchange of ideas to enhance the lives of Indigenous children and families involved in child welfare.