FAQ

  1. Where does the General Authority fit in to the child and family services system in Manitoba?
  2. What happens if child and family services becomes involved with my family?
  3. What can I do if I have a concern or complaint about my worker?

Q. Where does the General Authority fit in to the child and family services system in Manitoba?

In November 2003, the Child and Family Services Authorities Act was proclaimed into law. This law created four new organizational entities known as child and family services authorities, which cover various regions and territories in Manitoba. Each authority governs different child and family services agencies. The four authorities in Manitoba are:

First Nations of Northern Manitoba Child and Family Services Authority
Southern First Nations Network of Care
Metis Child and Family Services Authority
General Child and Family Services Authority


Q. What happens if child and family services becomes involved with my family?

CFS’ first concern, based on Manitoba law, is to ensure that children are safe. CFS, whenever possible, tries very hard to help parents find ways to keep their children safe and supported at home.

There are a number of ways that CFS can support families:

• Family support workers who provide families with a break and/or who can teach parents about parenting strategies and budgeting
• Access to emergency support such as food, housing, transportation
• Find counselling and parent education programs
• Provide services for parents under 18 years of age
• Locate support programs and services in the community
• Advocate for housing or other basic needs

See this link for more information.

Q. What can I do if I have a concern or complaint about my worker?

It is possible at some point you and your social worker will disagree about something.
First, when you have a complaint or disagree about a decision made about you - talk to your worker. Sometimes having a conversation can help solve a problem. If there is still a disagreement, and you think decisions being made are not the best for you, visit this link for more help.

Adoption

  1. How do I apply for adoption?
  2. How long does the adoption process typically take?
  3. Is financial assistance available for those who adopt a child?

Q. How do I apply for adoption?

To apply for adoption you may contact your local child and family services agency or a private adoption agency. To adopt a permanent ward, you must go through a child and family services agency. A permanent ward is a child who has become eligible for adoption through child and family services either because birth parents have consented to an adoption plan, or because the court has determined that the parents are unable to care for the child. Where possible, workers involve birth parents and the child, if they are old enough, in the adoption planning.

The next step will be to attend an adoption education and orientation session where you will be provided with information to help you with your adoption decision.

Once a child has been placed with you for adoption, there is a six-to-12 month adjustment period during which you will be provided support by an adoption worker, before the adoption is legalized in court.

If you are interested in adoption, please contact your local child and family services agency and a worker will be pleased to go over the process in detail with you.

Q. How long does the adoption process typically take?

It varies depending on the age of the children, whether the child is part of a sibling group, or other factors.

Please Note: If a child is not placed within a year of your homestudy being approved, an annual homestudy is required, which includes updated checks and medical references.

See our adoption information page or the Manitoba government's adoption page for more information.

Q. Is financial assistance available for those who adopt a child?

Financial assistance may be available for families who adopt a child with special needs that require special services or for families who are adopting more than one child from the same family.

There are three types of financial assistance. Please see our adoptive rights and support page for more information.


Foster parents and foster children

  1. I am interested in becoming a foster parent. Where can I go for more information?
  2. I am a foster parent and would like to know more about training opportunities offered by the General Authority.
  3. As a young person in foster care, what are my rights?

Q. I am interested in becoming a foster parent. Where can I go for more information?

If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, you can begin with a phone call to your local General Authority agency. A foster care worker will explain the application process to you and discuss whether this would be the right move for you.

Q. I am a foster parent and would like to know more about training opportunities offered by the General Authority.

The General Authority provides training opportunities for social workers, foster parents and others on a regular basis. Please check out our latest staff and foster parent training calendar for more information.

Q. As a young person in foster care, what are my rights?

Youth and children have many rights under the law. If you are currently in foster care, it is important to know your rights and responsibilities.

Children and youth have many rights under the law, including the right to be safe, to be treated with affection, to be educated, to have medical care and to be protected against cruelty and abuse.
When in the care of a CFS agency, children and youth have other important rights including:

  • Knowing who your social worker is and how to contact them
  • Meeting or speaking with your social worker on a regular basis
  • Being able to participate in decisions being made about you

To learn more about your rights while in the care of a CFS agency, and the role of the Office of the Children’s Advocate in Manitoba, check out the OCA's Know Your Rights page and the General Authority's youth and children's rights and responsibilities page.