If your child or youth is in the care of Mi’maw Family and Children’s Services of NS

Sometimes children and youth are unable to remain in their family home. When a child or youth comes into the care of MFCS, it is either on a voluntary basis with parental consent (Temporary Care Agreement) or through a court order (Taking into care).

As noted in the Child and Family Services Act:

Temporary-care agreement

17 (1) A parent or guardian who is temporarily unable to care adequately for a child in that person's custody and an agency may enter into a written agreement for the agency's temporary care and custody of the child.

(2) An agency shall not enter into a temporary-care agreement unless the agency

(a) has determined that an appropriate placement that is likely to benefit the child is available; and

(b) is satisfied that no less restrictive course of action, such as care in the child's own home, is appropriate for the child in the circumstances.

(3) No temporary-care agreement shall be made for a period exceeding six months, but the parties to a temporary-care agreement may extend it for further periods if the total term of the temporary-care agreement, including its extensions, does not exceed an aggregate of twelve months.

(4) A temporary-care agreement may empower the agency to consent to medical treatment for the child where a parent's consent would otherwise be necessary.

(5) A temporary-care agreement shall be in the form prescribed by the regulations. 1990, c. 5, s. 17.

Special-needs agreement

children in care18 (1) A parent or guardian who is unable to provide the services required by a child in the parent or guardian's custody because the child has special needs, as prescribed by the regulations, may enter into a written agreement with an agency or the Minister for the care and custody of the child or provision of services to meet the child's special needs.

(2) A special-needs agreement made pursuant to this Section shall be made for a period not exceeding one year, but may be extended for further periods each not exceeding one year, with the approval of the Minister.

(3) A special-needs agreement made pursuant to this Section may empower the agency or the Minister to consent to medical treatment for the child where a parent or guardian's consent would otherwise be required.

(4) A special-needs agreement made pursuant to this Section shall be in the form prescribed by the regulations. 1990, c. 5, s. 18.

Special-needs agreement with child 16 to 18

19 (1) A child who is sixteen years of age or more but under the age of nineteen years, is not in the care of the child's parent or guardian and has a special need as prescribed by the regulations may enter into a written agreement with an agency or the Minister for the provision of services to meet the child's special needs.

(2) A special-needs agreement made pursuant to this Section shall be made for a period not exceeding one year, but may be extended for further periods each not exceeding one year, with the approval of the Minister.

(3) A special-needs agreement made pursuant to this Section shall be in the form prescribed by the regulations. 1990, c. 5, s. 19.

Taking into care

33 (1) An agent may, at any time before or after an application to determine whether a child is in need of protective services has been commenced, without warrant or court order take a child into care where the agent has reasonable and probable grounds to believe that the child is in need of protective services and the child's health or safety cannot be protected adequately otherwise than by taking the child into care.

At MFCS we make every effort is made to place children and youth with extended family. When this is not possible the preferred option is with foster parents residing in the child’s home community.

Unless a family court Judge restricts access, regular visits are scheduled between the parents and the child or youth in care.

Once involved we work in collaboration with the family and community service partners to assist in resolving any concerns or problems the family is experiencing. We provide on-going services in most cases on a voluntary basis. In serious situations services may be provided with a court order.

Our main goal is always to work toward reuniting children with their families. A plan is developed with the parents toward this goal. If, however, a situation is deemed too serious and a child cannot be safe at home, a permanent plan is developed and presented before a Family Court Judge. Should the judge agree, the child/youth would then come into the Permanent Care and Custody of MFCS.