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Man. band fires social workers.

Social workers of the Southeast Child and Family Services were ordered off the Bloodvein First Nation reserve by band councillors who took on the responsibility for child welfare services. They also issued a notice to families and foster parents that they would be taking over children's services.

The action was taken after 200 band members signed a petition that was presented to the council. The petitioners complained that too many children were being taken from the families, or threatened to do so, and being placed in care off the reserve.

Chief Craig Cook opposed the firing but he was outvoted. "The band's four councillors have taken over child-welfare duties--including family visits, foster-care payments, local business payments, children in care and all court proceedings, none are qualified social workers."

Southeast CFS is managed by aboriginal people under a provincial policy launched five years ago aimed at sensitizing social workers' responses to the needs of aboriginal families.

More than 600 people live in Bloodvein, an isolated reserve located 200 kilometres north of Winnipeg.
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Publication:Community Action
Date:Nov 19, 2007
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