Requesting Services

Family Group Conferencing Services

A Family Group Conference (FGC) is a planning process involving Family. A Nisga’a Child & Family Services Social Worker or a Ministry for Children and Family Development Social Worker is usually the person who will first offer this to you as parents. Once you agree, then a referral is made to a Nisga'a Family Group Conference Coordinator.

Family Group Conferences are available when:

  • A child protection report has been made to Nisga’a Child and Family Services (NCFS) or the Ministry for Children and Family Development (MCFD) or your child(ren) are in care or at risk of coming into care.
  • You or your family members acknowledge the need to develop a plan to keep your child(ren) safe, and
  • You or other family members agree to accept the terms and conditions of the conference.

If you have any questions, you can ask the Social Worker you are working with about this Alternative Dispute Resolution process.

Who is included in a Family Group?

"Family" includes those who are important to your child(ren):

  • Parents
  • Child(ren)
  • Maternal aunts, uncles and grandparents
  • Paternal aunts, uncles and grandparents
  • Elder
  • Close friends and extended relatives
  • Village Government supports
  • Significant others to whom the family may not be related by marriage or blood.

A Family Group Conference is a way for your family and others close to your child(ren) to come together to make some decisions and develop a plan for your child(ren) that will:

  • Protect the child(ren)from harm
  • Serve the best interests of the child(ren)
  • Take into account the wishes, needs, and roles of the family and Nisga'a support system
  • Take into account the child(ren)'s family's Nisga'a culture and community.

 Examples of some issues that may be decided upon at a family group conference include:

  • What will be done to prevent the child(ren) from being hurtor harmed?
  • Where will the child(ren) live?
  • How extended family and the community will support the family to develop and carry out a plan to keep the child(ren) safe
  • Identify what available resources will
  • Be needed and available to support the family to care for and protect the child(ren)
  • How to keep the chid(ren) connected to Nisga'a culture and traditional family of origin while in adoptive care (in cases where there is consent)

The FGC Coordinator will set the date, time and location that will be suitable for the people who will attend.  Their role is to coordinate and facilitate the family group conference — s/he will not be acting in the role of a child protection Social Worker. The FGC Coordinator will prepare everyone who is invited to the conference. The FGC Coordinator will assist family members to either attend or have their views included in the discussion.

The typical agenda for these meetings includes:

  1. Introductions
  2. Confidentiality
  3. Meeting Guidelines
  4. Purpose of the meeting
  5. Private Family Time
  6. The Plan

After an agreement has been reached about the Plan, everyone will be invited back to return to the conference and the family members will present the Plan and provide clarification for the Social Worker and Supervisor, as needed.

The Family Group Conference Coordinator will write up the Plan immediately after the conference. It may be necessary to set up another meeting time to complete a Plan.

Once the Plan is agreed upon, the family, and everyone who attended the conference will receive a copy.


Nisga'a Infant Development Program (IDP)

When your baby or toddler needs extra help.

Concerned about your child's growth or development?

Looking for help to encourage your baby or toddler's progress?

IDP Can Help.

The parent or guardian is the child's first teacher and makes a difference in the child's ability to think, move, feel, see hear, express emotions and much more.

In the first three years, the brain develops quickly and is being 'wired' for life. Every experience helps to shape the child's brain and how it works.

IDP services may include:

  • Developmental assistance
  • Playgroup for children and adults
  • Toy/equipment lending library
  • Home visits
  • Referral for therapy

How much does it cost?

It’s free. The program is free of charge and services are now available in your community.

How do I get a referral to IDP?

The program is for anyone caring for children from the age of birth to three years old considered at risk for, or having a developmental delay or disability. The more information on your child's development and what to do helps you help your child. The earlier you know, the better for your child.

Referral may come from:

  • Parent or guardian
  • Grandparent, family member
  • Foster parent, head start staff
  • Physician/ doctor
  • Community health nurse
  • Community health rep (CCHR)

As the parent or guardian, you decide if you want to participate.

Who is the IDP Coordinator?

The Coordinator is a professional trained to help you develop more skills and new approaches that will make a difference in your child's growth and development.

The coordinator will visit you and your infant/toddler in your home on a regular basis.  With the help of the IDP Coordinator, you will develop a plan suited best to the needs of your child and family.


 Jackie Gosnell

PO Box 231, 5100 Skateen Ave

Gitlaxt'aamiks BC (formerly New Aiyansh)

Canada, V0J 1A0

Tel: 250 633 2085

Fax:  250 633 2609



Nisga'a Supported Child Development Program (NSCDP)

Inclusion is essential in supporting children requiring any level of extra support to actively participate in a full range of childcare settings. The objective of NSCDP is to engage families, childcare settings, and communities that support our children's developmental goals.

NSCDP is a program that provides intervention and extra support for special needs children, their families and communities.

NSCDP services the four Nisga'a Villages in the Nass Valley and operates as an outreach program for clients that qualify. The program provides training necessary for the care of a child and assist parents in retaining services that are pertinent to their child's particular needs.

NSCDP is family centered, reflective and responsive to community diversity. Families participate on a voluntary basis. The program is mandated to work with children from birth to 19 years of age.

Children needing extra support of if a parent has any concerns about his/her child's development in areas such as but not limited to:

  • Communication and/or speech and language
  • Motor skills
  • Cognition
  • Social/emotional/behavioral skills

Children in the program may have a specific diagnosis which includes, but is not limited to:

  • ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
  • Speech Disorders
  • Deaf and/or hard of hearing
  • Visually impaired
  • Complex Health Care needs


NSCDP accepts referrals by letter, fax or phone call from parents, teachers, health staff, and other professionals. Referrals from anyone other than the parent must have parental consent to participate in the program.

The referring source will be requested to obtain signature by the parent on referral forms to ensure consent before NSCDP contacts the family.

The NSCDP Coordinator makes the initial contact with the family (parent/guardian), introduces themselves, and describes the program and eligibility criteria. If the family wishes to continue, either of the two staff will arrange a meeting to discuss child and family needs, resources, options and the potential role of the NSCDP. Results of the meeting could include:

  • Identification of no need for NSCDP
  • Referral of family to other service
  • Identification of need for the NSCDP

Once your child has been referred and meets eligibility, we will:

  • Contact you to obtain more information
  • Set up an appointment to discuss the next step
  • May include further assessments, referral appointments and a Child Service Plan with team members with regard to specific child need
  • Fill out necessary forms


Service Coordination

NSCDP will establish from all linkages with various community agencies to facilitate service coordination such as but not limited to:

  • Community Health Centers/Doctors/Nurses/Infant Development Programs
  • Early Intervention Therapy Services/Child Care Centre
  • School District #92(Nisga'a)


NSCDP will implement general and child specific training for families, childcare providers, support workers and community setting staff. NSCDP may also provide training to other key community resources on topics such as:

  • Effective strategies for inclusion
  • Family centered care
  • Child specific disabilities/Delays
  • Challenging Behaviors

If you have any questions or believe that the Nisga'a Supported Child Development Program can be of assistance, please contact:


Joanne Davis, Family Services Program Manager

Nisga'a Child & Family Services

PO Box 231, 5100 Skateen Avenue

Gitlaxt'aamiks BC (formerly New Aiyansh)

Tel: 250 633 2603

Fax: 250 633 2609


Cheryl Tait, Supported Child Development Consultant

Tel: 250 633 2593

Toll Free: 1 888 533 2593


Shirley Ducharme, Supported Child Development Consultant

Tel: 250 633 2319

Toll Free: 1 888 633 2319








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