Media Brief | Backgrounder – Child & Family Services


On January 23, 2018, Minister Jane Philpott and the Department of Indigenous Services Canada held a media briefing to outline the new department’s priorities since being created in Fall 2017. The media brief as presented can be viewed online via Facebook, and background documents are available via

Child & Family Services

Current Challenges

  • Indigenous children are significantly overrepresented in the child welfare system.
  • Across Canada, children between 0-14 represent 7.7% of the general population, yet make up 52.2% of children 0-14 in foster care in private homes.
  • 7% of children in Canada live in poverty, but for Indigenous children it is 38%.

The Path Forward

  • Families stay together
  • Families-at-risk receive support and prevention services
  • Children remain in their communities
  • Children are connected to their language and culture
  • Indigenous control of child welfare
  • Predictable, long-term funding

Points of Progress since November 2015

  • Implementing orders of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal:
    • Budget 2016 includes investments of $634.8 million over 5 years for child & family services;
    • Will work with relevant partners to define the policy and funding needed to address gaps and include it in Budget 2018.
  • Trilateral tables (federal-provincial-Indigenous) in every jurisdiction focused on reform.
  • An Emergency Meeting on First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation Child and Family Services involving Indigenous partners, Provincial and Territorial Ministers, as well as youth representatives, experts and advocates is scheduled for January 25-26, 2018.
  • Re-established the National Advisory Committee on First Nations Child and Family Services Program Reform, involving the Assembly of First Nations and the First Nations Family and Caring Society.
  • Signed agreements with First Nations leadership and organizations, including the First Nations Leadership Council, the First Nations Health Council, the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, Nishnawbe Aski Nation and the Chiefs of Ontario to support reform efforts.
  • Supported many community well-being prevention initiatives, such as the $500,000 announced to support  Ma Mawi Chi Itata Centre Inc. in Manitoba to expand its family group conferencing services.

Facts & Figures:

  • 2016 Census data show that 7.7% of all children aged 0-14 across the country are Indigenous, yet Indigenous children make up 52.2% of foster children in the same age group.

Associated Links

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