Massett: 250-626-5257  Toll Free: 1-888-626-5257
Skidegate: 250-559-8400  Toll Free: 1-855-559-8400

Our Overarching Objective

Our goal is to ensure the safety and well being of our children. This desire provides the motivation to develop child & family services.


To create healthy, safe environments for our children and families by developing and delivering holistic programs & services that model our traditional Haida way of life.

K’yuu Gawtlaas: Our New Direction for Service Delivery

The purpose and function of our agency is to assume responsibility for delegated child welfare services presently provided by the Ministry of Children and Family Development. We will also provide services to families and children who are in need of information, support and direction.

In addition the agency will establish community structures and provide community education to ensure that communities and families are being actively involved in service planning for their children. We also intend to provide a range of preventative services to reduce the number of Haida children in the care of the government and prevent others from coming into care.

Agency History

 – Sparked by the Provincial review of child protection legislation in 1991, Skidegate and Old Massett began discussions around the development of a Haida Child Welfare authority.

 – A pre-planning report was submitted by Ruth Gladstone-Davies.

 – During the summer, both the Village Council of Old Massett and the Skidegate Band Council passed Band Council Resolutions supporting the development of a child welfare authority and requested funding from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) (formerly Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, AANDC) through Directive 20-1 enabling further pre-planning and planning to take place. 

A consultant was hired to do the pre-planning. 
In late summer, the planning group met with Northwest Inter-Nation staff and board of directors to explore the option of joining their society

 – In July, a Child Welfare Advisor was hired to assist with the planning process. 

A comprehensive work plan was developed in July outlining all the required steps for the development of an agency. 
In November, a Haida person with a background in social work was hired to work with the child welfare advisor and to assist with the community consultation process. 
In December, a meeting was held with Haida leaders to explore governance options for the agency. A stand-alone, non-profit society model was chosen as the preferred option.

 – In January and February,
several community sharing meetings took place in Skidegate and Old Massett. 
During the months of January, February and March, a comprehensive needs assessment was completed in both Haida communities.
The needs assessment indicated strong support for a Haida child and family services agency, as well as identifying a need for more community services, particularly for youth.
Negotiations with the Federal and Provincial governments began on June 28th. 
Haida Child and Family Services Society (HCFSS) became a duly constituted not-for-profit-society on December 16th, 2005.

 – A Delegation Enabling Agreement was signed in March. 

HCFSS hosted two Homecoming Events; in 2007 they hosted the largest Homecoming Event. 
Strategic planning was completed by past Board of Directors (BOD) and Staff. 
In this time period there had been several changes in management, programs and funding. 
The BOD was restructured and funding for the Board was given a cap.

 – HCFSS BOD employed two Co-Executive Directors: one supervised and continues to supervise (now as Executive Director) the delegated work and operates out of the Old Massett Office. The other Co-Executive Director was and still is the Operations Manager, supervised and continues to supervise non-delegated employees and operates out of the Skidegate Office. 

Unfortunately, due to funding cuts and other logistical issues, a number of programs were ended, and some staff members were laid off. 
The non-delegated support programs were restructured and rebuilt, the Family Support Program was restructured into the Family Support Worker (FSW) program and a Family Group Conference Coordinator (FGCC) program.

 – HCFSS has signed yearly Delegation Enabling Modification Agreements up to March 31, 2016. 
November a new Analysis Document Called, “Haida Workload and Resources Balancing Assessment Analysis for Delegated Aboriginal Child & Family Services”, was completed by Ministry of Children and Family Development to determine if HCFSS can move forward in the C-3 Delegation under the “Delegation of Authority to Aboriginal Agencies” Matrix. 
HCFSS completed the C-3 Operational Review Compliance tasks in December. 
HCFSS began investigating the feasibility of moving under the umbrella of the Council of the Haida Nation.

 – HCFSS has completed Strategic Planning with BOD members and staff. The HCFSS Work Plan included recommendations from MCFD’s new Analysis Document. MCFD and Indigenous and Northern Affairs support the plan. 

Significant long-term senior staff elected to leave HCFSS for personal reasons. 
HCFSS is rebuilding staff, and will be training staff in order to move HCFSS to the C-3 & C-4 delegation Category. This will result in Foster Parent and Guardianship files being transferred from MCFD to HCFSS.

– HCFSS has met with our Matriarchs 5 times to work on policy initiatives between agencies. HCFSS hosted the Indigenous Perspectives Society for a 3-day training session with our Matriarchs on child welfare. The training was very well attended and helped us gain a better understanding of our Matriarch’s roles in child welfare on Haida Gwaii. HCFSS received funding to meet with community members (Community Consultation Dinners) to determine the needs of the two communities in relation to Programming and Services. HCFSS have hosted 3 dinners in both Masset and Skidegate. There will be at least one more dinner in each community to determine the needs of our communities. HCFSS received funding to implement programs and activities identified from the Community Consultation Dinners. The agency has partnered with Haida Gwaii Restorative Justice Parenting Program and provided some funding for the parenting program open to families from both communities, and has begun planning many more exciting programs based on the feedback received from the community dinners. HCFSS budget from INAC has increased – allowing us to hire another Social Worker in the Old Masset office. HCFSS will also consider a possible part-time Parenting Program in the near future. 

HCFSS donated orange shirts to the Chief Matthews school for September 30, 2017. HCFSS is now taking a larger role in the recruitment and retention of Family Care (foster) homes on Haida Gwaii. HCFSS was successful in getting “Signs of Safety” training to Haida Gwaii, in September 2017. HCFSS distributed LIfebooks to all Haida Children in Care, which provides them with information on their family, clan and community. Family Support work has increased on-island. We’ve received referrals for both Haida and non-Haida families from all across the island. Staff are now working with Youth transitioning out of care to independence teaching life skills, cooking, budgeting, etc.


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