What is the difference between enhancement and protection / intervention services?

Family Enhancement Stream

During the initial screening, Children’s Services may determine that a child’s risk is minimal and that what is needed are supports to be put in place for the family to address their issues.  If this is the case, then the Family Enhancement Stream will be followed. The director may also determine that there is no risk, and the file is closed. The following criteria must be met to complete a Family Enhancement Agreement:

  • The child/youth is in need of intervention as defined by the Act;
  • The child’s need for intervention can be satisfied by family enhancement services and the child’s safety can be assured while in the custody of the parent or guardian;
  • Less intrusive measures cannot adequately protect the child;
  • The parent or person who has custody of the child is willing to enter into an agreement. A Family Enhancement Agreement will generally not be for longer than three months, but can be extended with supervisor and manager notification.

The primary goal of a Family Enhancement Agreement is to eliminate the condition that caused the child to be in need of intervention. This involves putting services in place such as:

  • Family Support workers
  • Accessing resources such as addiction, mental health, family counselling
  • Assessments (medical, psychological, etc) 

Entering into a family enhancement agreement reflects the family’s commitment to work together with the director to address issues relating to the child’s need for intervention and provides the legal authority to provide family enhancement services. The CFS worker is to:

  • Ensure that the guardian, or custodian has a full understanding of the purpose of the agreement;
  • Ensure that the guardian or custodian has a full understanding of the services and supports provided through family enhancement services;
  • Make every effort to engage the guardian or custodian in a collaborative and cooperative working relationship to address the need for intervention;
  • Explore the family’s abilities to access services available tin the community;
  • Explore the family’s ability to contribute to the cost of services through financial and in kind contributions, and;
  • Negotiate the agreement in a way which addresses the need for intervention and provides the basis for further planning and cooperation. 

Agreements can be varied, extended or terminated at any point in the order as the need arises. If the parent / guardian requests a termination of the agreement, the CFS worker has 3 days to determine the next course of action (file closed or court application).

After care Plan:  An after care plan will be developed at closure to assist the family or youth to maintain the changes that were experienced and to provide the family or youth with tools and strategies to address the kinds of issues that may indicate a need for further supports which will include:

  • Specific strategies that the family or youth can use to deal with issues in a planned and positive manner;
  • Strategies to maintain the changes they have experienced;
  • A list of resources, including telephone numbers and names, of community/network supports who they can contact;
  • Ideas on how the family or youth can self identify issues that may require attention, and;
  • Strategies and an understanding of the supports in the community that they can turn to.  

Child Welfare Services may purchase the following services on behalf of the family: 

  • Counselling for the child or family;
  • Family/youth worker - providing recreation and relationships, social skills development and access to community services;
  • Therapeutic support – skill teaching or behaviour modification for the child or parent, social or behavioural assessments
  • Homemaker services – child care, domestic services, teaching of home care, and child care;
  • Parent aide – teaching homemaking and parenting skills, conflict resolution, advocacy, therapeutic support, transportation and accompaniment to appointments;
  • Driver services – transportation;
  • Agency foster care and group care;
  • Residential treatment.

Child Protection Stream 

If, after the three day initial intake and assessment, a file is referred to the Child Protection Stream, Children’s Services has 9 days to complete an investigation.  If, after the 9 days, they require more information to make a decision, they can take 9 more days to complete an extended investigation.

Next section