Family Reconciliation Program
Circles of Strength
The Family Reconciliation Program uses Circles to enable family, caseworkers and other professionals to talk to each other in a good way about the safety and well-being of children. Impartial NCSA Circle Facilitators ensure everyone is heard and guide respectful, caring, and honest conversation.
The Circles focus on the needs of children and connecting them to family, culture, and community. Each Circle draws on the knowledge, skills, and strengths of individuals and families to listen to each other and develop plans for the safety and well-being of children and youth.
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Use of Elders
Elders are an important part of the Circle process and help keep a positive and respectful tone. Some of the additional support Elders provide includes:
• Cultural teachings and ceremonies (e.g. Smudge ceremony)
• Explanation of protocol and meaning of ceremony
• Managing communication and interpersonal dynamics
• Provide guidance and support to family members
Family members may choose not to have an Elder present in the Circle.
Types of Circles
Reconciliation Circles help families disrupted, fractured, and damaged by intergenerational trauma restore their connection to one another, including:
- Readiness of the family to proceed
- Identifying issues, needs and concerns
- Clarifying next steps
Additional Circles may be required to engage in developing plans for the child.
Safety Planning Circle
Safety Planning Circles bring family members, caseworkers and service providers together to develop plans to prevent the removal of children from home, including:
- Sharing concerns
- Identifying family strengths
- Maintaining and building family connections
- Developing plans to ensure the safety and well-being of the child
Safety Planning Circles are set up within 5 working days of the referral.
Family Enhancement Circle
Family Enhancement Circles bring family members, caseworkers, and service providers together to:
- Build on family strengths and relationships
- Reach common agreement to maintain the safety and well-being of the child
- Create a plan to strengthen the family
- Create a strategy to assist parents in caring for their children
Family Enhancement Circles are set up within 1 to 3 weeks of the referral meeting.
Child Placement Circle
Child Placement Circles bring family members, caseworkers, and service providers together to develop a plan for placing the child in the care of Children’s Services. These Circles make decisions and create plans to establish:
- Family Connection
- Community Connection
- Cultural Connection
Child Placement Circles are set up within 3 to 4 weeks of the referral meeting.
Pimatisiwin Circle (Seeking the Good Life)
Pimatisiwin Circles are youth focussed and bring youth, family members, caseworkers, and service providers together to:
- Build sustainable relationships
- Create strategies to re-establish connections to family, community and culture
- Create plans to support youth transitioning to independent living
- Help youth access supports (health, education, employment, and housing)
- Create plans to support children/youth returning to the care of their parents or family
Pimatisiwin Circles are set up within 3 weeks of the referral meeting.
Review Meetings bring family members, caseworkers, and service providers together to review plans and changes in the situation surrounding the child and family. In some instances, the review meeting may require another Circle to revise plans, additional support and/or confirmation that the child and family are doing well.
Circles may overlap or one or more Circles can take place in succession.