First Nation Child Welfare Advocate (FNCWA) Certificate Program

First Nation Child Welfare Advocate (FNCWA) Certificate Program

The First Nation Child Welfare Advocate program prepares students for the role of advocate or representative on behalf of a First Nation, child and/or family in relation to child protection matters. Upon completion of the program, students will have developed skills in case/file assessment, report writing, negotiation and advocacy. Students will gain knowledge of the Canadian Child Welfare System, treaty and Aboriginal rights, the Indian Act, First Nations and their organizational political structures, and the Child and Family Services Act (CFSA).

Admission Requirements

Post Secondary diploma or degree in a human service profession or related field or equivalent.

Program of Study

Semester 1

This course introduces the students to the Canadian Child Welfare System. Students will examine how the Canadian Child Welfare System affects First Nation persons and what processes and policies the system currently employs to fulfill its obligation to First Nation children and their families. The role of the First Nation Child Welfare Advocate will be examined, concepts around providing services to people in need and working within the community as an advocate will be examined through discussion and case study.

Students will develop an understanding, appreciation and sensitivity to the legal forces that have affected and determined the current state of First Nation Child Welfare.  This course provides an overview of the larger context within which the First Nation Child Welfare Advocate (FNCWA) operates.  Students will examine treaty and Aboriginal rights, the Indian Act, First Nations and First Nation organizational political structures including the Child and Family Services Act (CFSA).

This course is designed to provide the student with an opportunity for personal and professional growth and development. Students will delve into the field of First Nation Child and Family Service, its principles, values and concepts. Emphasis will be placed on awareness and sensitivity when working within a culturally diverse environment. Through assessment of case studies, group discussion and group work, students will learn how to articulate the importance of developing and delivering services and programs that are culturally congruent.

In this course, student will appraise the traditional and cultural family systems of First Nations.  Students will learn to appreciate the concepts of Customary Care as defined by each First Nation.  They will contrast the contemporary dynamics of functional and dysfunctional family systems and will propose principles and strategies for building and maintaining healthy family, extended and community relationships.

Semester 2

Students will learn how to communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken and visual form that fulfills the purpose and meets the needs of audiences.  Student will examine the process of communication through the lens of a FNCWA. They will apply writing techniques within the context of their role as a FNCWA such as: planning techniques, basic and specialized writing skills, defining, outlining, summarizing and developing persuasive arguments.  Specific emphasis will be placed on filing “An Answer” and responding to a variety of legal documents within the family court system.

Students are challenged to apply their knowledge and skills learned in previous course work, by assessing theories and practices relating to Case Management in the context of First Nation Child Welfare, while exploring ways of managing child welfare initiatives and practices in their respective communities.  Students will work in groups and individually to identify client needs, assess case studies and formulate case management plans. Activities are intended to elicit perspectives of First Nations individual and community experiences.

In this course students study the total environment of community development from a distinct First Nation perspective.  Students will investigate theories and practices relating to community development in the context of First Nation Child Welfare, while exploring ways of supporting Child Welfare initiatives and practices in First Nation communities.  An introduction to current research and theory on clinical and policy issues affecting Child Welfare will be covered.  This module will examine the role of the FNCWA within the larger community framework of services and supports to First Nation children and families.

The student will learn how to effectively manage workplace issues such as motivation, time management, issue prioritization, interpersonal behavior, and establishing personal and professional relations with co-workers, managers, clients and the First Nation public in general.  Particular emphasis will be placed on confidence building, peer support, and networking.  Students will apply skills and knowledge learned to become effective First Nation child worker advocates while learning strategies to maintain a balanced life and work schedule.

Employment Opportunities

Graduates will find work as First Nation Child Welfare Advocates in Aboriginal communities, agencies and Community Support Centers. The First Nation Child Welfare Advocate Ontario College Graduate Certificate program will also provide an opportunity for professionals in the field to gain recognition and validation within their profession.

Information About Programs

All programs offered at the Anishinabek Educational Institute are full-time programs. Our programs are not only designed to reduce the high stress levels which develop when students are away from their family, community, and workplace responsibilities, but are also designed to enable students to retain their jobs while being trained.

Delivery Options

Community Based

Community based delivery programs can either be delivered as on-campus or combination delivery.

Combination Delivery

Students are required to attend intensive two week in-class sessions twice per semester alternating with a five to six week return to their community while still maintaining a full-time program workload.

On-Campus Delivery

Programs are delivered at one of our campuses or at a partnering community. On-campus delivery requires students to participate in-class on a full-time daily basis during each semester.

Learn More

Learn about all of the programs offered by the Anishinabek Educational Institute (AEI) including course descriptions, admission requirements, and employment potential.

Forever to the 7th Generation