Course Description

The History of First Nation Child Welfare
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.
Canadian Lesgislation and First Nation Child Welfare
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).

The Cultural Context of the Helping Relationship
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.
First Nation Family Systems and Customary Care
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.

Communications for the FNCWA
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.

Case Planning and Case Development
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.

Community Development and First Nation Child Welfare
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.
Self-Care in the Band Representative Profession

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 scedule.

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