Understanding Aboriginal delegated agencies

If a social worker contacts you or visits your home to ask questions about your family, he or she may be working for a delegated agency.

If a social worker from the ministry (or an Aboriginal delegated agency) contacts you or visits your home, you have the right to get a lawyer. The social worker may take your child from your home. Call Legal Aid immediately to find out if you qualify for a free lawyer.

Legal Aid
604-408-2172
(Greater Vancouver)
1-866-577-2525 (no charge outside Greater Vancouver)

Ask your lawyer or social worker about getting an Aboriginal child protection mediator to help with your case.


What is an Aboriginal delegated agency?

Aboriginal delegated agencies:

Child protection laws in BC recognize the importance of Aboriginal family ties to Aboriginal children. Aboriginal delegated agencies are part of an effort to restore the responsibilities of child protection and family support to Aboriginal communities.

What do Aboriginal delegated agencies do?

Aboriginal delegated agencies may offer the following services:

  • Support services for the whole family
  • Help with preparing voluntary care agreements for children
  • Help with writing, monitoring, and reviewing your child's plan of care
  • Help with writing special needs agreements for you child if your child has special needs
  • Monitoring how your child is doing while he or she is in care
  • Help for youth who are moving towards independence

Some Aboriginal delegated agencies may also have the power to:

  • receive and look into reports of child abuse and neglect,
  • take your child from your home and place them in a relative's care (such as an aunt, uncle, or grandparent), and
  • get supervision orders to make sure your child is safe and healthy.

Where can I find an Aboriginal delegated agency?

Greater Vancouver Victoria

Aboriginal Child and Family Services
Phone: 604-872-6723 or 1-877-982-2377 (call no charge)

Métis Family Services (Surrey)
Phone: 604-584-6621

Surrounded by Cedar Child and Family Services
Phone: 250-383-2990.

Aboriginal delegated agencies also work with families living on and off reserve across BC. The ministry's website has a full list of the Aboriginal delegated agencies across BC. Check the list to find out if your band or community is involved.

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What can I do if I'm being investigated for a child protection matter?

You have the right to get a lawyer if a social worker from the ministry or an Aboriginal delegated agency:

  • contacts you or visits your home to ask questions about your family,
  • threatens to take your children away, or
  • takes your children away.

Call Legal Aid

Child protection matters are covered by Legal Aid. Contact Legal Aid immediately to find out if you qualify for a free lawyer. If you don't qualify for a lawyer, there are other free legal aid resources available to you.

For more information on how to get a lawyer and the other resources available to you, see Who can help.

Ask for support

You can ask for support from your Aboriginal community throughout the child protection process:

  • If you're being investigated by the ministry and your band or Aboriginal community is represented by an Aboriginal delegated agency, you can ask the ministry to inform the delegated agency of the investigation.
  • Whether you're being investigated by the ministry or an Aboriginal delegated agency, you can ask for a representative from your band or friendship centre (such as a child protection worker) who will support you during the investigation. This representative will make sure your child stays connected to his or her Aboriginal family and community.

Find out more

The following resources may be of help to you and your family:

To see what other kinds of resources are available to you, return to the Aboriginal people community page.^ Back to top

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