Indigenous Youth in Care Rights to Culture and Community How We Can Do Better

About the Author:

Astraea Laliberte-LaRue

Weyt-k.  Astraea en skwest.  Hello my name is Astraea Laliberte-LaRue.  I am from the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Indian Band.  I am currently a student at the Thompson Rivers University, studying to receive my Social Work degree.  I am honoured to be a part of the YPP Program and look forward to the new knowledge I will gain.  A goal of mine is to help the people in my home community by being a role model for its youth.  I plan on doing this by furthering my education in policy and indigenous culture and continuing my path towards being a positive contributor to my home. Kukwstsétsemc

2019 · Youth Policy Program

Existing policy in the Child, Family, and Care Services Act includes cultural rights for Indigenous youth in care, however this legislation is not effectively meeting youth-in-care needs. Youth in care still lose connection to their cultures. Often this is facilitated by “inappropriate placement” choices. Inappropriate placement refers to non-Indigenous homes or homes that are not culturally suitable. Some reasons that lead to inappropriate placements are the lack of training, Indigenous homes, and understanding/knowledge about the youth-in-care cultures. Some shifts have been made, but they are not very strong or consistent, and have not resulted in substantially improved outcomes. Currently, there are opportunities to partner with organizations and adjust policy language that could result in more positive practice shifts. As well as strengthening the existing policy in legislation around cultural rights for youth in care, so that cultural-identity rights are upheld more consistently through the foster-parent training and guidance programs, which is already in place. To do this we need to create a policy to ensure that the rights concerning. Indigenous youth in care are being addressed and practiced, by training foster parents in Indigenous culture, traditions, and language; also, by specialty training on how to attend to children who have suffered from trauma. A system of accountability needs to be provided that ensures social workers are recording their actions, and also ensures their clients are learning about, and are involved in, cultural activities.

About the Author:

Astraea Laliberte-LaRue

Weyt-k.  Astraea en skwest.  Hello my name is Astraea Laliberte-LaRue.  I am from the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Indian Band.  I am currently a student at the Thompson Rivers University, studying to receive my Social Work degree.  I am honoured to be a part of the YPP Program and look forward to the new knowledge I will gain.  A goal of mine is to help the people in my home community by being a role model for its youth.  I plan on doing this by furthering my education in policy and indigenous culture and continuing my path towards being a positive contributor to my home. Kukwstsétsemc