The Importance of Everyone Working Together to Raise Our Children

For Hailey McFatridge, the opportunity to work with First Nation communities was a deciding factor in choosing to work at Tikinagan Child & Family Services.

“Each community is unique with their own strengths. They each have something special about them,” said McFatridge, a Dryden, Ontario based worker.

“I enjoy being able to engage with communities. Hosting events for children and families is a good way to familiarize myself with the community and get to know other supports.”

As an Intake and Investigations Worker at Tikinagan, McFatridge helps maintain community relationships through meetings and case conferences with families, extended family, and relevant supports in each community, ensuring the best outcome for children and families.

“Our service model Mamow Obiki-ahwahsoowin means ‘Everyone working together to raise our children,’ and the community is a key part of that,” she said.

McFatridge highlighted the importance of everyone working together at Tikinagan, especially across different departments.

“We’re there to put supports in place for families and we need to work alongside family services and child care services to make sure that’s being provided. We’re working together a lot of the time.”

McFatridge explained that her unit receives referrals and develops plans for children and families that need services. She added that if a family needs ongoing support – whether that be counselling, help setting up appointments, or anything else that may require additional assistance – they will be partnered with a Family Service Worker, who will work closely with them.

“Immediately, we’re working on family reunification and getting everyone back together again”.

When a child comes into care with Tikinagan, it is important for each child to be part of a network of caring people. Every person who has interest in the care of a child is asked to become a member of the Wee-chee-way-win Circle for the child. McFatridge said decision-making in the Wee-chee-way-win Circle includes meetings with Band Representatives and Chief and Council to create a plan of transition for the child.

“It’s a collaborative approach to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children and families at Tikinagan,” said McFatridge. “Ultimately, we want to create the best outcome for the family and the child. We’re here to help.”

If you have questions related to services or have a child protection concern, you can call Tikinagan 24/7 at 1-800-465-3627. For information related to reporting and your Duty to Report, click here.

Learn more about Tikinagan’s Intake Unit and Hailey McFatridge’s journey by listening to the full episode below.