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Non-profit seeks Indigenous caregivers from Richmond, Greater Vancouver for youths

Respite care provided by Indigenous community members for Indigenous children and youth can help with sense of identity and belonging, said non-profit.
vacfss respite care
VACFSS is asking members of Indigenous communities in Greater Vancouver to participate in its respite care program.

A Vancouver-based non-profit is calling on First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities in Greater Vancouver to provide respite care for Indigenous children and youth.

The Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Services Society (VACFSS) hopes members of the community can take care of children and youth from other families temporarily when such families need "a break from their daily parenting responsibilities."

The call to action was issued ahead of the second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as the non-profit looks to expand its roster of respite caregivers.

Those participating in the program will work inclusively with the biological family as well as the community, help connect the children with their Indigenous community and culture and strengthen their sense of identity by learning about history and cultural practices.

“Respite care undoubtedly reduces the risk of children coming into foster care by providing parents with a necessary break as part of their healing journey,” said Gavin O’Toole, VACFSS Resources Manager, in a media release.

VACFSS was established in 1992 and aims to deliver "culturally-grounded, restorative family services to urban Indigenous families of Greater Vancouver." The respite care program is part of its restorative practices to address intergenerational trauma from the legacy of residential schools.

Those interested in participating must be living in Richmond, Vancouver, North Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Surrey and Delta. VACFSS currently has one respite caregiver and a significant number of full-time caregivers residing in Richmond. 

To learn more, register for an information session on VACFSS's website or email care@vacfss.com.

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