Native Child and Family Services of Toronto strives to provide a life of quality, well-being, caring and healing for our children and families in the Toronto Aboriginal community.
We do this by creating a service model that is culture based and respects the values of Native people, the extended family and the right to self-determination.
Established in 1986, by Elders, knowledge keepers, grassroots leaders, and community members, NCFST has been supporting Aboriginal children and families in Toronto for more than three decades. In 2004 NCFST was directed by the Aboriginal community to accept a child welfare mandate to decolonize Aboriginal child welfare in the City of Toronto. NCFST continues to do this work through the integration of holistic, culturally-based prevention services that are child centred, family focused, and community driven.
Guided by the vision of providing holistic, culture-based integrated services with the guidance of the Aboriginal community, NCFST offers a full range of prevention programs, treatment and healing services, early years programs, youth programs, and cultural and recreational programs to all members of Toronto’s urban Aboriginal community.
Founded in 1986, our service model was developed through four days of ceremony by Aboriginal Elders, knowledge keepers and community leaders. It directs us to develop a holistic and sustainable multi-service organization to support the quality of life of Aboriginal children and their families in Toronto. The community that came together to create NCFST was responding to the impacts of residential schooling and a European model of child welfare on Aboriginal children and families. Our service model directs us to develop and deliver integrated services for healing, wellness, and family supports sufficient to provide Aboriginal children and their families with multiple pathways to a quality life. We do this by developing programs and services that are grounded in Aboriginal values, knowledge, best practice and worldview.
The Community We Serve
The Aboriginal population of Toronto is estimated at 60,000 adults and children. Of these, approximately 45,000 are status Indians; the others are Métis, non-status, and Inuit.
Most of our clients are self-referred single parents with young children. Many are currently involved with our Child Welfare Services, and some have children in our care and wish to work toward their return. Most are poor and isolated, without support in an environment deemed insensitive and inaccessible to Aboriginal people.