204-988-7440(in Winnipeg) 1-800-263-7146(Manitoba calls only)


Click on the questions below to view the answers.

Got a Question

Q: I just found out that I have to move from the foster home to a different one but I don’t want to go. Can you help me to stay?

A: You may be able to stay with your foster family but every situation is different. What we can do is help you to understand what is happening and make sure that your wishes are heard by the people who are making the decisions.

Q: I don’t like the group home where I’m living. How can I get moved?

A: A move may or may not be possible. We’ll listen to your concerns and help you to think of ways to solve the problems you’re having where you’re living. We can also help to make sure your voice is heard if you want to be moved.

Q: I’m turning 18 soon and have to leave CFS care but I don’t want to leave my foster home. What should I do?

A: Many young people turning 18 don’t feel ready to be on their own. It’s normal to feel that way. We can help you figure out what you think you need before moving out on your own and we can make sure people making decisions about your care know your feelings. In some cases, we can advocate for you to get an Extension of Care.

Q: How do I get a new social worker?

A: There are times when it’s possible and for the best to change social workers but many times there are things you can do to make the relationship you have with your present worker better. We can talk to you to help you figure out what the problem is and we can also help you have your voice heard with your social worker or your social worker’s supervisor.

Q: How can I get more visits with my family?

A: When and how often a child in care sees his/her family depends on many things. If you are unclear about your visit schedule or why you cannot see your family more often, we can help you to get that information. It may be possible for you to see your family more. We can help you to find out.

Q: I don’t know my case/care plan and the worker doesn’t include me in planning. What can I do?

A: As a young person receiving child welfare services, you have the right to know your case or care plan and to participate in the planning or decision-making that will affect your life. If you are over the age of 12 years, you also have the right to attend court hearings to have your say about the case plan and let the court know what you think about the plan. If your worker is not including you in this planning, you can speak to the worker’s supervisor, or contact our office to get assistance in speaking with the agency.

Q: I want to go home. Can you help me with this?

A: Figuring out the right time for a child/youth to return home depends on many things. We can speak with you and help make sure that your social worker knows how you are feeling. We can help to make sure that there is a good plan in place for you and that you understand that plan.

Q: How do I go on independent living?

A: If you are in care and feel that you are ready to move out on your own, you should speak with your worker about preparing for independent living. Your worker can link you with programs that can help you to prepare for independence and supports when you have moved out on your own. This usually takes place when you are 17 years old, although some youth may be ready for this move at age 16.

If you are 16 or 17 and are not in care but have been asked to leave your home, call Child and Family Services. If the reason you cannot live at home is due to protection concerns, the agency may bring you into care. However, if there are no protection concerns other than the fact that you have nowhere to live, you may be eligible for Employment and Income Assistance. A Child and Family Services worker will assess your situation and refer you to the appropriate service. If you live in Winnipeg, there are two shelters you can stay in that will help you to connect with the agency. They are N’Dinawe shelter at 372 Flora Avenue – phone (204) 586-2588 or at Macdonald Youth Services Shelter at 161 Mayfair – Phone (204) 477-1804.

If you are outside Winnipeg call the Child and Family Services agency in your area for help with finding shelter.

Q: I leave a lot of messages for my worker, but my worker never calls me back. What can I do?

A: You have the right to speak to your social worker on a regular basis. However, there may be times when this doesn’t happen. If so, the Office of the Children’s Advocate can help you by listening and being your voice. We can call your social worker to let him/her know you have left a lot of messages and you feel you are not being heard or taken seriously.

Q: I don’t get any privacy at my foster home. What are my rights?

A: Privacy is important for everyone. We all have the right to a certain amount of privacy in balance with health and safety needs. On the physical side, this includes a reasonable amount of safe and personal storage space for your private use, window coverings, a bathroom door with a lock on it, being able to send and receive unopened mail, make and receive confidential phone calls, and be free of unreasonable searches of your personal belongings.

Your personal file and medical information is also private and only people who need to know this information to care for you have the right to access it.

These privacy rights are set out in article 16 of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child.

The adults involved in your life should always focus on your “best interests” and treat you with respect and dignity. At times, privacy rights may be lessened for your safety needs or the safety needs of others. For example, if a youth is bringing inappropriate / illegally obtained items into the home or is threatening to harm themselves or others, caregivers may do room searches or a bag or pocket search when the youth returns to the home.

If privacy is an issue for you, be honest about your concerns and speak to your caregivers, social worker, teachers or the Children’s Advocate.

Q: In my old foster home I got an allowance, but in my new foster home my foster parents won’t give me one. Am I supposed to get an allowance?

A: Yes, you are to get an allowance for your own use. Let your social worker know you have not received allowance or if you do not feel comfortable speaking to your social worker, we can speak to your social worker for you.

Q: I am no longer in care and am having problems getting Employment and Income Assistance benefits. Can anyone at your office help me with this?

A: The Employment and Income Assistance system can be overwhelming. Our office can only assist youth who are in agency care, receiving services from a child and family services agency, or are entitled to receive those services. However, there are other advocates that can help you access services and understand the EIA program.

The following contacts can help:

Community Financial Counselling Services

516-294 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, MB
(204) 989-1900
TOLL FREE: 1-888-573-2382

Resource Assistance for Youth (RaY)

Drop-in/Resource Centre
125 Sherbrook Street
Winnipeg, MB
(204) 391-2209

Free Store/Satellite Location
195 Young Street
Winnipeg, MB
(204) 774-1456