REPRESENTATIVE & CONTACT
BART KNUDSGAARD, POLICY LEAD: [email protected]
1. Purpose of RFP
The Indigenous Child & Family Services Directors (ICFSD) Our Children Our Way Society is seeking a consultant and/or organization with curriculum development expertise and a strong background in Indigenous mental health, Indigenous child and family services, counselling and/or social services to contract with for the development of training for Culture is Healing: An Indigenous Child and Youth Mental Wellness Framework.
2. Contextual Information
2.1 The Indigenous Child & Family Services Directors Our Children Our Way Society
The ICFSD Our Children Our Way Society represents the 24 First Nation, Métis, and Urban agencies delegated to provide child & family services in British Columbia. ICFS agencies provide child welfare and family support services to over 120 of the 200 First Nations in British Columbia and to Métis and urban Indigenous communities. Indigenous Nations created the ICFS agencies to provide culturally-based services to their children and families, rather than receiving services from the Ministry of Children and Family Development.
The Our Children Our Way Society addresses issues that have a province-wide impact, with a view to providing a collective, Indigenous voice. The purpose of the Society is to:
- Support member agencies and organizations to share information and wise practices;
- Advocate for appropriate, culturally-based practices, standards and policies, and the resources to implement them; and
- Promote awareness of the successes, challenges, and recommended strategies to support Indigenous communities and organizations to achieve their vision for children and families.
The Our Children Our Way Society works closely with federal and provincial partners and meets quarterly with representatives from MCFD and Indigenous Services Canada at the Partnership Forum. The Partnership table was established to work collaboratively toward the systemic changes needed to advance the best interests of Indigenous children.
2.2 Culture is Healing: An Indigenous Child & Youth Mental Wellness Framework
Within our communities, the drug toxicity and overdose crisis emerges from and contributes to widespread intergenerational trauma and is having a disproportionate impact on our children and families. We are seeing growing numbers of children coming into care and, in the worst cases, orphaned as a result of parental involvement in substance misuse. We are also seeing growing threats to youth mental wellness.
Culture is Healing: An Indigenous Child and Youth Mental Wellness Framework was developed to address the need for a new shared approach to address the mental health and addictions issues facing Indigenous youth as a result of colonialism, racism and trauma. The intent of the Framework is to increase awareness and demonstrate how everyone involved in mental wellness services and supports can integrate the guiding principles, values, and beliefs into culturally grounded practices in their work with Indigenous children and youth.
The Framework centers on four guiding principles. Mental wellness work with Indigenous children and youth must be: Culture-Centered; Inclusive and Accountable; Wellness Focused; and Child, Youth, Family and Community Centered. The framework offers strategies to address three interconnected areas of change: system, practice, and individual change.
Based on the experience of the ICFS Directors across BC, we know that many of the social services, health and emergency service providers supporting Indigenous children and youth do not habitually approach their work from Indigenous cultural perspectives. As well, culturally based training for professionals such as clinicians is limited.
To address this gap and to showcase wise practices within ICFS agencies that reflect Culture is Healing, the Our Children Our Way Society is seeking to develop training materials that:
- Support both in-person and virtual delivery of training;
- Recognize Indigenous diversity across the province and are not specific to one Nation or geographic area;
- Include the voices of Indigenous youth, ICFS agency staff, knowledge keepers, healers, and elders; and
- Are consistent with the Aboriginal Policy & Practice Framework.
The training audience will include non-Indigenous individuals/organizations that come into contact with Indigenous children and youth with complex mental wellness and addictions challenges. These organization include, but are not limited to:
- Health professions
- Family Physicians
- Emergency response personnel
- Psychiatric care professionals
- Outreach Clinics
- Overdose prevention services
- and public safety organizations
The goals and intended outcomes of this training are to:
- Uplift Indigenous communities by featuring and collaborating with Indigenous youth, ICFS agency staff, knowledge keepers and elders;
- Increase cultural awareness among professionals working with Indigenous children and youth experiencing challenges with mental wellness and addictions and support such professionals to incorporate the principles, values, and beliefs of Culture is Healing into their work with our families and communities;
- Inform and enhance policy and legislative development to address the current crisis within the mental wellness system by including the voices of Indigenous children, youth, and elders;
- Support the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the BC Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People’s Act;
- Address recommendations in the recent RCY Report, A Parent’s Responsibility: Government’s obligation to improve the mental health outcomes of children in care (2022); the Select Standing Committee on Health’s report Closing Gaps, Reducing Barrier: Expanding the Response to the Toxic Drug and Overdose Crisis (2022) ; and the In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in B.C. Health Care (2020).
4. Scope of Work
The successful bidder will be responsible for developing training resources and conducting a pilot and evaluation on behalf of the Our Children Our Way Society and its membership.
Training resources will be based on the Culture is Healing Framework, particularly focusing on the Framework’s guiding principles and reflexive questions. The development process and deliverables for training resources must support and uplift Indigenous communities by featuring Indigenous youth, ICFS agency staff, knowledge keepers and elders’ voices. The training materials will support both virtual and in-person delivery of the training.
The Our Children Our Way Society is accepting proposals in response to this Request for Proposal (RFP) to 1.) create training resources and 2.) conduct a pilot test and evaluation of the curriculum and resources with consideration to the below outlined processes and deliverables.
6. Submission Requirements
Respondents to this RFP must submit one proposal. Responses must be received no later than July 11, 2023, at 6PM Pacific Standard Time. Responses should be clearly marked “RFP – Training Development for Culture is Healing” and emailed to Bart Knudsgaard at [email protected].
6.1 Elements of Proposal
A submission must include the following elements:
- An overview of the proponent’s history and experience in developing curriculum and training materials. This should include any experience working with Indigenous peoples and organizations, with a particular emphasis on Indigenous child and family services, counselling and/or Indigenous mental health and well-being (max 3 pages).
- A concise, high-level plan of how this work will be approached— including timelines, deliverables and a detailed budget (max 3 pages).
- Identify three references along with contact information.
Maximum budget: $100,000.
8. Evaluation Criteria
- Proven track record in developing training materials: 30%
- Experience working with Indigenous communities and/or organizations in the context of child and family services, counselling and/or mental health: 30%
- Approach and work plan: 30%
- Budget: 10%