Surrounded by Cedar Child and Family Services
Our Impact Why We Exist
Our vision is of healthy children who will grow up connected to their families, communities and culture. We will work together toward the day all children and families have skills, knowledge, education and support to ensure their children and their children’s children will not enter the child welfare or justice systems.
Our Story What We Do
Surrounded by Cedar Child and Family Services provides child and family services rooted in cultural values and beliefs to restore and enhance the strength and resiliency in the urban Aboriginal community.
In response to the increasing number of urban Aboriginal children and youth in care, Surrounded by Cedar was born on September 17, 2002 with the vision of providing culturally appropriate child welfare services. The name was given to the agency by John Aitken, a Coast Salish man who grew up in foster care. John told Surrounded by Cedar that because cedar is sacred to all the Island First Nations, naming the agency “Surrounded by Cedar” is a good way to let children and families know they are welcome in this place, and are welcome in our home.
Through a delegation agreement with the Provincial Director of Child Welfare, Surrounded by Cedar has been given the authority to undertake administration of parts of the Child, Family and Community Service Act (CFCSA). At present, the agency is delegated to C4 (Guardianship & Permanency Planning).
Our Programs How We Do It
We offer a range of services including:
- Guardianship & Permanency Planning: Surrounded by Cedar acts as legal guardian to urban Aboriginal children and youth in the continuing care of the Director of Child Welfare. Permanency planning is an integral part of this work, while ensuring that the child/youth's cultural identity is taken care of in a meaningful and supported way.
- Resources: Surrounded by Cedar recruits, approves and provides direct support to foster families who are providing care or would like to provide care for urban Aboriginal children and youth in care.
- Life Long Connections Program: Works to identify and locate children and youth's family or other close community members to help facilitate ongoing connection and possible placement where appropriate.
- Intensive Youth Support Program: Engages and supports youth between the ages of 12 & 19. The agency's youth worker focuses on connection to culturally appropriate resources, helpful and supportive relationships, while ensuring that basic needs are met on a continual basis.
- Child & Youth Counseling: Offers group counseling services for children, youth and families impacted by complex trauma. The agency's counseling groups address mental health and wellness using Indigenous modalities of helping and healing, and include regular participation from local traditional knowledge keepers and community Elders.
- Cultural Programing: Supports urban Aboriginal children and youth in care to develop a positive cultural identity. Programming is offered during professional development days as well as spring and summer breaks. Monthly youth and Elders' dinners are hosted at the agency throughout the school year, as well as a youth leadership group.
Please visit our website to learn more.
What You Can Do
Surrounded by Cedar Child & Family Services is an Aboriginal non-profit organization that relies on the generosity of community members to ensure that we can offer quality, culturally appropriate programming to our children and youth in care. If you would like to support the work that we do, please visit our website at www.surroundedbycedar.com for our contact information.