Child and Family Services Agency Transition


Changes to foster homes managed by B & L Resources

On August 20, 2020, the Province of Manitoba gave notice to B&L Inc. indicating it will no longer be utilizing B & L Resources Inc. as a foster care provider. Foster homes managed by B & L Resources were all licensed by Winnipeg Child and Family Services (CFS). 


Frequently Asked Questions - Foster Homes


What is changing about foster homes currently managed by B & L Resources Inc.?

On August 20, 2020, the Province of Manitoba gave notice to B&L Inc. indicating it will no longer be utilizing B & L Resources Inc. as a foster care provider. Foster homes managed B & L Resources were all licensed by Winnipeg Child and Family Services (CFS). 

Children currently placed in foster homes managed by B & L Resources Inc. will remain in the same foster home, but licensing, management and support of the foster homes will transfer to culturally appropriate CFS agencies.


How will it be determined which CFS agency will take over licensing and management of a foster home affected by this change?

A working group with representation from the Province, CFS authorities, and CFS agencies will make a recommendation to the licensing agency based on the number of children in home and their guardian agency. The CFS agency with the most children in the home will be the recommended licensing agency. In circumstances where there are an equal number of children from different agencies, the recommendation will be based on the agency that had a child placed within the home the longest.

What role will foster parents have in this decision?

Foster parents will be made aware of the recommendation as to the licensing CFS agency. A new foster home license will not be issued, until the foster parents are comfortable and provide consent. The transition working group will determine a resolution process for any situations where there is not consent to the change.

Can a CFS agency decline to take on a foster home license?

Yes. If a CFS agency completes an assessment and decides to not proceed with licensing a foster home, that agency is responsible to locate and provide a suitable placement for the child in the care of their agency placed in that home. This decision should be shared with the transition working group.

A CFS agency can also determine whether it would be willing to license a foster home where there are no children under the guardianship of that agency placed within the home, or where the majority of placements within the home are from another agency.

What happens to the foster home rates?

As of October 23, 2020, the moratorium on rates beginning January 1, 2021 for a period of 60 days has been extended to April 30, 2021 once the new license is issued by the CFS agency. After that time, the agency can make an appropriate determination based on an assessment of the needs of the child as to what the ongoing rate should be. The rate hold extension supports stability to the foster home, strengthening of relations between the agencies and foster parents, and additional time for planning and decision making.

 

Any rate changes need to follow the rate approval process as set out by the CFS agency's overseeing Authority. For more information, see FAQ on Foster Care Rate Determination Process.



Who will manage and support these foster homes?

These homes will be managed and supported by their new licensing CFS agency.
As with other foster homes licensed to a CFS agency, management and support will include: visit arrangements, foster parent support and guidance, transportation arrangements, foster parent training, financial support.

Agencies should meet with foster parents transitioning from B & L Resources to let them know how these supports will be provided, and of key contact people at the agency.

Where appropriate, CFS agencies should inform the families of children in care of changes to management of the foster home where that child lives. This may be especially important for First Nation, Metis children who have specific protections under the new Federal legislation (An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Metis children, youth and families).

What will happen to the B & L Resources Inc. foster care file?

The B & L Resources Inc. file should transfer to the new licensing agency. Winnipeg CFS also have a Foster Care Management file that will be part of the file transfer process. The transition team, including the current CFS agency license holder, the B & L Resources Inc. record holder and the new licensing CFS agency will stream line information sharing as part of the transition.

What happens to homes where there is an appeal or investigation underway?

These homes will be reviewed by the transition working group to determine whether (or where) they will transfer to, or if the home will remain licensed by Winnipeg pending the outcome. The guardian agencies for the children affected will be kept informed of this process.

When will this change happen?

This process will occur over approximately 120 days starting September 1, 2020. Some licenses will transfer faster than others and foster parents and key stakeholders will be provided with information on the actual transition plan. For more information, see FAQ on Foster Care Rate Determination Process.

A working group has been established to develop a timeline for transfers and implementation. Regular and on-going communication will occur to ensure all foster parents, B & L Resources Inc. staff, the CFS agency and Authority, and Provincial staff are working collaboratively. This change should not disrupt services to children.

Where can I find more information?

 A virtual Town Hall was hosted on August 27, 2020. You can also call 204-945- 2923 to speak to a member of the transition team.

What is the difference between a licensing agency and a third party managing organization?

Foster home licenses are issued by a mandated CFS agency.  Only mandated CFS agencies can issue a foster home license. 

A third party managing organization provides foster home management and support on behalf of a CFS agency or the Department of Families.  A third party provider charges an administration fee to the CFS agency or the Department of Families for services such as completing home studies, ongoing foster home management and support, and coordination of family visits.  The foster home license is issued by a mandated CFS agency that coordinates with the third party provider to ensure that all requirements are met.  
The majority of foster homes in Manitoba are directly licensed and managed by a CFS agency. 

What is a placing agency?

A placing agency is the CFS agency that has guardianship of a child in care.  This is the child's CFS agency. 

Will I be required to complete new checks (criminal record, child abuse registry etc.)?

Likely no.  If the checks completed on yourself and any members of your household over the age of 18 are current and up to date, there is no need to complete new checks.  The paperwork in your licensing foster care file will transfer to your new licensing agency once you have signed the Consent to Release Information.

What is the purpose for the Consent to Release Information?

This gives the licensing agency (mainly Winnipeg CFS) permission to release your licensing documents (annual reviews, checks, physical requirements checklist etc.) to the new licensing agency.  This will allow the new agency to have your background documents and prevent the need to complete all the licensing requirements again. 

What will happen with the other third party foster care providers (MYS, Knowles, Marymound)?

At this time, this action is specific to the working relationship between B&L, the Department of Families and the CFS Authorities.  It will not impact other third party providers.

Can I transfer to another third party provider?

We are encouraging foster parents to become licensed and managed directly by a CFS agency.  This allows a direct relationship between foster parents and the agency that has children placed in your home. 

There is nothing to prevent any foster parent from seeking a relationship with a third party provider to manage their foster home.  It will be at the discretion of the remaining providers whether they are accepting applications to foster for their organization. 

If you should choose to foster for an alternate third party provider, this would be considered a new license and those requirements would need to be met.  Also, the CFS agency for the children placed in the home would need to be in agreement with any new proposed rate. 

If I move to another third  party provider, would my foster care rate remain the same?

No, this would be considered a new placement under a new managing organization.  The rates paid to foster parents and for support/respite would be evaluated and based on the fee structure of that organization.  A new assessment of the child's needs and foster parent skills would need to be completed to determine the rate structure. The 60-day rate freeze would also not apply in this situation.

How will I receive payment for basic maintenance, fee for service, respite and support?

Once your foster home license is transitioned to the new licensing agency, you will receive payment directly from the CFS agency responsible for the care of the child placed in your home.  Each agency will have their own process for payment (direct deposit, frequency, forms).  You will be advised of the specific processes of the agency for the children within in your home as the transition occurs. 

How does it work if I have children in my home from more than one CFS agency?

Many homes have children from multiple CFS agencies.  This is not unusual with third party providers.  A recommendation will be made for your licensing agency based on the CFS agency that has the majority of children placed within your home. 

There is no intention to move children out of placements due to a change in licensing CFS agency.  An agreement will be made between the CFS agencies that are licensing your home and those that already have children placed in your home.  This will allow those children to remain in placement. 

Will children change CFS agencies based on who licenses my home?

No, children will continue to receive CFS services from their culturally appropriate Authority/agency. 

How will empty beds be filled?

Emergency placement beds will continue to be filled through the Emergency Placement Resources (EPR) unit during this process. 

As homes transition to their new licensing agency, your foster home beds will be filled through that agency. 

Any vacant program beds can still be filled during the transition.

If a bed is filled in my home before the transition is complete,  what rate would I receive?

Any beds filled while your home is managed by B&L Resources will receive the established B&L rate.  

What happens after the 60-day rate freeze?

CFS agencies will complete a Child Assessment to determine the individual needs of the child and how to support those needs.  Based on the CFS agency's evaluation of needs, a new rate could be established.  CFS agencies will have the ability to increase or decrease support and respite hours based on the changing needs of the child.  Fee for Service rates are paid based on the expectations of the foster parent (behaviour management, medical needs, education requirements, family visit plans) and the skill/education of foster parents (training completed, specialized skills). 

You will be involved in this process with the guardian CFS agency and will provide input.  

Who will support foster parents in establishing our new rates?  Is there a process for negotiating?

A foster care worker will be assigned to your home.  This worker will be responsible for supporting your home and will work with you during the rate assessment process.  This will be a collaborative process between yourself and the CFS guardian agency.  The goal is to ensure that the needs of the child are being met and the appropriate funding is provided to support the child. 

What happens with  high needs' children (Level 4 & 5) that are placed in our home? Are CFS agencies hiring case managers?

These children will continue to be supported within your home. 

Each CFS agency will have staff to support your home.  Each child should have a CFS worker assigned to them and each foster home will have a foster care worker.  These workers will support the children and foster parents. 

Are we able to meet with the new CFS licensing agency?

Yes!  Your new recommended CFS agency will be reaching out to you.  They will be able to answer your questions about their agency, their processes and training that might be available to you.  This is a great opportunity to start to build a new relationship with your licensing/managing agency and share your questions and experiences with them. 

Once I am licensed by my new agency, is that permanent or can I change agencies? 

It is recommended that you develop a relationship and work with the new licensing agency as they will represent and provide culturally appropriate care for the children in your home. Foster parents have the right to apply to another agency to have their license transferred. The agency approached can choose whether or not your home is needed by them. 


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