Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Local CFS agency developing training program for social workers

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Dakota Ojibway Child and Family Services is developing the first native-run training program for social workers in Manitoba.

The agency, which provides services to kids and families in eight communities in southern Manitoba, hopes to have as many as 25 students enrolled in the pilot program next fall at Yellowquill College.

“It’s been on our minds for awhile,” said Dakota Ojibway CFS executive director Bobbi Pompana. “We’ve been having trouble finding qualified staff.”

Pompana said there just aren’t enough aboriginal social workers to go around. And she said the social work programs offered through universities don’t teach students enough about cultural sensitivities for aboriginal families, or even enough about filling out paperwork.

She said social work graduates still go through training when they are hired by the agency.

Dakota Ojibway CFS employs about 70 social workers, said Pompana, and there is frequent turnover so they are always looking for staff. She hopes the program will receive funding from the member communities as well as from the province in money set aside for training this past fall in the wake of reviews of the child welfare system looking at the death of Phoenix Sinclair.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 2, 2007

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