Native Child and Family Services of Toronto Helps Indigenous Youth Claim Their Place

Toronto has an indigenous population estimated to be approximately 69,000 people.  Within this substantial group are vulnerable youth (up to 30 years of age), who need culturally sensitive assistance to find their place in metropolitan Toronto.  Darren Wilson, Manager for Youth Services, told us how Native Child and Family Services of Toronto works to bridge gaps.
Darren Wilson has worked in social work for seventeen years, focusing on the needs of indigenous youth for the thirteen of them.  As the Manager of Youth Services for Native Child and Family Services of Toronto, Darren is well versed on the difficulties faced by this community.  The organization strives to engage with the community using a service model designed to respect their culture and values, based on the traditional medicine wheel (below).
Darren highlighted the following key areas of focus/programs:
Housing is of particular importance to vulnerable sectors in the Indigenous community; youth shelters often provide no daytime accommodation and can be unsafe.  Transitional housing for males and females (with and without children) occurs in two phases that helps to progressively educate residents in the life skills needed for independent living.
Native Child and Family Services of Toronto seeks to hire indigenous staff whenever possible and advocates against systemic discrimination.