Racial Equity Resource Guide


Touchstones of Hope: Still the Best Guide for Indigenous Child Welfare

Organization: First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada, National indian Child Welfare Association

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In 2000, the authors of this editorial, along with a group of child welfare experts and allies, initiated a series of meetings and one conference as part of a project sponsored by the Centre of Excellence for Child Welfare, based at the University of Toronto in Canada. As a group, we represented the principal national child welfare organizations in the United States and Canada: NICWA (National Indian Child Welfare Association), CWLA (Child Welfare League of America), FNCFCS (First Nations Child and Family Caring Society), and CECW (Centre of Excellence for Child Welfare). The purpose of our gatherings was to conceptualize and develop a new perspective on child welfare that would be more appropriate for Indigenous children, their families, and their communities. The Touchstones of Hope was a document we produced in 2006 to share our new perspective. In this edition we revisit the origins and development of our thinking. Ten years after the publication of the Touchstones document, we look at how far we have come, at what we have accomplished, and at the difficulties we have encountered. We also look to the future, and to how Touchstones might continue to influence what we think and what we do. Using the analogy of a journey down a river, we look at the waters behind us, beside us, and in front of us.

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