We understand that many First Nations families living in and outside of communities face unique challenges, particularly during the COVID-19 outbreak. We know this has affected many of the supports that families rely on, such as school nutritional programs and access to educational tools and services.
Jordan’s Principle remains available to respond to unmet needs of First Nations children (whether they are related to COVID-19 or not) regardless of where they live in Canada. Requests can be submitted at an individual or group level when a number of children are facing a similar situation.
How can Jordan’s Principle help my child?
The process and requirements for applying to Jordan’s Principle remain the same. There must be an identified unmet need to be addressed for a specific child or specific group of children.
Each request will be considered on a case by case basis. The needs of specific children should be outlined in the request, and the request should match the needs identified.
Some examples of the COVID-19 related requests that we have received are:
- respite services that offer a break to caregivers of children with exceptional needs
- reimbursement for hand sanitizer
- cleaning products for immune-compromised children
- educational assistive devices
- food allowances for children
For more information on how Jordan’s Principle can help First Nations children, visit Jordan’s Principle at Canada.ca.
Can I send a request for funds to pay for groceries or for e-learning tools (such as a computer, tablet or Internet access while my child’s school is closed)?
All requests are assessed on a case by case basis as we understand that each child’s needs are unique. The needs of a specific child or children should be outlined in the request and the request should match the needs identified. You will be asked to provide the required documentation from a professional to show how funding for the requested product, service, or support will meet the identified need. Email communication from professionals will be accepted in consideration of the unique circumstances of COVID-19. Visit Jordan’s Principle for more information about the process.
Can I still send in a request if I don’t have access to a professional to provide documentation for my request?
Normally, as part of sending in a request for your child, you are asked to provide copies of documents that identify the appropriate product, service or support to meet a child’s identified need. This could be:
- referrals from a health, social, or education professional (if you have them)
- medical, educational, social assessments identifying the need for the product, service, or support
However, we recognize that during this difficult time, professionals may not be available to provide supporting documentation for a request, as is normally required. This will be taken into consideration when we review your request. This does not mean that no supporting documentation is required, but in some cases, it can be provided later in the process.
Examples could include a request from schools to pursue virtual classrooms and substantive equality information from the family or guardian that indicates the lack of ability to secure the educational assistive technologies required to ensure the child can pursue their education while the school is closed.
Can I still send in a request for my child that isn’t related to COVID-19?
Yes. Non COVID-19 related requests will continue to be processed under Jordan’s Principle throughout this period. Visit Jordan’s Principle for more information.
For more information about Jordan’s Principle
Website: Jordan’s Principle or Canada.ca/jordans-principle
Toll-free Phone: 1-855-JP-CHILD (1-855-572-4453), open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Teletypewriter (for the hearing impaired): 1-866-553-0554
Are there supports besides Jordan’s Principle to help First Nations families and communities?
Yes. There are supports available for Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the global COVID-19 outbreak, including First Nations, Inuit and Métis. In addition to the other COVID-19 Economic Response Plan benefits (listed on www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html), support for First Nations includes:
- A $305 million distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund, from which every First Nations, Inuit and Métis community, and urban and regional Indigenous organizations, will receive flexible funding to help face the impacts of this outbreak.
- Funds to support women and children fleeing violence, there is an additional $10 million for First Nations family violence shelters on-reserve and in Yukon. Up to $40 million is also available for women shelters and sexual assault centres across the country through Women and Gender Equality.
- We also remain fully committed to supporting First Nations child and family services agencies and communities and ensuring the safety and well-being of children. With the outbreak of COVID-19, we are responding to urgent needs in a timely and flexible manner. This includes putting in place processes to support First Nations agencies and communities in addressing emergency concerns, and expanding eligibility of expenses related to COVID-19.
- You can contact your local First Nation child and family services agency to learn more about what resources may be available to support you and your family. Please use the First Nations Child and Family Services Interactive Map to find a service provider (https://geo.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/FNCFS-SEFPN/).
- In an effort to address challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, we have also put in place a national temporary measure to ensure that protection services already funded through the First Nations Child and Family Services Program are maintained for all First Nations children and youth, regardless of whether they would have ordinarily aged out of care. Under this temporary measure, which is in effect from March 9, 2020 to at least September 30, 2020, we have committed to provide funding for the ongoing delivery of eligible protection services to ensure that First Nations children and families get the care they need and deserve.