ensure that the Institutional Search Plan, completed pursuant to CD 566-8 - Searching of Staff and Visitors, includes specific search parameters for children participating in the residential component of the Mother-Child Program
establish protocols for reporting suspected child abuse or neglect to child welfare authorities in accordance with provincial legislation
ensure the institutional contingency plan addresses the presence and safety of children in an institutional emergency
authorize children participating in the residential Mother-Child Program as passengers in CSC vehicles, in accordance with ISD 335 - Fleet Management
ensure there is a process in place to confirm that child seats in any vehicle used to transport children (if operated by employees, contractors or volunteers) are approved child seats pursuant to the Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and are in compliance with provincial highway traffic legislation
establish procedures for the mother to obtain the necessary food, materials and equipment related to the care of the child participating in the residential component of the Mother-Child Program.
The Mother-Child Coordinator will:
coordinate the activities of any staff, volunteers and/or contractors involved in the Mother-Child Program
establish and maintain partnerships with community resources, including volunteers, who can:
provide information and/or support to inmates regarding parenting and meeting parental responsibilities
assist the Parole Officer in developing and implementing a release plan to provide continuity of care following release to the community for the residential component
verify safety recall information on the Health Canada website prior to distributing institutional equipment and materials for children
facilitate and/or coordinate awareness sessions for staff on identifying and reporting child abuse and neglect as well as on other child safety topics
ensure availability of a parenting skills program for all inmates. Any participants and inmate babysitters in the residential component of the Mother-Child Program must complete this program, as well as a recognized first aid course
facilitate the process or contact with community resources (e.volunteers) to allow inmates involved in the residential component of the Mother-Child Program to identify and purchase items necessary for the care of the child, including food, supplies, age appropriate equipment and materials
ensure that application forms related to the child, including but not limited to birth certificates, provincial identification cards, health cards, child tax credits, are available to all inmates, and provide assistance when applicable and/or if required to complete the forms
assist the inmate with identifying health care providers in the community and ensure the submission annually of Mother-Child Program Health Care Checklist — Child (CSC/SCC 1159‑03) for children who are participating in the residential component of the Mother-Child Program
coordinate and/or facilitate the inmate's interactions and involvement with family/kin, child welfare agencies, lawyers, family court, etc. to ensure parental and/or legal responsibilities are met and the best interests of the child remain paramount.
The Chief of Health Services will ensure the Pregnancy Flag is activated and de-activated in the Offender Management System.
The Chief of Mental Health or delegate will be consulted upon receipt of an application to participate in the Mother-Child Program to identify whether there are any concerns from a mental health perspective. The Chief of Mental Health, at his/her discretion, can request that a mental health assessment be completed in accordance with the Content Guidelines for Mental Health Assessment for Participation in the Residential Component of the Institutional Mother-Child Program.
The Elder may:
when necessary, provide spiritual support, guidance and cultural awareness to staff working with Aboriginal inmates participating in the Mother-Child Program, including but not limited to the impacts of long-standing historic trauma on parenting
provide spiritual support, guidance and cultural awareness, including Aboriginal parenting practices, to Aboriginal inmates who have children and who are interested in working with an Elder.
The Aboriginal Liaison Officer will document and share the Elder's observations/assessments of program suitability and program involvement with the Case Management Team when the mother is working with an Elder.
The Chaplain may offer rites, rituals and/or services related to childbirth and newborn spiritual/religious care.
The Parole Officer will:
consider the parenting responsibilities of the inmate in the development of the Correctional Plan and in release planning
complete the Assessment for Decision for the Residential Component of the Mother-Child Program (see Annex B), following the inmate's application
work in collaboration with the Mother-Child Coordinator to identify community networks for support and to ensure support continues throughout program participation.
The review board(s) for each process related to the Mother-Child Program will:
make recommendations to the Institutional Head, following an initial application, and on any review of residential program participation and processes related to all components of the Mother-Child Program
make recommendations to the Institutional Head on application of inmate babysitters for the residential component of the Mother-Child Program
assist, if necessary, the inmate in completing her application for the Mother-Child Program
document the inmate's participation in various components of the Mother-Child Program in each Structured Casework Record.
All staff in contact with the inmate and child will:
encourage and support the inmate in her parenting role in a non-intrusive/non-interventionist manner, except in situations where the child may be at risk of abuse or neglect
monitor the dynamics within the living units housing children, and during any activities in the institution where children are present
immediately report and document any:
suspected child abuse/neglect in accordance with provincial legislation and established institutional protocols
breaches of the Mother-Child Program Residential Agreement (CSC/SCC 1159)
immediately remove the child from an area when a situation presents an imminent risk to the safety of the child.
RESIDENTIAL COMPONENT — ELIGIBILITY AND REQUIREMENTS
An inmate is eligible to apply for the residency component of the Mother-Child Program with her child if she:
has not been convicted of an offence against a child or an offence which could reasonably be seen as endangering a child. An inmate who does not meet this eligibility criterion may be considered for participation if a psychiatric or psychological assessment determines that the inmate does not represent a danger to her child
is classified as minimum or medium security
is not residing in the Structured Living Environment (except if she has a child who is eligible for participation in the part-time residency program using the private family visiting unit location).
An inmate's child is eligible to be considered for participation in the residency component of the Mother-Child Program if he/she is:
not older than four years of age (no longer eligible at the fifth birthday) for full-time residency in a living unit, or
not older than six years of age (no longer eligible at the seventh birthday) for part-time residency in a living unit, or
under the age of majority for part-time residency using the private family visit unit location.
An inmate is eligible to be considered for babysitting children participating in the residential component of the Mother-Child Program if:
she has not been convicted of an offence against a child or an offence which could reasonably be seen as endangering a child
she has provided her consent via the Mother-Child Program Inmate Babysitter Application (CSC/SCC 1159-02) and has been screened against the relevant provincial child welfare registry to verify that no information exists in that registry to indicate that she may pose a risk to a child
the inmate mother is in agreement with the inmate babysitter's application to care for her child as indicated by her signature on the Mother-Child Program Inmate Babysitter Application (CSC/SCC 1159-02)
the inmate babysitter has completed a parenting skills program and a first aid course which includes child first aid prior to engaging in her babysitting duties.
Other Residents in the Living Unit
An inmate is eligible to reside in a living unit where a child resides on a full-time or part-time basis if:
she has not been convicted of an offence against a child or an offence which could reasonably be seen as endangering a child
she has provided her consent and has been screened against the relevant provincial child welfare registry to verify that no information exists to indicate that she may pose a risk to a child
consultation has occurred with the Parole Officer and Security Intelligence Officer to verify that no information exists to indicate that she may pose a risk to a child
she has been approved by the manager or review board designated for this purpose.
REBUTTAL AND REDRESS PROCESS
Where an inmate is dissatisfied with a recommendation, she will be provided with two working days from the sharing of the reports to submit a rebuttal (in person or in writing) directly to the Institutional Head. The Institutional Head can grant an extension of up to 30 working days at the inmate's request. When the inmate presents a verbal rebuttal, the information must be recorded in a "Casework Record - Rebuttal".
The inmate will be provided with a written notice of the final decision and the associated reasons in a CSC Board Review/Decision Sheet which will include notification of her right to submit a grievance against all or part of the decision pursuant to CD 081 - Offender Complaints and Grievances.
RESIDENTIAL COMPONENT — PROCESSES
Residential Application and Assessment Process
Inmates who wish to participate in the residential component of the Mother-Child Program will complete the Mother-Child Program Residential Application (CSC/SCC 1159-01). This includes pregnant inmates who wish to be considered for participation.
Upon receipt of the application, the Parole Officer will enter the application, using decision type Mother-Child Program, in the Offender Management System and will schedule a case conference with the Mother-Child Coordinator to review the application.
If the inmate meets the eligibility criteria, the Mother-Child Coordinator will:
request a written assessment from the child welfare agency to determine whether participation in the program is in the best interests of the child. When the child welfare agency is unable to provide the requested assessment, a written assessment from a health care professional with a specialization in child care will be requested
consult with the Chief of Mental Health (or delegate) to identify whether there are any concerns from a mental health perspective. The Chief of Mental Health, at his/her discretion, can request that a formal mental health assessment be completed in accordance with the Content Guidelines for Mental Health Assessment for Participation in the Residential Component of the Institutional Mother-Child Program.
The Parole Officer may request a Community Assessment, pursuant to CD 715-3 - Community Assessments, to evaluate the support from the child's current caregiver in the community. The purpose of the Community Assessment is to gather information on the support from this individual for the inmate to participate in the residential component of the Mother-Child Program, in particular when the child is currently living with the individual in the community or will be living with the individual on a part-time basis. It is not an assessment of the community home's appropriateness for care of the child, although any concerns identified will be reported in accordance with provincial legislation.
Residential Approval Process
Upon receipt of all required information, the Parole Officer will complete the Assessment for Decision in accordance with Annex B, and share with the inmate the report and any other information used in the decision-making process. The Assessment for Decision will be completed within 30 days of the receipt of all required assessments and information.
The Parole Officer will present the recommendation to the identified review board and subsequently to the Institutional Head for decision-making purposes.
The Institutional Head, upon receipt of all information, including the inmate's rebuttal (if applicable) will render a decision; the local child welfare authorities (or the health care professional with a specialization in child care) must support the mother's application in order for the Institutional Head to consider approving it. If the decision of the Institutional Head is not to approve participation, the circumstances under which the inmate may re-apply must be indicated in the decision.
In instances where child welfare agencies will not open a file and/or complete an assessment until a child is born, the institutional recommendation and decision may include a caveat that the application is approved contingent on child welfare agency approval after the birth of the child.
The Parole Officer will provide the inmate a copy of the decision no more than five working days after it is rendered.
If the inmate's application is approved, the Mother-Child Coordinator will meet with the inmate to assist her to complete the following forms: Mother-Child Program Residential Agreement (CSC/SCC 1159), Mother-Child Program Health Care Checklist — Child (CSC/SCC 1159-03), and Mother-Child Program Contingency Plan (CSC/SCC 1159-04). A copy of each completed form will be provided to the Parole Officer.
The Mother-Child Coordinator will activate the Institutional Mother-Child Program flag in the Offender Management System on the first day the mother begins the residential component of the program (full-time or part-time) and deactivate the flag on the day the program participation ends.
Periodic Review Requirement
For residential program participants, the Mother-Child Coordinator will meet with the inmate at least once every 30 days (when the child has been in the institution at least once during the 30-day period), and consult with other staff as appropriate, to discuss her participation in the program and to provide ongoing support. The Coordinator will document the meeting and consultations in a Casework Record and also validate that the Contingency Plan is up-to-date.
Transition Plan for Children Participating in the Residential Component of the Program on a Full-Time Basis
The Parole Officer and Mother-Child Coordinator will collaborate to assist the inmate with developing the Mother-Child Program Transition Plan (CSC/SCC 1159-05) which should be, where possible, implemented in a gradual manner beginning well before the child's departure where the child's primary caregiver is changing (e.g. the inmate is not being released or the inmate is being released, but the child will not be residing with the inmate in the community).
Inmates Participating in the Residential Component and Leaving the Institution with their Child
If an inmate who was released from the institution with her child is returned to custody and wishes to re-apply for the residential component of the Mother-Child Program, this is considered a new application. Depending on the circumstances of the return to custody and previous assessments on file, the required assessments may only need to be updated.
Suspension and/or Termination of Program Participation
If any situation arises which may jeopardize the safety of the child, the Institutional Head or officer in charge of the institution may immediately suspend participation in the program. In the case of suspension, the Mother-Child Program Contingency Plan (CSC/SCC 1159‑04) will be implemented.
Local child welfare authorities will be advised as soon as practicable when the Contingency Plan has been implemented.
In the event of suspension of program participation, the Parole Officer will complete an Assessment for Decision within five working days to assess if the participation should be re-instated, suspended for an additional period of time until certain conditions are met, or terminated. The Assessment for Decision and recommendation will be shared with the inmate.
The designated review board will review all relevant information, including the Assessment for Decision and the rebuttal (if applicable), and make a recommendation to the Institutional Head within five working days of receipt of the information.
Following receipt of all information including the review board's recommendation, the Institutional Head will render a decision to:
reinstate the inmate's participation in the residential component of the program with or without modifications, or
terminate program participation, in which case the conditions to be satisfied in order to re-apply will normally be documented and outlined in the decision, or
continue the suspension of the program until certain conditions are met to resume participation, in which case the child will continue to be accommodated outside the institution on a temporary basis as per the Mother-Child Program Contingency Plan (CSC/SCC 1159-04).
The Parole Officer will provide the inmate with a copy of the decision within five working days of the decision.
Re-Application for the Residential Component of the Program Following Termination
An inmate whose participation in the program has been terminated can re-apply for admission once the conditions established by the Institutional Head have been satisfied and if supported by the child welfare agency (or the health care professional with a specialization in children) at the time of new application.
The fullassessment process will be required for readmission to the program after termination has occurred.
RESIDENTIAL COMPONENT - CHILD IDENTIFICATION
The Mother-Child Coordinator will arrange with Admissions and Discharge for a photo to be taken in accordance with the following timeframes/frequency for each child participating in the residential component of the program:
prior to or as soon as possible after participation commencing
every six months for children under two years of age
annually for children over two years of age.
The child's photo will be accessible to the duty Correctional Manager. The following information will be kept with the photo: height, weight, hair colour, eye colour and date of birth of the child, name and telephone number of the institution, as well as the alternate caregiver's name, relationship to the inmate and contact information. In addition, the name(s) of approved inmate babysitters should be included in the reference information.
RESIDENTIAL COMPONENT SUPERVISION — SECURITY PATROLS AND FORMAL COUNTS
Security patrols and formal counts of areas where a child is residing will occur in accordance with the applicable timeframes for security patrols of accommodation areas pursuant to CD 566-4 - Counts and Security Patrols.
Staff will always be cognizant of the activities of children in the institution, and will specifically confirm their well-being during formal counts in a manner consistent with how visitors are counted during private family visits, namely ensuring a visual of the child without obstruction.
The children's presence during formal counts will be recorded in the same manner as established by the institution to record visitors in private family visiting units.
MANAGEMENT OF INCIDENTS AND EMERGENCIES
Staff will take steps to intervene as quickly as possible, in accordance with the urgency of the situation, and recognizing that the safety of the child is paramount, when they perceive a situation that may present as a risk to the child.
The Institutional Head or Correctional Manager in charge of the institution may authorize staff to care for children in emergency situations, until the inmate babysitter or alternate caregiver in the community is available. At no time will a staff member take a child home with him/her.
In the event the inmate's condition renders her incapable of making a decision with respect to her child, the alternate caregiver named in the Mother-Child Program Contingency Plan (CSC/SCC 1159-04) will be contacted to assume responsibility for the child. If staff are unable to communicate with the alternate caregiver, the child welfare authorities will be contacted.
Only emergency health care will be provided to the child by institutional healthcare. The Mother-Child Coordinator will ensure that the mother submits the Mother-Child Program Health Care Checklist — Child (CSC/SCC 1159-03) and updates it annually.
The inmate is responsible for scheduling appointments and accompanying her child to the appointments. In the event the inmate is unable to accompany her child, the community caregiver, other community supports and/or volunteers can accompany the child. The mother can also be provided with the opportunity to discuss her child's health with external health care professionals via telephone.
In accordance with CD 800 - Health Services, all staff and contractors (including non-health) will respond to medical emergencies, including, if required, emergency first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation according to their certification. In the event that institutional Health Services staff have to provide health services to the child, this will be documented in the mother's health care file and these notations will be transferred to the child's health care provider as soon as is practical.
Consent for all health care interventions for the child is required in accordance with the applicable provincial legislation.
RESIDENTIAL COMPONENT - CHILD PERSONAL EFFECTS AND MONIES
The child's personal effects will be considered separate from the mother's and will not exceed the dollar value of $750 (not including furniture). Documentation related to the child's personal effects will be kept on the inmate's Mother-Child Program file.
The Institutional Head will authorize requests for disbursements directly from the mother's savings account above the annual $750 limit for expenditures directly related to the care of the child, pursuant to CD 860 - Offender's Money.
Gifts received for the child must be items specifically for the child (e.g. clothing, toys) and documented as part of the child's personal effects.
Canteen purchases for the child will be included in the mother's total canteen purchases and limits pursuant to CD 860 - Offender's Money.
RESIDENTIAL COMPONENT - SEARCHING OF CHILD AND PERSONAL PROPERTY
To participate in the residential component of the Mother-Child Program, the inmate must sign the Mother-Child Program Residential Agreement (CSC/SCC 1159), whereby she acknowledges that her child and her child's room and contents are subject to search.
If, at any time, the inmate refuses to permit a search, the inmate and child will remain under direct observation and the Correctional Manager will be immediately notified for direction.
In addition to the residential component of the Mother-Child Program, inmates may wish to develop or maintain a relationship with their child and may benefit from various non-residential components of the Mother-Child Program which assist to foster and support this bond. Institutions are encouraged to implement various non-residential means of establishing and/or maintaining the mother-child bond, including, but not limited to, use of escorted/unescorted temporary absences for family contact/parental responsibilities, private family visits, recording of stories, pumping and storing of breast milk.
In addition to the regular screening process and orientation, volunteers and individuals under contract to assist with facilitating any component of the Mother-Child Program must provide their consent to be screened against the relevant provincial child welfare registry to verify if information exists in that registry to indicate that they may pose a risk to a child.
Guidelines for Sharing Personal Health Information
Content Guidelines for Mental Health Assessment for Participation in the Residential Component of the Institutional Mother-Child Program
Age of majority: the age at which a person is considered to be an adult by the province or territory where the institution someone wishes to visit is located (see Annex C).
Alternate caregiver: an individual in the community identified by the inmate mother who agrees to make decisions related to the child and/or care for the child in the event of emergency, suspension of the program and/or termination of the program.
Apartment: each group of bedrooms and common area inside of the minimum security units located outside of the perimeter fence at women offender institutions.
Child: a child participating in the residential component of the Mother-Child Program on a full-time or part-time basis is considered a visitor pursuant to section 2 of the CCRA.
Child Link: a CSC video visitation program considered a non-residential component of the Mother-Child Program, which allows women inmates to communicate with children in the community using video conferencing technology (WebEx).
Child welfare agency: the provincial agency that has the authority for child welfare matters, in the province where the institution is located, in accordance with the applicable provincial legislation.
Child welfare registry: the database maintained by the provincial child welfare agency that contains information related to adults and children who have come in contact with the agency. Verification with the province where the institution is located should occur; however, if the registry is not interconnected to other provincial databases or if the agency is not willing to make this contact during information requests, the verification may need to occur with multiple provinces where the inmate has resided.
Engagement and Intervention Model : a risk-based, person-centred, graphic representation used to assist staff with activating engagement and intervention strategies (see Annex B of CD 567 - Management of Security Incidents).
Health care professional (including mental health professional): an individual registered or licensed for practice in Canada and preferably in the province or territory of practice (certain positions,however, require registration in the province or territory of practice). Individuals operate within their scope of practice and competence.
Inmate babysitter: an inmate who has applied, with the agreement of the inmate mother, and been approved by the Institutional Head to babysit a child participating in the residential component of the Mother-Child Program.
Mother: biological or adoptive mother, legal guardian or step-mother.
Mother-Child Coordinator: a staff member (normally a Social Program Officer) assigned responsibilities related to both residential and non-residential components of the Mother-Child Program, as outlined in this Commissioner's Directive.
Mother-Child Program: a continuum of services and supports which aims to foster positive relationships between women incarcerated in women offender institutions and units and their children and to provide a supportive environment that promotes stability and continuity for the mother-child relationship.
Mother-Child Program Contingency Plan: information given by the inmate mother and community member using the Mother-Child Program Contingency Plan (CSC/SCC 1159-04) to provide direction in case of an emergency where the child has to be removed from the institution.
Non-intrusive search: (a) a search of a non-intrusive nature of the clothed body by technical means, in the prescribed manner, and (b) a search of (i) personal possessions, including clothing, that the person may be carrying, and (ii) any coat or jacket that the person has been requested to remove, in accordance with any applicable regulations made under paragraph 96(l) of the CCRA.
Non-residential components of the Mother-Child Program: components of the program that provide different means to maintain the mother-child bond during incarceration without the child residing at the institution.
Residential component of the Mother-Child Program: component of the program that allows children to live with their mother during their incarceration on either a full-time or part-time basis (age restrictions apply). While unaccompanied visits with minor children are not normally permitted per CD 710-8 - Private Family Visits, such visits are permissible under the Mother-Child Program if the assessment process has been completed.
Review board: an already established board or a specialized board created at the institution and identified by the Institutional Head to review various components of the Mother-Child Program. This may be the Correctional Intervention Board, Offender Management Review Board, Visitor Review Board or any other review board within the institution or created at the site for this specific purpose. Recommendations and decisions related to the various components of the Mother-Child Program may be assigned to one or more review boards.
Structured Living Environment: a living unit within the perimeter of a women offender institution that provides intermediate mental health care for minimum and medium security inmates with mental health concerns.
ASSESSMENT FOR DECISION FOR THE RESIDENTIAL COMPONENT OF THE MOTHER-CHILD PROGRAM - REPORT OUTLINE
INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT/CASE STATUS
Provide a brief statement of the purpose of the report.
ELIGIBILITY OF THE INMATE AND INFORMATION RELATED TO PARTICIPATION
Verification that all forms have been completed and signed by the inmate
Verification of alternate caregiver identification outside the institution
Type of residential component applied for (part-time or full-time)
Location in the institution for participation in the program
Criminal history and index offence as they relate to eligibility
Verification that no information that would negatively impact participation exists within the applicable child welfare databases
Inmate's security classification level.
ELIGIBILITY OF THE CHILD
Inmate's relationship to the child
Age of the child
Verification of custody status.
Briefly analyze the inmate's risk factors, specific to the offence cycle and any risk to children or other information on file (e.g. incompatibles and affiliations)
Summary of any applicable actuarial assessments
Summary of the child welfare authorities' assessment or the assessment provided by a community health care professional and the results of the child welfare registry review
Summary of the inmate mental health assessment completed by a CSC mental health professional or contract Psychologist
Summary of the information contained in the Community Assessment (if applicable)
When applicable, wishes of the child
Value to the inmate of maintaining ties with the child and how it is suitable, stable and beneficial for both parties to participate in components of the Mother-Child Program
Consultation with Security Intelligence Officer, where applicable (e.g. incompatibles and affiliations) (if there are no concerns, a statement should be made to that effect)
Inmate's progress against the objectives of her Correctional Plan
Outstanding factors requiring intervention
Review of past parental responsibilities (with this child or others), including contact with the child while incarcerated and/or past involvement in the residential component of the Mother-Child Program, if applicable.
Provide an overall analysis of the above information as it relates to the participation in the Mother-Child Program and the recommendation made. In addition, the following should be included, if applicable:
ensure that the unique circumstances of the Aboriginal offender, as described in the definition of the Aboriginal social history, as well as culturally appropriate/restorative options are given due consideration in the decision-making process including comments from the Elder, when applicable
other recent professional opinions regarding release such as physical or mental health care, psychological information, police comments and/or previous CSC decisions (if applicable)
previous CSC and/or Parole Board of Canada decisions (nature and purpose, all relevant comments, specific reference to relevant issues noted in the decision, including demonstrating how concerns/issues previously raised have/have not been addressed).