Supporting Inuit children

ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ

The Inuit Child First Initiative ensures Inuit children have access to the essential government funded health, social and educational products, services and supports they need, when they need them.

COVID-19

During the coronavirus outbreak, the Child First Initiative service will continue.

Each province and territory has a regional focal point to support applicants in accessing the Inuit Child First Initiative. Please submit your request for Inuit children to Indigenous Services Canada though the regional focal point for your province or territory. Your regional focal point for the Inuit Child First Initiative also supports Jordan's Principle, which follows a similar set of process steps. The process outlined below for the Inuit Child First Initiative is tailored specifically to Inuit children, and your regional focal point can provide further information and help you submit a request.

The Government of Canada is working with Inuit partners, provinces and territories to develop a long-term Inuit-specific approach to help better address the unique health, social and education needs of Inuit children.

To submit a request

Step 1. What is covered

Each child's situation is unique. Please contact your regional focal point to discuss what coverage is available based on the child's needs.

Some examples of what could be funded include:

Health

  • wheelchair ramps
  • addiction services
  • cultural services from Elders
  • mental health counseling
  • assessments and screenings
  • medical supplies and equipment
  • therapeutic services (speech therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy)

Social

  • land-based activities
  • specialized summer camps
  • respite care programs based on cultural beliefs and practices

Educational

  • tutoring services
  • educational assistants
  • specialized school transportation
  • psycho-educational assessments
  • assistive technologies and electronics

Step 2. Who is eligible

All Inuit children, no matter where they live in Canada, can request funding through the Inuit Child First Initiative. They must be:

and

Step 3. Who to contact

Contact your regional focal point or call the national call centre at 1-855-572-4453, which is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

Step 4. Who can send requests

Requests can be submitted by:

A request for a group of children with similar needs from multiple families or guardians can be submitted by a community or a service provider. Examples of the types of services a group can request are:

Step 5. How to send a request

To start your request, contact your regional focal point or call the national call centre at 1-855-572-4453, which is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. We are here to help.

Having certain information ready when you contact us can help if you are seeking access to funding for a product, service or support.

This includes:

Step 6. Processing requests

Your regional focal point will review the completed request. A decision will be sent to you in writing after the request is processed. If your request is denied, you may initiate an appeal anytime within one year from the date the request was denied.

Funding is provided for approved requests in one of two ways:

  1. We provide funding for the products, services or supports for the child or children.
  2. If the family, guardian, child or authorized representative has already paid for the approved product, service or support, then reimbursement of these expenses will be provided.

Step 7. Reimbursements and retroactive requests

Each child's situation is unique. For this reason it is important to confirm coverage with your regional focal point.

Requesting a reimbursement

Reimbursement may be provided if the approved product, service or support has already been paid for by the family or provided by a service provider or vendor after June 19, 2018.

A reimbursement form is needed:

  • to request reimbursement for costs already paid
  • for service providers and vendors to request direct payment for services rendered

Follow these three steps to request a reimbursement:

  1. Contact the regional focal point or call 1-855-572-4453 so we can help you start the process and confirm that the product, service or support will be funded.
  2. Complete a reimbursement form (we can send you the form and help you fill it in).
  3. Send the completed reimbursement form to your regional focal point, including all relevant supporting documents.

Receiving the payments

Requests for a child or children in the same family or with the same guardian:

  • the parent or guardian normally gets the payment if the child is under the age of majority in their province/territory of residence
  • children over age 16 may get the payment if they submitted the request
  • a vendor or service provider may be paid directly

Request for a group of children from multiple families or guardians:

  • payment will be made to the community or group that made the request
  • vendors or service providers may be paid directly

Step 8. How to appeal decisions

If a request is denied, you may initiate an appeal anytime within one year of the date of denial. To do so, please send in a written request to your regional focal point, they will work with you throughout the process.

All requests for appeals must contain, at minimum:

Although it is not required to initiate an appeal, you may also include additional information, such as professional assessments, or information that summarizes the child's history and unique needs.

The appeal process can take up to 30 business days.

Sending a request for appeal

An individual can appeal a decision if they are:

  • a parent or guardian of an Inuit child
  • an Inuk child above 16 years of age
  • an authorized representative of the child, parent or guardian

Requests for appeals for a group of children from multiple families or guardians can be submitted by:

  • the community or group that submitted the request

For more information

Please contact your regional focal point or call 1-855-572-4453 if you have any questions.

You can also contact us by teletypewriter: 1-866-553-0554.

Download Inuit Child First Initiative posters

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