Gitxsan Child and Family Services Society (GCFSS) strives to create strong, healthy, safe children and families within a supportive Gitxsan community. We provide protective and preventative services that balance the traditions and culture of our people with the modern context in which we live.
GCFSS serves the five communities of Kispiox, Glen Vowell, Gitsegukla, Gitsegukla, and Gitanyow as well as the many Gitxsan people living off reserve throughout BC and beyond.
GCFSS opened its doors in June 2000 after being founded in the previous year. During the first two years of operations, GCFSS operated as a bare bones organization with a skeleton staff. We grew steadily, operating under guidelines and protocols of the provincial Ministry of Children and Family Development, the agency responsible for child welfare at that time.
In 2005, we embarked on a new direction. We hired the first Gitxsan social worker and began to pursue and find Gitxsan foster homes, and we began to bring children back home to the community. These were the first steps in a significant shift toward regaining control over the welfare of Gitxsan children.
GCFSS encountered its biggest change in 2007. In that year, an agreement between GCFSS, the Ministry and the federal government transferred responsibility of guardianship services of Gitxsan children from the Ministry to GCFSS. This historic event marked the first time the provincial and federal governments had agreed in writing that a First Nation family services agency could operate in a traditional ‘way’.