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Jordan's Principle Frequently Asked Questions

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​1. What is Jordan’s Principle? 
Additional information​​


​ ​​1. What is Jordan’s Principle?​

Jordan's Principle is named in memory of Jordan River Anderson, a young boy from Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba. Jordan was born in 1999 with multiple disabilities and stayed in the hospital from birth. When he was 2 years old, doctors said he could move to a special home for his medical needs. However, the federal and provincial governments could not agree on who should pay for his home-based care. Jordan stayed in the hospital until he passed away at the age of 5.

In 2007, the House of Commons passed Jordan's Principle in memory of Jordan. It was a commitment that First Nations children would get the products, services and supports they need, when they need them. It can help with a wide range of health, social and educational needs. 

Jordan's Principle: 

• Funds health, social and education products, supports and services for First Nations children across Canada, including British Columbia.

• Applies to all public services, including services that are beyond the normative standard of care to ensure substantive equality, culturally appropriate services and to safeguard the best interests of the child.

• Provides payment for needed services by the government or department that first receives the request.

The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) supports service navigation of Jordan's Princ iple in British Columbia. Requests under Jordan's Principle are made to the Indigenous Services Canada British Columbia Regional Focal Point. 

To implement Jordan's Principle, the Government of Canada is working to:

1. Resolve situations where governments and departments cannot agree about who should pay for services and supports to meet the needs of a First Nations child

2. Cover the costs of all public services and ensure substantive equality, culturally appropriate services, and to safeguard the best interests of the child.

3. Facilitate access to all services and supports for all First Nations children without delay or disruption

Read the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings: 2016 CHRT2017 CHRT 142018 CHRT 4 and 2019 CHRT 7 .
 
Read a Summary of Orders from the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada here.



2. Who is eligible?

Jordan's Principle is available to all First Nations children in Canada.

The current eligibility criteria under Jordan's Principle include:

 First Nations children registered under the Indian Act, living on or off reserve;

 First Nation children entitled to be registered under the Indian Act;

 First Nation children without Indian Act status or not eligible for Indian Act status who live off-reserve but are recognized as members by their Nation, who have urgent and/or life-threatening needs;1

​ Any Indigenous child who is ordinarily resident on reserve.

In British Columbia, all First Nations children 0-18 years with an identified need for a health or social service, product or support are eligible, including services beyond the normative standard of care, regardless of their health or social status, or place of residency (on- or off-reserve).  

1. February 21, 2019 CHRT Interim Relief Order (2019 CHRT 7). Following the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal Interim Motion Ruling in February 2019, First Nations children without Indian Act status, or not eligible for Indian Act status, who are living off reserve but are recognized as members by their Nation, and who have urgent or life-threatening needs, will be provided with the services required to meet those urgent needs or life threatening needs, pursuant to Jordan's Principle.

 ​

3. What products, ​services and supports are included​​?

Jordan's Principle responds to unmet needs of First Nations children no matter where they live in Canada.

Under Jordan's Principle, the federal government can:

 ​inform families about the help available for their child and how to access it

 coordinate access to products, services and supports

​ provide funding not available through FNHA to make sure products, services and supports are accessed without delay


Each child's situation is unique. Please confirm coverage in advance with your regional representative for Jordan's Principle.

Some examples of what has been funded under Jordan's Principle include:

Health

 mobility aids

 wheelchair ramps

 addiction services

 services from Elders

 mental health services

 specialized hearing aids

 traditional healing services

services for children in care

 assessments and screenings

 transportation to appointments

 medical supplies and equipment

 long-term care for children with specialized needs

​ therapeutic services for individuals or groups (speech therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy)

Social

 social worker

 land-based activities

 personal support worker

 specialized summer camps

 respite care (individual or group)

​ ​specialized programs based on cultural beliefs and practices

Education

 school supplies

 tutoring services

 teaching assistants

 specialized school transportation

 psycho-educational assessments

​ assistive technologies and electronics


 

4. Who can make a request under Jordan's Principle?

A request for a child or children in the same family or with the same guardian can be submitted by:

 ​a parent/guardian of a First Nations child;

 a First Nations child, or Indigenous child ordinarily resides on reserve, at the Age of Consent (Note: a child at the age of consent can make decisions on their own about the care they need. Age of consent in BC is 16); or

 an authorized representative of the child, parent or guardian.

​o ​​​​written or verbal consent must be provided by the parent or guardian

Note: An authorized representative is a person (individual or organization) that the requester has given written permission (authorized) to act on their behalf (represent) with respect to the Jordan's Principle request.

A request for a group of children from multiple families or guardians can be submitted by:

  • a parent/guardian of First Nations children or Indigenous children ordinarily resident on reserve; or
  • a community; or
  • a community organization; or
  • a Service Navigator.
  

5. Who do children or families contact to get access to services and support? 

Jordan's Principle requests can be submitted to a ISC BC Regional Focal Point:

Ashley Dunsmore: 778-951-0716 | sac.principedejordancb-bcjordansprinciple.isc@canada.ca
Caleb Lam: 778-951-0716 | sac.principedejordancb-bcjordansprinciple.isc@canada.ca
Alison Atherton: 778-951-0716 | sac.principedejordancb-bcjordansprinciple.isc@canada.ca
Vincent Dong: 778-951-0716 | sac.principedejordancb-bcjordansprinciple.isc@canada.ca
Karen Lee: 778-951-0716 | sac.principedejordancb-bcjordansprinciple.isc@canada.ca

For all payment inquiries: sac.paiementsprincipedejordancb-bcjordansprinciplepayments.isc@canada.ca

For First Nations Health Authority Child and Youth Systems Navigators:
1-866-913-0033 | jordans.principle@fnha.ca

Those requesting or receiving products, supports or services under Jordan's Principle in BC can call the federal government at any time. 

To report a Jordan's Principle case directly to the federal government call centre, please call the 24-hour line or visit www.canada.ca/jordans-principle.

     • English:  1-855-JP CHILD (1-855-572-4453)

     • French: 1-833-PJ ENFAN (1-833-753-6326)

     • TTY: 1-866-553-0554

Please note: Individual requests will receive an evaluation and determination within 48 hours and group requests within 7 days, upon receipt of all necessary documentation.

Urgent requests will be assessed within 12 hours for individuals and 48 hours for groups.  


6. Is there a difference in services and supports if a First Nations child lives on or off a reserve?

Under Jordan's Principle, a First Nations child is eligible for the same services if they live on or off reserve. 

Jordan's Principle is a legal principle and available to all First Nations children, regardless of residence and status. This approach recognizes that the process of colonization over the past 150 years resulted in many small reserves, scattered across the province, with small populations, limited administration capabilities, a small land base, and other unique barriers which force First Nations people have to leave their communities to access to access public services.

​​
7. What is different in British Columbia?

Through high-level agreements and many years of working closely with federal and provincial governments, the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) has built a strong foundation to address systemic barriers and health inequities for BC First Nations. The FNHA has also built a province-wide infrastructure that facilitates good working relationships with First Nations communities and their health service organizations across the Province.

Some jurisdictional barriers that persist elsewhere across Canada are being addressed in BC. In 2006, the Province of BC confirmed that it has responsibility for providing health services to all residents of BC, including First Nations. Additionally, committees, such as the Committee on First Nations Health and the Implementation Committee, work in direct partnership with FNHA to advance progress on issues like Jordan's Principle here in BC.

While health services for First Nations are provided under the FNHA, Jordan's Principle is funded through Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) and administered through the ISC BC regional Focal Point. This arrangement allows for a holistic approach to funding health, social and education supports and services, complimenting the delivery of care by FNHA


8. Who are Systems Navigators and how can they help children and families get access to services and support?

Local Systems Navigators are being staffed in BC to provide children and families with a knowledgeable local resource to help them navigate the full range of existing federal, provincial and First Nations health and social programs and services to address their needs. 
 
System navigation does not limit the time frames associated with Jordan's Principle case response. Key elements of the FNHA's approach to system navigation will include:
 
• FNHA will serve all First Nations, regardless of residence 

• System Navigators will assess needs; facilitate early intervention; develop integrated care plans; connect the child and family to needed services; remove the stress of navigating service systems; support families as they manage their needs; and involve relevant partners in each case, as necessary, to expediently address immediate service gaps

• FNHA will coordinate with other programs like child family services, education, early childhood to ensure proper implementation of Jordan's Principle. 
 
In BC, the Systems Navigation function will be delivered by the FNHA. The positions will be funded by Indigenous Services Canada through Contribution Agreements. The new positions will not duplicate existing navigation or liaison functions within Provincial or First Nations health service organizations; but will provide additional complementary hands-on assistance to First Nations children and families in BC.

9. How quickly are requests processed under Jordan's Principle?​

All Jordan's Principle requests are to be evaluated and determined within the following timeframes:

 12 hours for:
​o​ urgent individual requests (child requires urgent assistance, is in palliative care, or risk of irremediable harm is reasonably foreseeable)
 

​ 48 hours for:

​o​ non-urgent individual requests

​o​ urgent Community/Group requests (children require urgent assistance, or risk of irremediable harm is reasonably foreseeable)

•​ ​7 calendar days for:

​o​ non-urgent Community/Group requests


Immediate referral to emergency authorities for:

​o​ cases where the denial/delay of a service could reasonably result in significant and/or irremediable harm to the child(ren) who is (are) the subject of the request. Along with referral to emergency services, the ISC BC Focal Point will make all reasonable efforts to provide immediate crisis intervention supports until an extended response can be developed and implemented. This may include providing funding for the requested intervention and/or providing service navigation support. This applies to individual and group service requests.

 
CHRT requires Canada to provide services immediately where irremediable harm is reasonably foreseeable. 
 
For more information about Jordan's Principle and how to access services and supports cont act us:
 
Jordan's Principle Service Navigator
1.866.913.0033
Jordans.Principle@fnha.ca
 
Those requesting or accessing products, supports or services under Jordan's Principle in BC can call the federal government at any time.

For all requests:
Ashley Dunsmore: 778-951-0716 | sac.principedejordancb-bcjordansprinciple.isc@canada.ca

For First Nations Health Authority Child and Youth Systems Navigators:
1-866-913-0033 | jordans.principle@fnha.ca
 
To report a Jordan's Principle case directly to the federal government call centre, please call the 24-hour line or visit www.canada.ca/jordans-principle.
 
• English: 1-855-JP CHILD (1-855-572-4453)
 
• French: 1-833-PJ ENFAN (1-833-753-6326)
 
• TTY: 1-866-553-0554


10. What is different about the new approach to Jordan's Principle?

In 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) determined that the federal government's approach to services for First Nations children was discriminatory. One way of addressing this is through a renewed approach to Jordan's Principle.

Since the ruling, the CHRT has issued a number of follow-up orders about Jordan's Principle. In May 2017, the CHRT ordered "substantive equality" under Jordan's Principle for First Nations children. This means giving extra help when it is needed so First Nations children have an equal chance to thrive.

Jordan's Principle addresses the needs of First Nations children by ensuring that there are no gaps in government services to them:

• address gaps in health, social and education supports and services such as mental health counseling, traditional healing, special education, speech therapy, physiotherapy, medical equipment and assistive devices.

• provide services to First Nations children even when the service is not available to other children if it is needed to ensure substantive equality, ensure culturally appropriate services or safeguard the best interests of the child.

o Substantive equality recognizes that First Nations children may need additional supports to achieve the same outcomes as other children because they or their family have experienced disadvantages other children do not experience. 

o Substantive equality seeks to acknowledge and overcome the barriers that have led to inequality in the first place.


​11. Why doesn't Jordan's Principle have it's own fund to cover services and supports?

Jordan’s Principle is about meeting the needs of all First Nations children immediately and over the long term. We are working closely with our First Nations partners to build a structure of well-coordinated care for the years to come. Currently, Indigenous Services Canada is supporting the FNHA’s Child and Youth Health and Wellness Systems Navigation in BC​, and direct funding for health, social and education, products, supports and services. Working with First Nations partners and the FNHA, a long term strategy will be determined.​

12​. What if a First Nations child doesn't have their status registration yet?

Jordan's Principle is available to all First Nation children entitled to be registered under the Indian Act, and non-status Indigneous children ordinarly resident on reserve.

Following the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal Interim Motion Ruling in February 2019, First Nations children without Indian Act status, or not eligible for Indian Act status, who are living off reserve but are recognized as members by their Nation, and who have urgent or life-threatening needs, will be provided with the services required to meet those urgent needs or life threatening needs, pursuant to Jordan's Principle.​

13​. Can families appeal decisions under Jordan's Principle?

Yes, appeals for Jordan's Principle follow the same national process. The recipient (or parent/guardian) is asked to forward a letter of appeal and supporting documentation. For these steps, please click here. https://www.canada.ca/en/indigenous-services-canada/services/jordans-principle/submit-request-under-jordans-principle-step-8.html ​


Additional information

For more information about Jordan's Principle and how to access services and supports contact us:

Jordan's Principle Service Navigation

1.866.913.0033

Jordans.Principle@fnha.ca

Those requesting or accessing products, supports and services under Jordan's Principle in BC you can call the federal government at any time.

To make a request to Jordan's Principle, please call the 24-hour line or visit www.canada.ca/jordans-principle.

 ​

• English:  1-855-JP CHILD (1-855-572-4453)

• French: 1-833-PJ ENFAN (1-833-753-6326)

• TTY: 1-866-553-0554

 

Please note: Individual requests will receive an evaluation and determination within 48 hours and group requests within 7 days, upon receipt of all necessary documentation.

Urgent requests will be assessed within 12 hours for individuals and 48 hours for groups.

 

Find all the Jordan's Principle in BC downloadable resources here.

For information on Jordan's Principle outside of BC please visit the Government of Canada's Website here.

 

 

 Popular related resources

 Contact

​​​​​​​​To report a case of Jordan's Principle in BC or for more information, please contact:

Jordan's Principle​

Or call the 24-hour line at 1-855-JP-CHILD​ or visit www.ca​nada.ca/jordans-principle.​

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