Child & Family Services of Central Manitoba (Agency) began its life as a child welfare agency under the name of The Children’s Aid Society of Central Manitoba in May, 1934. At that time a number of concerned citizens of Portage la Prairie were approached by the provincial government to form a private, non-profit company and take over all child welfare services previously managed by the government. Those early days saw an emphasis on adoption, child neglect and foster care.
The Agency is still a non-profit corporation and our head office continues to be based in Portage la Prairie. The Agency contracts with the Province of Manitoba through the General Authority to perform all services under the Manitoba Child and Family Services Act, the Manitoba Adoption Act, the Manitoba Authorities Act in the Central Region. We have kept pace with general trends in child welfare services. Staff provide the full range of child welfare services. While committed to the protection of children, staff use a family centered approach to empower and strengthen families.
In addition through funding raised privately by the Child and Family Services of Central Manitoba Foundation, the Agency is able to offer several programs to assist children in Central Manitoba to access recreational, social and educational programs. Financial support is offered to children whose families face financial barriers in accessing these opportunities.
The Central Region of the province of Manitoba is an area defined in government legislation and regulation. The geographical boundaries encompass a very large territory extending north to the Alonsa region, south to the border with the U.S.A., west to the municipalities of North Norfolk, Victoria and Lorne and east to the Red River and the western boundaries of Winnipeg. The Region is primarily agricultural in its economic base and subject to the vagaries of that economic climate. The region has a population of approximately 109,000 persons, approximately 29,000 of whom are children.
The southern communities of the Region are primarily Mennonite in composition. There are several francophone communities, about 30 Hutterite Colonies and a large off-reserve First Nation population, especially in the North. The Region has 8 School Divisions. The largest population centre is the City of Portage la Prairie with 13,000 residents. The Winkler/ Morden area is one of the fastest growing areas outside of the City of Winnipeg in terms of population growth. In recent years this area has seen a significant increase in population due to immigration
The agency is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors from various communities across Central Region. Up to 15 board members are elected at the Annual General Meeting from the membership of the Agency. Membership is open to all adult residents of our catchment area who share in the objectives of the organization. Employees, their spouses and adult children of staff are not eligible for Agency membership as per the Agency By-Law.
The staff of the Agency is made up of 56 staff positions who work out of offices in Portage la Prairie, and Winkler. The Agency is in partnership with several other community groups as part of the Family Resource Centre of Central Plains.