Family Preservation

Granny's House:

Through many attempts to assimilate our communities we have moved away from taking responsibility to care for our children or have been so disenfranchised from the family and community, we have lost our children to the child welfare system. Parents, usually single mothers are isolated and lack family supports to meet their children's needs.

With an unacceptable number of children, particularly Indigenous children, in the care of Manitoba child and family service agencies, the need for alternative intervention models that focus on family preservation has become paramount in our urban community.

Project Model:

Located in the core area of Winnipeg, the project is based on a supported foster home model of care with a house mother or granny who, supported by Aunties (staff), provides out-of-home respite care on a 24/7 basis for children not in the care of CFS.

Due to the unplanned and sometimes emergent nature of the situations confronting our families, there are always two caregivers working in the home to accommodate crises that families may encounter.

Respite care at Granny's House is provided in a culturally safe, nurturing home environment. The children enjoy coming to Granny's as much as the parents enjoy having a break. While their children are at Granny's, parents are able attend appointments, participate in healing activities, further their education or simply take time to rest from the stresses of parenting.

Providing support from a strength-based perspective to enhance parental capacity, Granny's House works in collaboration with families and creates a safe, accepting environment for learning and change. Based on trust and respect, the project allows each family to determine the extent of engagement.

The project model incorporates Blue Thunderbird's purpose of empowering the urban, Indigenous community to reclaim and practice Indigenous quality of care for our children and families by supporting under-served families to develop positive relationships, strong community supports and healthy interdependence.

Project Goals:

1) To build a strong supportive community network for families; and,
2) To provide those families, whose greatest obstacle to success lies in a lack of safe and timely resources, with an opportunity to access such supports and thus;
3) Enable these families to achieve their goals and to move on to a life that is self-directed, positively connected, supported by healthy peers and resources and not restricted by dependence on government systems and interventions.


1) Support for under-served families results in less involvement with the CFS system;
2) Under-served families are connected to more resources in the community;
3) Families regain traditional ways of caring and, ultimately will be able to support each other in the community.

Second Granny's House offering short-term respite for at-risk families to open

CAROL SANDERS - C/O Winnipeg Free Press: 4/17/2021

A second Winnipeg home for at-risk parents to take their children when they need a short break will open this spring in the North End.

The first "Granny's House" opened more that a year ago as a pilot project in a modest two-storey home in North Point Douglas. The goal of the $400,000 initiative was to keep kids out of the child welfare system. It was so successful, Families Minister Rochelle Squires announced $810,000 to extend the pilot for another year and to open a second Granny's House.

"We're investing in preventions services for families to help reduce their risk of involvement with child and family services," Squires said Friday. She and Mental Health, Wellness and Recovery Minister Audrey Gordon held a joint news conference to talk about $1.2 million in program funding, including $810,000 for Granny's House.

"I think, often times, families don't get to ask for help until they're really, really in a bad situation," Hill said. "I think if they can call Granny's House and say, 'You know what? I really need a break, I really need to go to this appointment, I really need to spend one on one time with one of my children,'" CFS involvement can be avoided, she said.

Struggling parents have someone to call for help "without any judgment, without any penalty," Hill said.

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