Nova Scotia in Canada will now consider the immigration status of kids in provincial care. Social workers in the province must consider this when kids are taken into care. They can also file an application for Canadian Citizenship on behalf of these children.
Department of Community Services, Child protection and Children in care Director Kelly Besler said the changes were introduced in 2018 May. It is because earlier there was no policy for specifically dealing with immigration and citizenship issues, he added.
The 2 statuses will be differentiated – citizen and immigrant by the new law. It also includes what one needs to know for transitioning from one status to another, said Besler.
Kelly Besler said that Social Workers will now have to document and validate the nationality of a child. This is during the 3 month review period held by the department, she said. The department had committed to reviewing this area of immigration status and Citizenship, said Besler.
The new provision aligns well with changes made earlier said the Director. This is with regards to understanding the connection of the child to its community, traditions, heritage, and cultural background, she added.
Social Workers will also be able to consult external experts and federal officials. This is for seeking legal counsel on individual cases, said Besler. They will also be able to apply for Citizenship on behalf of the child. This is in cases where in the child is in the permanent or provisional care of the province and considered qualified for applying for citizenship, she added.
The department said in an email that many factors have to be considered. This includes but not limited to application status and ability and willingness of the parents to continue on their own with the application. Wishes of the parents and the child must also be considered. It also includes the connotations of attaining citizenship on behalf of the kid.
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