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- 2016 Message from the Board Chair and Executive Director
2016 Message from the Board Chair and Executive Director
Although children’s aid societies (CAS) are accustomed to change, in 2015/16 the pace of change was accelerated as we accepted new challenges when we were publically criticized in the media, the auditor general’s report, the Provincial House of Commons and through inquests. Independent CASs rose to the challenges and committed to work together through a Call to Action that sets out eight priorities: (i) address service delivery issues through consistent application of legislation, standards and inquest recommendations (ii) improve the competence and expertise of child welfare human resources, (iii) improve the structure of the system, (iv) improve governance practices, (v) continue with deployment and sustainment of the Child Protection Information Network (CPIN), (vi) enhance data collection and public reporting, (vii) move forward with truth and reconciliation for aboriginal people and (viii) provide culturally appropriate and responsive outcome-based service delivery.
Our newly-constituted Strategic Plan that directs our work until 2018 aligns with the majority of the Call to Action priorities. It includes a Strategy Map, a scorecard and an accompanying Service Plan. It has the following five overarching goals: (i) Improve Safety, Permanency and Well-being for Children, Youth and Families, (ii) Grow and Strengthen Strategic Partnerships, (iii) Engage and Support our Workforce, (iv) Align Internal Systems to Support Service Delivery and (v) Optimize Funding.
We proudly champion our community-based service delivery model where over 93% of our community protection staff work in schools, hubs, police services and counselling agencies. We have strong collaborative relationships with our community partners that allow us to intervene early to help children, youth and families and work together to provide services. We are part of the Our Kids Network and recognize the contribution they make to the well-being of families in Halton Region.
As we further develop permanency options such as guardianship, kinship, customary care and adoption, we have fewer children and youth remaining in care. We currently have our lowest number (135) of children and youth in care. The majority (53) who remain in permanent care are youth who are aging out and we are working hard to support them in achieving their educational goals transitioning into adulthood. The Children’s Aid Foundation of Halton provides additional financial resources to help them meet their dreams. Our YouthSAID Advisory Group guides our services to our resilient youth in care.
As we live in a high-growth population area, we continue to see an increase in demand for services. In the past five years, we have experienced a 17% growth in investigations. We continue to provide the majority (96%) of our service to children and youth in their own homes.
Our services go beyond child welfare as we reach out to over 200 homeless youth across the region providing them counselling and shelter.
During this new fiscal year, accelerated change will continue. No matter what change brings, we remain committed to positive outcomes for our children, youth and families. On behalf of the Board of Directors and the Leadership Team, we thank our staff, resource parents, volunteers, community partners, YouthSAID Advisory Group and the Children’s Aid Foundation of Halton.
You are all an awesome team!
Paul Bartu (Board Chair) Nancy MacGillivray (Executive Director)