Today, the Honourable Jill Dunlop, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues, announced the government’s strategy to Redesign the Child Welfare System (CW Redesign) by focusing directly on the needs of children and youth and creating solid foundations to support strong families.
This is a result of over a year of Ministry engagement with youth, families/caregivers, Indigenous communities and representatives across various sectors including child welfare. The Halton Children’s Aid Society applauds the government’s thoughtful stakeholder engagement process.
The focus of the CW Redesign is to enhance community-based prevention services that are high quality, culturally appropriate and truly responsive to the needs of children, youth and families. More emphasis will be placed on the importance of all sectors that support families to work together to address the challenges that families face that can lead to child welfare involvement. Our Society looks forward to working with our community partners for the best outcomes for the children, youth and families in Halton Region. The Ministry’s Vision for the CW Redesign is ‘an Ontario where every child and youth has the supports they need to succeed and thrive’ and mirrors our Society’s Vision of ‘Children, Youth and Families Thrive.’
The CW Redesign focuses on five pillars (CLICK here for more detail on the five pillars).
- Strengthening family well-being through community-based prevention services that keep children safe in family-based settings.
- Improving the quality of residential care provided to children and youth.
- Promoting the development of stable and lifelong connections and supports for youth, with a focus on education and employment opportunities.
- Improving the adoption experience and focusing on family-based options over group care where appropriate.
- Creating a more efficient and effective child welfare system that is financially sustainable.
This policy agenda is also informed by Indigenous child welfare approaches and there is a significant investment in Customary Care as a preventative support.
As the Ministry has noted, this work will take time; however, we are committed to getting this right and keeping children, youth and families at the heart of everything we do.
Through our Society’s long-standing community-based model, we know strong community partnerships lead to early help, better focus and fewer re-openings. We are very proud of our strong record of community collaboration and are committed to building on these partnerships to continue to support the children, youth and families in Halton Region.