Meeting of Provincial-Territorial Ministers Responsible for Social Services

CALGARY, Sept. 11, 2014 /CNW/ - Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Social Services met today to explore opportunities to improve outcomes for vulnerable Canadians, including Aboriginal children in care and persons with disabilities.

Aboriginal Children in Care

Building upon the recent meeting of Canada's Premiers, Ministers discussed the disproportionately large number of Aboriginal children in care across the country. Ministers acknowledged the importance of learning from each other.  They emphasized the importance of working collaboratively with their respective Aboriginal communities and exploring ways to improve supports to families and the child welfare workforce to reduce the number of Aboriginal children in care. Ministers Responsible for Social Services are deeply committed to having a federal partner in addressing the root causes, considering its responsibilities.

"This is an issue that the entire forum cares deeply about.  Ministers Responsible for Social Services are committed to finding ways to mitigate child protection concerns, reduce the number of Aboriginal children in care and improve outcomes." said forum chair, the Honourable Manmeet S. Bhullar, Alberta's Minister of Human Services.

Ministers also recognized the need to respect the differences among provinces and territories, and the many cultures and specific needs of Aboriginal populations. They agreed to work collaboratively to ensure these differences are taken into consideration.

Persons with Disabilities

Social Services Ministers discussed how they could work together to continue to remove barriers for persons with disabilities and their families.    

They recognized the need to focus their collective efforts on promoting practices that support expanded employment opportunities and greater social and economic inclusion. Ministers also talked about the unique needs of persons with disabilities who are unable to work or participate in training. 

They noted the importance of engaging traditional and new partners to find solutions and create new opportunities for persons with disabilities.

Ministers expressed interest in discussions with the federal government as a partner in expanding employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.

Going Forward

Ministers are looking forward to meeting again and are committed to inviting their federal colleagues to engage with them in meaningful dialogue on issues of common concern. 

SOURCE: Alberta Public Affairs Bureau

For further information: Media inquiries: Zoë Cooper, Communications, Alberta Human Services, 780-996-7434, zoe.cooper@gov.ab.ca

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http://www.pab.gov.ab.ca

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