TORONTO, Nov. 4, 2013 /CNW/ - The Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies (OACAS) today released the 2013 Child Welfare Report, providing recommendations to the government to help improve and advance child welfare in Ontario. The priorities speak specifically to the recommendations arising from the report of the Commission for Sustainable Child Welfare, Realizing a Sustainable Child Welfare System in Ontario, and signal recommendations to help the sector move forward in the areas of sustainability and modernization - key focus areas of the Commission's work since its mandated work began, from November 2009 to September 2012.
In 2013 the child welfare sector continues to advance service improvement that is guided by the framework proposed by the Commission. The commitment of Children's Aid Societies (CASs) towards modernization and moving forward continues. However, even with the progress being made and with strong local partnerships, the service system cannot continue to move forward without a genuine vision and strong government leadership. The Child Welfare Report's recommendations come directly from in-depth discussion with the child welfare field, community partners, government officials, and families and youth working with Children's Aid. This year the recommendations focus on structural change, funding, service delivery, accountability, Aboriginal services and broader service integration.
Specifically CASs call on the government to:
- Invest in structural change including specialized services and shared services
- Provide continued support and resources to phase in new accountability mechanisms and strengthen governance, and have sector participation in the development of the mechanisms
- Commit to review the newly introduced funding model, accelerate implementation of the full model for those agencies identified as needing the resources and provide transitional support and time for those expecting funding reductions to implement new service models
- Contribute to, and recognize the new service delivery framework, including strengthening family based care, protection services at the right time, adoption and youth supports and where needed, modify policy and standards
- Resources for the implementation of the Child Protection Information Network
- Act immediately on longstanding recommendations to implement Aboriginal service models supported by a specific funding model and standards
- Support the devolution of services process from non- Aboriginal to Aboriginal service providers
- Engage all children's services stakeholders in an active dialogue about broader service integration, developing a vision and possible paths to provide the best services for children and families in their communities.
CASs have momentum and call for this critical commitment to move forward towards modernization and sustainability of the child welfare system.
To read the full report in English and French, click here.
About the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies: Since 1912, OACAS has represented Ontario's Children's Aid Societies in Ontario and provided service in the areas of government relations, communications, information management, education and training to advocate for the protection and well-being of children.
SOURCE: Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies
For further information:
Tanzeem Parkar, Communications Advisor
(416) 987-9854 or [email protected]