Ministry of Children and Youth Services
Ontario Strengthening Child Welfare, Improving Outcomes for Youth
Province Increasing Accountability and Child-Centred Care
Toronto, ON – Dec 8, 2016
Ontario is working to help children and youth across the province reach their full potential by introducing legislation to strengthen and modernize child and youth services.
Minister of Children and Youth Services Michael Coteau introduced the Child, Youth and Family Services Act this afternoon in the legislature. The bill, if passed, would put children at the centre of decision-making, support more accountable, responsive and accessible child and youth services and strengthen oversight for children’s aid societies and licensed residential services by:
•Raising the age of protection from 16 to 18 to increase protection services for more vulnerable youth in unsafe living conditions, to support their education and to reduce homelessness and human trafficking
•Strengthening the focus on early intervention, helping prevent children and families from reaching crisis situations at home
•Making services more culturally appropriate for all children in the child welfare system, including Indigenous and Black children and youth, to help ensure they receive the best possible support
•Improving oversight of service providers, including children’s aid societies, so that children and youth receive consistent, high-quality services across the province.
In addition to the legislation, Ontario plans to boost accountability across the child welfare system by requiring children’s aid societies to publicly post financial audits and expenses. The province will also explore the option of creating a single adoption agency for the entire province, helping more children find stable and supportive permanent homes.
New initiatives from the province will also support better outcomes for Black children and youth, including the mandatory collection of identity-based data, including race-based data, to support better service planning and delivery, as well as the implementation of the One Vision One Voice plan in children’s aid societies.
Supporting children and youth and helping them reach their full potential is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.