Ontario wants every child and young person to be supported to succeed, and to thrive. The child welfare system is facing challenges - not all children, youth and families are getting the quality of support they deserve, and some children are struggling once they leave care.
Today the Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues, announced the launch of an engagement with youth, families, caregivers, frontline workers and child welfare sector leaders to strengthen the child welfare system for children and youth.
Challenges the system is facing include:
- Children and youth don’t always get the quality of care they deserve.
- A disproportionate number of Black and Indigenous children and youth are in the care of children’s aid societies.
- Children and prospective adoptive parents are not being matched together for adoption as often as could be possible.
- The supports and services children and families access when they need help are not consistent across the province.
- Despite a 23 per cent reduction of the average number of children in care over the past six years, the system is not operating as efficiently as it should.
The government encourages youth, families, caregivers and frontline workers to provide feedback on their experiences and ideas through an online survey, which will be available August 30. As well, the ministry will be engaging directly with Indigenous partners, service providers and stakeholders for their input. All participants will be asked for their insights about the gaps, barriers, and opportunities to support better outcomes for children, youth and families.
During the consultation process, the government will also be engaging with a third party to assess and provide independent advice on modernizing services to ensure they are better coordinated, focused on prevention and are high-quality, culturally appropriate, and truly responsive to the needs of children, youth and families.