Ministry of Children's Services unveils ministry mandate

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Ministry of Children's Services unveils ministry mandate

TORONTO, Nov. 24 - The Ministry of Children's Services will assume responsibility for a variety of children's programs and services that currently exist in other Ontario government ministries, Dr. Marie Bountrogianni, Minister of Children's Services, announced today at a luncheon for children and families, and staff from the Ontario Association of Children's Rehabilitation Centres (OACRS). "As the new minister of Children's Services, it will be my job to speak up for all the children in Ontario," said Minister Bountrogianni. "At the heart of our ministry is our determination to put the best interests of children at the forefront of all of our government programs." This includes leading the implementation of the government's Best Start Plan for children, based on a vision of high quality early years education and support as an integrated extension of the public education system. The ministry will bring together many programs and services that currently exist under other ministries, by working collaboratively to transfer specific programs from other ministries to make sure that the welfare of children is front and centre: - From the Ministry of Community and Social Services, the children's ministry will assume responsibility for all children's programs, including early years, child care and services for children with special needs. In the new year: - From the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, programs and services affecting the early years in children's lives and special treatment programs; and, - From the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, youth justice services for young people ages 12 to 17 who are in conflict with the law. Services and programs will continue to be delivered through the existing delivery structures. The new ministry will also work very closely with education, arts and the recreation sectors. "We've all waited a very long time for this and could not be more delighted to have a voice at the Cabinet table for children, especially for children with multiple disabilities that are served by children's treatment centres," said Valerie Elliot Hyman, CEO of OACRS. "There has never been an Ontario ministry specifically responsible for the healthy growth and development of children. In fact, it's been 20 years since a completely new ministry has been created in this province. I believe this ministry is a great testament to Premier McGuinty's true passion for the health and well being of Ontario's children. I share the Premier's passion," Minister Bountrogianni said. Disponible en françaisFor further information: Peter Taylor, Minister's Office, (416) 325-1891