Protecting the Safety and Security of All Children and Youth in Ontario
One year after receiving the jury's recommendations from the coroner's inquest, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) has implemented or is in the process of implementing 21 recommendations and is actively reviewing 21 more. Many of the recommendations were consistent with actions that the ministry is currently undertaking to make children and youth safer as well as increase accountability and transparency in the child protection system.
Jury Recommendations that are consistent with current ministry initiatives include:
- Implementing the Child Protection Information Network (CPIN), a single data management system that will be used by all 46 Children's Aid Societies (CASs) across the province.
- Increasing accountability throughout the child protection system with Accountability Agreements between all CASs and the ministry.
- Reviewing and revising the province's child protection standards.
- Reviewing the Child and Family Services Act with broad-based public consultations.
- Continuing with our government's transformation of the child protection system.
Since 2002, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services has taken action to make Ontario's child protection system safer:
- Regulatory changes were made to require child welfare and criminal record checks for extended family and others who offer to provide care for children in need of protection.
- The government increased funding to community-based services and mental health services for children and youth.
- In 2007, the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth (PACY) was established as an independent advocate for the children and youth who seek or receive services under the Child and Family Services Act.
- Last fall, the Legislature passed the Public Sector and MPP Accountability and Transparency Act, which will give PACY the authority to conduct investigations into the services provided by CASs and certain residential licensees providing services to children and youth placed with them by CASs.
Keeping kids safe now and in the future
In response to the Jury Recommendations and as a part of its transformation of the child protection system, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services will:
- Implement revised child protection standards in 2015-16.
- Publicly post performance indicators collected from Children's Aid Societies.
- Inform and educate everyone about their duty to report suspected abuse and neglect to their local Children's Aid Society.