Statement from Minister of Children, Community and Social Services Todd Smith
Protecting Children, Youth and Families in the Brant Community
This week, the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services and I received notice that the Board of Directors for Brant Family and Children's Services would be resigning, effective today. In their letter of resignation, the Board stated they had concerns with the level of financial support provided by the ministry. I don't agree with their assessment.
Brant Family and Children's Services has been receiving support in making decisions to provide child welfare services within their approved funding allocation since 2015. This has included:
- requiring regular deficit reporting and planning,
- regular meetings and reviews of financials to urge planning and a change in course,
- training and support related to the funding approach and the role of the Board in decision-making.
I am disappointed by the Board's approach, as I believe there was more we could have done together to resolve this situation.
My top priority is to ensure the ministry is taking the necessary steps to avoid any disruption of our services for the children and youth who could have been impacted by the decision of the Board. That is why I have appointed Dr. Bernadette Gallagher to the role of Supervisor of the children's aid society. Dr. Gallagher brings extensive experience in the child welfare sector, including years of leadership as an Executive Director at the Children's Aid Society of Haldimand and Norfolk, as Director of Education for the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies and more than 15 years in the community at Brant Family and Children's Services. Dr. Gallagher's passion, dedication and wealth of knowledge will be of great service during this period of transition.
Thanks to the dedicated staff at Brant Family and Children's Services with the support of Dr. Gallagher, we are confident children, youth and families will continue to receive the support they need as usual.
We need to work together to build a system we can be proud of. Through continued collaboration with Children's Aid Societies and organizations such as the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies, I believe we can achieve these goals.