Ontario encouraging participation in child welfare system engagement
MISSISSAUGA — Ontario wants every child and young person in care to receive the quality of support they deserve. The child welfare system is facing challenges: too many children are confronted with obstacles and barriers that prevent them from success and far too many young people are struggling once they leave care.
Today, Jill Dunlop, Associate Minister of Children and Women's Issues, was joined by Jeremy Roberts, Parliamentary Assistant (PA) to the Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, to express her satisfaction with the high participation in the government's engagement process with youth, families, caregivers and frontline workers to improve the child welfare system.
"We are thrilled with the feedback and participation we have seen over the first few weeks of this engagement. I encourage everyone who has not yet participated in our online survey to visit our ministry website to have their say by sharing ideas and advice," said Dunlop. "Ontario's most vulnerable children and youth deserve the best supports we can provide, and we look forward to continuing to receive input on how we can make a meaningful difference in their lives."
A focus of the engagement is improving Ontario's adoption system. To facilitate feedback on this area of the system, PA Roberts is hosting roundtables on adoption and he invited all MPPs to host adoption roundtables in their communities.
"Every child and youth deserves a loving family and a permanent home," said Roberts. "We want to hear from adoptive parents and prospective parents and leaders in the adoption sector about how we can support more children and youth finding their forever families."
The government will also 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.
"Our government is committed to making transformational changes to Ontario's child welfare and residential services systems. I am confident the feedback and advice we receive from our engagement activities will help us achieve our vision of better futures for our province's most vulnerable children. Together we can build a better world for these children and youth," said Minister Dunlop.
- There are more than 12,000 children and youth in care in Ontario.
- In 2018-19, there were 4,622 children and youth in the permanent care of children’s aid societies in Ontario who were eligible for adoption.
- Approximately 800 children and youth in Ontario were adopted last year.
- There are 50 children’s aid societies in Ontario, including 12 Indigenous and three faith-based societies. Two Indigenous agencies are currently in the process of seeking designation as children’s aid societies.