Appendix: Ontario Child Benefit and Ontario Child Benefit Equivalent

The Ontario Child Benefit (OCB) is an income-tested, non-taxable benefit that helps low-to moderate-income families provide for their children. In 2014-15, the OCB provided support to more than one million children in over 500,000 low-to moderate-income families. Families received up to a maximum of $1,210 per child under the age of 18. In 2015-16, about one million children, in over 500,000 low- to moderate-income families will receive up to a maximum of $1,310 per child per year, an increase of $100 from 2014-15. The maximum will increase to $1,336 per child per year in July 2015, when the OCB is indexed to the Ontario Consumer Price Index. To be eligible for the benefit, parents need to file their annual income taxes and register their child for the Canada Child Tax Benefit.

The ministry also provided funding equivalent to the maximum OCB to children and youth in the care of Children's Aid Societies and in Formal Customary Care. This funding helps provide supports such as tutoring, skills building, and recreational programs to all children and youth in care. Older youth also participate in a savings program to help them prepare for independence and the transition to adulthood. These youth gain access to their savings when they leave care.

Appendix: Youth Justice Services

The ministry has successfully repositioned youth justice programs and services to create a system that reduces re-offending, contributes to community safety, and prevents youth crime through rehabilitative programming, while holding youth accountable and creating opportunities for youth at risk.

The ministry continued to provide evidence-informed community and custodial programs, ranging from diversion to reintegration of youth after detention or custody. During the year, fewer youth came into custody, with the majority of youth receiving service/supervision in the community, including diversion, rehabilitation, probation, and supports for youth with mental health needs.

Youth who are placed in custody and detention facilities are given the opportunity to participate in education and rehabilitative programs that help them develop the skills they need to achieve success in the community. Programs include skills development, substance abuse counselling, and anger management. Probation officers continued to provide case management support to youth who have been sentenced by the courts and worked with youth in detention to enhance the transition to community supports and services.

The ministry continued to strengthen the youth justice service system. Priorities include continuous improvement through evidence-informed programs and services, responding to special populations (Aboriginal, mental health, gender), using a strengths-based approach to probation case management, improving educational outcomes for youth in the youth justice system, optimizing the use of youth justice facilities, collaboration for broader system approach to prevention/diversion and improved coordination/collaboration across service sectors.

Appendix: Residential Services

Children and youth may come into residential care through a court order under the Child and Family Services Act (CFSA), a temporary care agreement, or as a result of being in conflict with the law. Other children may require residential care due to developmental and physical challenges, medically-fragile conditions, behavioural difficulties, psychiatric disorders, or substance abuse.

Residential care is provided through group or foster care settings or youth justice custody/detention facilities. As of March 11, 2015, the ministry funded more than 3,300 beds in 434 group homes, approximately 12,000 beds in over 7,500 foster homes, and capacity for approximately 940 beds in youth justice dedicated residential settings.