Key Priorities

The ministry responds to the changing needs of children and youth through the delivery of relevant programs focused on improving outcomes. Our strategies are evidence-based and focused on increasing the effectiveness and sustainability of services, while working collaboratively across government.

In 2015-16, the ministry's key priorities include:

Providing Access to Quality Supports and Services for Children With Special Needs and Their Families

  • Implementation of Moving on Mental Health to support Ontario families in knowing what mental health services are available in their communities and how to access them;
  • Delivery of a range of services and supports to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and their families; and
  • Supporting children and youth with special needs and their families through changes leading to seamless service delivery and improved service experiences for families.

Young People At Risk are Achieving Improved Outcomes

  • Funding, oversight, and performance monitoring of mandated services including child protection to help children and youth who have been, or are at risk of being, abused or neglected, grow up in safer, more stable environments;
  • Working with partners to deliver evidence-based community and custodial youth justice services and programs, from diversion to reintegration, and including special populations (Aboriginal, youth with mental health issues and gender);
  • Increasing investments under Ontario's Youth Action Plan to further the province's efforts to prevent youth violence;
  • Implementation of the expanded Ontario's Student Nutrition Program so that children in higher-needs communities do not attend school hungry; and
  • The implementation of an annual increase to the Ontario Child Benefit rate and the income threshold, which will enhance the incomes of low- to moderate-income families.

Children get a Healthy Start to Life

  • Supporting the delivery of programs and services that assist parents, infants and young children, and support healthy child development; and
  • Integration of early identification and intervention supports and services for parents, infants and young children so they can access them in a more coordinated, timely and efficient way through Early Years Community Support.

Communities Support Young People to Succeed

  • Implementation of the Ontario Youth Strategy as a common set of priorities for all youth, supported by an indicator framework that provides a picture of overall wellbeing of youth in Ontario; and
  • Developing an Aboriginal Children and Youth Strategy to transform the way service supports for First Nations, Métis, Inuit, and urban Aboriginal children and youth are designed and delivered.

Young People are Successfully Transitioning to Adulthood

  • Continued implementation of Youth Leaving Care supports; and
  • Transition planning for youth with special needs entering adulthood.