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Results-based Plan Briefing Book 2007-08

Ministry of Children and Youth Services

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Ministry of Children and Youth Services
The Estimates, 2007-08

Table of Contents

PART I: RESULTS-BASED PLAN 2007-08

Ministry Overview

APPENDIX I: ANNUAL REPORT 2006-07 AND ANNUAL REPORT 2005-06

Part I: Results-based Plan 2007-08

MINISTRY OVERVIEW

Ministry Vision and Mission

The Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) envisions an Ontario where children and youth have the best opportunity to succeed and reach their full potential. The ministry is working in partnership with other ministries, community partners, municipalities and stakeholders to develop and implement policies, programs, services and supports that help give children the best possible start in life, prepare youth to become productive adults, and make it easier for families to access the services they need at all stages of a child's development.

Ministry Mandate

The mandate of the ministry is to:

Key Priorities/Results and Strategies

Building an Ontario where children and youth have the best opportunity to succeed and reach their full potential, supports the government’s priorities of success for students, better health, stronger, safer communities and strong people, strong economy.

Over the last three years, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services has been working in partnership with many stakeholders, including other ministries, agencies, and municipalities to transform the way in which programs, services and supports are delivered to children and youth across the province. Through Best Start, Youth Opportunities Strategy, ongoing transformation of the child well-being and protection system and the youth justice system, and enhanced supports for children and youth with special needs and their families, many key results have been achieved and progress made towards building a system that:

In 2007-08, the ministry will continue to make key investments to build on a system that helps give Ontario children and youth the best opportunity to succeed and reach their full potential. Its key priorities include:

Ministry Contribution to Key Priorities & Results
Priorities Better Health Success for Students Strong People, Strong Economy Stronger, Safer Communities
Key Results Children with hearing, low vision and other risk factors identified earlier More children arriving in Grade 1 ready to learn; more disadvantaged youth are successful in school More citizens have the skills to succeed and compete in the global economy Fewer youth entering the justice system and fewer youth re-offending
Strategies Infant screening, hearing, blind/low vision, pre-school speech/language programs; supports for at-risk families; increased access to services for children and youth with special needs; 18-month well baby visit; breakfast/ lunch programs in schools. Programs for at-risk youth; enhanced early learning and child care program; professional standards for early childhood educators. Increased support for families with children with special needs, including autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and mental health issues; providing more stability for children in need of protection; skills training and employment, mentorship and outreach for marginalized youth. Developing a continuum of community and custody based programs that promote rehabilitation and reserve custody for the most serious offences; providing opportunities for youth in under served communities to build capacity and success.
Major Activities

Best Start

Support and services for children and youth with special needs

Student Nutrition Program

18-Month Well Baby Visit

Best Start

Ontario Child Benefit

Youth Opportunities Strategy

Support and services for children and youth with special needs

Student Nutrition Program

Child well-being and protection services

Ontario Child Benefit

Youth Opportunities Strategy

Support for children and youth with special needs

Child well-being and protection services

Youth Justice Services

Youth Opportunities Strategy

Child well-being and protection services

Ministry Programs and Services

The following programs and services are delivered through the Ministry of Children and Youth Services:

Early Learning and Child Development

Children and Youth at Risk

Specialized Services

Ontario Child Benefit

Key Activities

In 2007-08, the ministry will continue to work with other ministries and community partners to transform and improve the many sectors that help children, youth and their families, including: child care and early childhood development; child well-being and protection; children with special needs, including autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and mental health issues; Aboriginal children and youth; and youth in, or at risk of, coming into conflict with the law. The goal of the ministry’s investments is to build a system that helps give children the best possible start in life, prepares youth to become productive adults and makes it easier for families to access the services most appropriate to their child’s needs at all stages of their development.

Early Learning and Child Development

The ministry is committed to the goal of Best Start, which is helping more children arrive in Grade 1 ready to learn. The government’s plan supports children, prenatal through to age six, and their families. Best Start provides vital services that support children’s early development, including infant screening and hearing, pre-school speech and language, blind/low vision programs and other supports. As well, it involves an expansion of the province’s regulated system of early learning and quality, affordable child care to help parents balance the demands of work and family.

The ministry is committed to sustaining a child care system, including continuing to fund municipalities for almost 15,000 new licensed child care spaces already announced. The government is going further by enhancing current early learning and child care programs by $25 million in 2007-08, increasing to $50 million annually starting in 2008-09. This is in addition to the $63.5 million in annual funding announced in the 2006 Ontario Budget.

To support the Best Start vision, the ministry is investing an additional $9.6 million beginning in 2006-07 in early learning and child development programs to help more children be as ready to learn as possible when they reach Grade 1. The ministry also met its commitment to introduce a new eligibility model for child care fee subsidies, based on a family’s net income, which simplifies and standardizes eligibility for fee subsidies across the province. The new income test came into effect on January 1, 2007. This will result in more families across a broader range of income levels being eligible to access a fee subsidy, making it easier to balance work and family.

The ministry is expanding the Healthy Babies Healthy Children program with an ongoing investment of over $5 million to support the needs of at-risk families with children. Building on Best Start, the program addresses the health needs of these families through early intervention and follow-up to help their children arrive at school with the skills and abilities to succeed.

In 2007-08, the ministry will continue to work with municipalities, and other community partners to implement the various components of Best Start, including learning and sharing best practices from the three demonstration communities – District of Timiskaming, rural areas of Lambton and Chatham-Kent and Hamilton’s east end. The three demonstration communities are implementing the full Best Start vision at a faster pace, including an enhanced 18 month well baby visit to help identify babies at risk as soon as possible. Approximately 24 community hubs established across these 3 communities with a view to being operational by the end of the 2006-07 school year. The community hubs are places where families can access a continuum of services related to early learning, child care and healthy child development in a convenient neighbourhood location.

A community-based approach has been fostered through the establishment of 47 Best Start networks, including four Regional French-language networks, which are responsible for planning and implementing Best Start at the local level. In 2007-08 the ministry is enhancing its capacity to meet the needs of Ontario’s Francophone children and families through an expansion of the number of Regional French Language Networks from four to nine as well as increasing the number of designated French program supervisors in each regional office.

Legislation has been introduced that would, if passed, establish a College for Early Childhood Educators. The college would establish professional standards of practice, qualifications and ongoing professional development for early childhood educators.

Based on the advice of an expert panel, the ministry is developing a learning framework for child care and pre-school settings that will link to junior and senior kindergarten and help prepare children for Grade 1.

The ministry also continues its commitment to the health and success of Ontario children and youth through its student nutrition program. As a result of the ministry’s $8.5 million annual investment, the number of students served by the program has increased by 45 per cent, bringing the number of elementary and secondary students benefiting from the program to more than 315,000 across the province.

Ontario Child Benefit

Beginning in 2007-08, the government will invest an additional $2.1 billion in low-income families with children over the next five years through the Ontario Child Benefit. The new initiative, announced in the 2007 Budget, will provide low-income families with up to $250 per child beginning in July 2007, growing to a maximum of $1,100 per child by 2011.

The Ontario Child Benefit is an income tested financial benefit that will help nearly 1.3 million children under the age of 18 in low income families annually. When fully implemented, it will benefit about 800,000 more Ontario children than the current Ontario Child Care Supplement for Working Families and social assistance programs combined.

Child Well-being and Protection

From 2003-04 to 2007-08, Ontario increased investments in child protection services by approximately $260 million, including an additional investment of $61.8 million in 2007-08.

Amendments to the Child and Family Services Act were proclaimed on November 30, 2006. These amendments enhance permanency options for children and youth in the care of children’s aid societies and strengthen the province’s ability to protect and help these vulnerable children and youth. These and other changes to the province’s child well-being and protection system will support a safer, more responsive and more accountable system. The new amendments make adoption more flexible by allowing more children to be adopted while maintaining ties to their birth family and community; create more legal options beyond traditional adoption so more children and youth in care can be placed in permanent homes; help resolve more cases outside the courtroom through alternative dispute resolution, a faster and less costly approach; make it easier for relatives, including grandparents, and community members to provide permanent homes for those children and youth who need them.

To support the amendments and other transformation initiatives, extensive curriculum was developed and delivered to Children’s Aid Society staff. Training was designed to build the capacity and understanding of the sector to provide services focused on better outcomes for children in the areas of safety, permanence and well being. All Children’s Aid Society staff, including foster parents and adoptive parents, and community partners were provided with information and tools they needed to implement the changes. This included regulations, standards, policy directives, assessment tools, guidelines, rosters of alternative dispute resolution expertise, checklists and modifications to agencies’ automated recording systems.

A new policy also came into effect early this year where grandparents and extended family or community members looking after a child in the care of a children’s aid society may be eligible for financial assistance and other supports. This includes members of Aboriginal communities looking after a child under subsidized customary care. These new supports and services will help to encourage grandparents and extended family or community members to provide stability and security in cases where children are not able to stay with their parents for safety reasons.

The new amendments also strengthen accountability in the child and youth protection system by establishing a more rigorous and accessible process for reviewing client complaints about children’s aid societies that includes third party oversight by the Child and Family Services Review Board.

The ministry created a new Accountability Office in January 2007. This Office is working on the implementation of its mandate, which is to:

In 2007-08, the province will also improve access to post-secondary education for children in the care of children’s aid societies by requiring societies to create Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) using the federal Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB). This will help up to 3,700 children in the future have better access to post-secondary education and training.

Children and Youth with Special Needs

The ministry will continue to work with individuals, agencies and groups across the province to support children and youth with special needs and their families. The goal is to make supports and services more accessible, better co-ordinated and centred on the needs of children and youth with one or more physical, developmental, behavioural, emotional or mental health issue(s). In 2007-08, the government will continue to expand and enhance services and supports for children and youth with special needs and their families.

Through its investments in children’s treatment centres, the ministry is also helping more children and youth with special needs to more easily access the services and supports they need. The government’s total annual funding to these centres will have increased by approximately $30 million between 2003-04 and 2007-08, including $10 million announced in the 2006 Ontario Budget to provide services to approximately 4,800 children and youth across the province and an additional $4 million starting in 2007-08.

The ministry has increased funding to approximately $130 million in 2007-08 - nearly tripling the support for children with ASD and their families since 2003-04. This funding has extended access to key services, including Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI), and provides a broader range of services and supports for children and youth with ASD and their families. The ministry is committed to working with the Ministry of Education and community partners to enable successful transition for children and youth with special needs, including ASD, into and through school. This will lead to better outcomes as these young people transition into adulthood.

Since July 2005, children of all ages are eligible to receive therapy from the Autism Intervention Program. Previously, children age six and older were ineligible for these services. The goal is to provide a continuum of services and supports appropriate to a child’s developmental stage which helps them as they learn and grow. In 2007, the government is providing investments to more than double the number of children receiving autism intervention services since 2003. This will result in more than 1,100 children receiving these services.

The ministry continues to look for new ways to increase system capacity and to build on the continuum of services provided. The first cohort of 101 graduates from the College Graduate Certificate Program in Autism and Behavioural Science, offered at nine community colleges across the province, will strengthen the pool of qualified individuals for the Autism Intervention Program and other children’s agencies. By 2007-08, the target enrolment will be 220. In 2007-08, the ministry is also working with the Ministry of Education to address recommendations of the Minister’s Autism Spectrum Disorders Reference Group.

The ministry is also committed to reducing wait times and providing improved access to services for children and youth with mental health issues to help these young people become better learners and productive adults. An additional $25 million for children and youth mental health services, announced in the 2004 Ontario Budget, has grown to $38 million annually. This funding helped create or expand more than 200 programs that benefit children and youth with social, behavioural, mental health and psychiatric disorders.

In 2007-08, the ministry is building on its previous investments in more than 260 child and youth mental health centres and 17 hospital-based outpatient programs by providing an additional $24.5 million in annual funding to enhance mental health services for children and youth across the province. As of 2007-08, the government will have increased funding for these services by approximately $80 million since 2003-04.

In 2007-08, the ministry is also improving mental health services to children and youth in underserved, remote and rural areas by doubling its investment in its telepsychiatry program to $2.4 million annually. This expansion means more access and reduced wait times for more children and youth.

In partnership with other ministries, agencies and organizations across all sectors serving children, youth and families, the ministry has developed Ontario’s first policy framework for child and youth mental health. The framework promotes a culture of shared responsibility among the child and youth serving sector and provides a basis for long term strategic planning. This will result in improved outcomes for more young people with mental health issues so they can grow to reach their full potential.

In January 2007, the ministry released an action plan reinforcing its commitment to promoting quality residential environments that contribute to the best outcomes for children and youth requiring residential care. Based on the advice of an expert panel, the plan lays the foundation for aligning and improving residential services in the long term across a number of sectors, including youth justice, child well-being and protection and special needs. It also identifies immediate priorities the ministry is taking action on, including: updating residential licensing standards to improve quality and safety; providing enhanced tools and training for ministry licensing staff; and supporting better placement decision-making by improving access to residential services information through a web-based registry; and supporting greater accountability for agencies serving children and youth. In addition, the ministry established an expert panel to develop standards of care for the administration of psychotropic drugs to children and youth in residential settings.

Youth Justice Services

The ministry continues to reform the youth justice system so that it balances custody with community-based programs and services, maximizes the potential for youth rehabilitation, contributes to the reduction of re-offending rates, enables youth in conflict with the law to become productive members of society and contributes to safer communities. This is in keeping with the intent of the Federal Youth Criminal Justice Act.

In 2007-08, the ministry will continue to work towards an integrated and dedicated youth justice system in Ontario that is separate from the adult system, one that reflects the understanding that the needs of youth are different from the needs of adults. Many of the youth in secure custody units have now been removed from facilities shared with adults. Construction is under way on a new dedicated secure facility in Sault Ste. Marie and construction will begin this year on another facility in Brampton. Both will open in the next two years and feature on-site education and rehabilitation programs.

Additional funding announced in the 2007 Ontario Budget will create capacity in Kenora, Thunder Bay and Ottawa to remove youth from the three youth units co-located in those adult facilities. These are all innovative facilities designed to meet the unique needs of youth in conflict with the law. Upon completion of these facilities, the goal of creating an integrated and dedicated youth justice system in Ontario will have been achieved.

The ministry’s overall investment of $24 million to provide community alternatives to custody programs for youth in conflict with the law has resulted in approximately 163 new programs across the province that now provide meaningful alternatives for the judiciary, youth and their families. Thirty-two youth intervention centres, for example, are helping young people found guilty of breaking the law accept responsibility for their actions while participating in programs such as anger management, peer relationships and employment readiness. Youth, aged 12 to 17, who have been found guilty of breaking the law, may be ordered by a judge to participate in a program. The ministry is currently evaluating this and other programs to maximize their effectiveness in reducing the number of youth who re-offend and in promoting rehabilitation.

It is not uncommon for children and youth to appear in multiple areas of the ministry’s mandate. For example, a youth may enter the justice system with a history of mental illness or having had child protection intervention during their formative years. This work has led to innovative new programs, including several in youth justice, that are making a difference to youth at risk or in conflict with the law. For example, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, the ministry now funds 11 mental health court worker positions in 13 courts across the province. These court workers link youth who have mental health issues, and are also in conflict with the law, with community-based services that address their needs.

Youth Opportunities Strategy

In 2007-08, the ministry will continue to work with community partners and other ministries through preventive programs that directly support youth in their neighbourhoods. An investment of more than $28 million in the first three years of the Youth Opportunities Strategy, announced in February 2006, is helping to expand employment and training programs and support the hiring of new youth outreach workers in targeted underserved communities across the province. Launched in 2006-07 in Toronto and Durham Region neighbourhoods identified as underserved, in 2007-08 the program is expanding to include underserved neighbourhoods in five other cities – Windsor, Thunder Bay, Ottawa, Hamilton and London. This year, the program is providing:

In 2007-08, the ministry will continue to build and expand youthconnect.ca, a new, youth-oriented website launched in summer 2006-07 to provide a forum for young people who want easy access to information, services and resources.

Aboriginal Children and Youth

Akwe:go, the urban Aboriginal children’s program, launched in December 2005, continues to provide urban Aboriginal children ages 7 to 12 with the support, tools and activities that will build upon and foster their ability to make healthy life choices. The Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres delivers the program through its 27 friendship centres across the province. In the first year of implementation, the Akwe:go program served more than 400 Aboriginal children and their families.

The ministry will also continue to work with Aboriginal communities on the designation of Aboriginal children’s aid societies. In July 2006, Anishinaabe Abinoojii Family Services was designated to provide child protection services to five Treaty 3 First Nations and its members in the Rainy River and Kenora areas, bringing the total number of designated Aboriginal child protection agencies to six.

In 2007-08, the ministry will continue to work with Aboriginal organizations and First Nation communities to improve services for Aboriginal children, youth and families. Other programs that address the challenges of Aboriginal communities while respecting their unique culture and traditions include: child protection, Healthy Babies Healthy Children, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, child nutrition, child care and alternatives to custody community programs.

Independent Child and Youth Advocate

To better advocate for vulnerable children, youth and their families, on November 30, 2006, the ministry introduced legislation that would, if passed in 2007-08, make Ontario’s child and youth advocate an officer of the legislature, as independent as the ombudsman or the auditor general. Under the proposed legislation, the child and youth advocate would be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council following a vote in the Legislative Assembly and report directly to the legislature.

Ontario’s child and youth advocate reviews cases where there are complaints regarding the treatment or care of a child or youth in a program funded by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services or being dealt with under the Ministry of Correctional Services Act. This includes children and youth receiving services through the youth justice system, foster, group or residential care, and children and youth with physical or developmental disabilities who are seeking approved services under the Child and Family Services Act.

Ministry Contribution to Priorities & Results – Highlights

Success in School

To help children in Ontario to be better ready to learn when they start Grade 1, through Best Start the ministry has expanded the early learning and child care system with priority on expansion of child care spaces for children in junior and senior kindergarten within school-based settings wherever possible. Access to child care has been improved by the creation of almost 15,000 new licensed child care spaces across the province in 2006-07, almost 60 per cent in schools. Despite the termination of the 2005 Early Learning and Child Care Agreement by the federal government, in 2007-08 the ministry is committed to sustaining the progress that has been made through an additional $25 million investment, increasing to $50 million annually starting in 2008-09. This is in addition to the $63.5 million in annual funding announced in the 2006 Ontario Budget. To help more pre-school children develop the skills they need to be ready to learn in Grade 1, through Best Start the ministry is investing an additional $9.6 million annually to expand early childhood development programs, including: new Blind-Low Vision Early Intervention program, Pre-school Speech and Language program, Infant Hearing program, Healthy Babies Healthy Children (HBHC) program. In 2007-08, the ministry is expanding HBHC with an ongoing investment of over $5 million.

Performance Measure:: Growth in licensed child care spaces

Number of children in licensed child care spaces

Performance Measure: Percentage of babies receiving audiology assessment by 4 months of age

Percentage of babies receiving audiology assessment by 4 months of age

Creating Opportunities for Youth

To help youth in under-served communities achieve a better future, the ministry is investing more than $28 million in the first three years of the Youth Opportunities Strategy. In summer 2006, approximately 900 youth from under-served Toronto and Durham Region neighbourhoods gained valuable training and work experience through the employment components of the strategy – the Summer Jobs for Youth Program and Youth in Policing Initiative. In summer 2007, the strategy is expanding to include underserved neighbourhoods in Windsor, Thunder Bay, Ottawa, Hamilton and London, providing employment and training opportunities to approximately 1,815 young people. The strategy will continue to be implemented in under-served neighbourhoods in Toronto and Durham Region. In 2007 the strategy also provides for the hiring of 62 year-round outreach workers, an increase from 35 in 2006, to connect with and provide advice to hard-to-reach youth; helps approximately 80 youth who left high school without a diploma complete their high school education through the Ontario Public Service Learn and Work Program; and in partnership with schools, police and community agencies, helps young people stay in school and out of the justice system through 18 School-based prevention/diversion programs.

Performance Measure: Expanded summer job and training opportunities for vulnerable youth

Expanded summer job and training opportunities for vulnerable youth

Performance Measure: Number of youth who re-offend as a percentage of all youth tracked.

Number of youth who re-offend as a percentage of all youth tracked

Extending Access to Key Services for Children and Youth with Special Needs

To better support families with children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other complex special needs, the ministry is providing greater access to services. As a result, the number of children with ASD receiving Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) has more than doubled since the beginning of April 2004, bringing the current total to more than 1,100.Through the ministry’s investments in children’s treatment centres, nearly 4,800 more children and youth with special needs are being served. The government has also made a number of investments to improve child and youth mental health outcomes. The 2004 investments resulted in the creation or expansion of more than 200 local programs across the province. Recent investments beginning in 2007-08 will help to stabilize the sector, address local service needs and set the stage for moving towards the implementation of Ontario’s first policy framework for child and youth mental health. An expanded telepsychiatry program is also improving access to mental health services for children and youth in underserved, remote and rural areas.

Performance Measure: Autism Intervention Program - Number of children receiving IBI.

Autism Intervention Program - Number of children receiving IBI

Note – Data reflects point in time service statistics at year end.

Performance Measure: Percentage of children showing improved functioning at exit from Child and Youth Mental Health Services.

Percentage of children showing improved functioning at exit from Child and Youth Mental Health Services

Performance Measure: Average wait time from referral to receipt of "regular ongoing" Child and Youth Mental Health Services.

Average wait time from referral to receipt of "regular ongoing" Child and Youth Mental Health Services

Providing more stability for children in need of protection

Amendments to the Child and Family Services Act, proclaimed on November 30, 2006, enhance permanency options for children and youth in the care of children’s aid societies and strengthen the province’s ability to protect and help vulnerable children and youth. These changes are making adoption more flexible by allowing more children to be adopted while maintaining ties to their birth family and community. They are also creating more legal options beyond traditional adoption so more children and youth in care can be placed in permanent homes.

Performance Measure: Number of completed Children’s Aid Societies (CAS) adoptions.

Number of completed Children’s Aid Societies (CAS) adoptions

Organization Chart

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Organization Chart

Cost Sharing with the Federal Government

Independent of block funding received by the province under the Canada Social Transfer (CST) for Early Childhood Development (ECD) and Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC), the province receives federal funding under the following cost-sharing agreements:

The province and the federal government cost share selected programs through the Indian Welfare Services Agreement and the Memorandum of Agreement and Supplementary Agreement Respecting Federal Contributions to Youth Justice Services and Programs. For the 2007-08 fiscal year, federal contributions are estimated at:

Federal Reimbursement
  Cash Accrual
Indian Welfare Services Agreement  
Child Care $10,000,000 $11,000,000
Children and Youth at Risk $97,359,000 $90,075,000
Subtotal $107,359,000 $101,075,000
Agreement re: Youth Justice Services  
Youth Justice Services* $134,875,000 $65,475,000
Subtotal $134,875,000 $65,475,000
Total $242,234,000 $166,550,000

* The one-year extension to the five-year Youth Justice Services cost share agreement expired on March 31, 2006. The federal minister of justice has provided all provincial/territorial ministers with new bilateral five-year agreements for the period 2006 to 2011 for signatures. The Ministry of Children and Youth Services has signed and returned the agreement.

Statutes Administered by the Ministry

Agencies, Boards and Commissions

  Accrual 2007-08 Estimates Accrual 2006-07 Interim Actuals Accrual 2005-06 Actuals
Child and Family Services Review Board (CFSRB) 2,118,700 800,986 150,332
Custody Review Board (CRB) 100,000 92,750 89,161

Figures for CFSRB include Salaries and Wages

The Child and Family Services Review Board is a tribunal with authority under the Child and Family Services Act (CFSA) as amended November 30, 2006 and the Education Act (EA), the Intercountry Adoption Act, 1998, and the Vital Statistics Act and is required by law to review a variety of matters:

The Custody Review Board is required by law to conduct a review of a decision regarding:

The CFSRB and CRB are administratively integrated with a common Board Chair. The Boards operate at arms-length from government and its decisions are not subject to review by a government minister or ministry official.

Ministry Financial Information

Table 1: Ministry Planned Expenditures 2007-08
  Ministry Planned Expenditures ($M) 2007-08
Operating $3,623
Infrastructure $20
BPS Consolidation $(69)
Total including Consolidation $9,574

Table 2: Overall Summary (Operating and Infrastructure)
Votes/Programs Estimates 2007-08 Change from Estimates 2006-07 Estimates 2006-07* Interim Actuals
2006-07*
Actuals
2005-06*
$ $ % $ $ $
OPERATING AND INFRASTRUCTURE            
             
Ministry Administration 12,744,800 1,114,900 9.6% 11,629,900 11,558,929 10,758,169
Children and Youth Services 3,610,697,800 376,994,600 11.7% 3,233,703,200 3,274,305,735 3,181,681,900
Infrastructure 19,565,500 115,500 0.6% 19,450,000 52,195,804 139,091,093
Total Including Special Warrants 3,643,008,100 378,225,000 11.6% 3,264,783,100 3,338,060,468 3,331,531,762
Less: Special Warrants 0 0 - 0 0 0
Total to be Voted 3,643,008,100 378,225,000 11.6% 3,264,783,100 3,338,060,468 3,331,531,762
Special Warrants      )      
Statutory Appropriations 62,669 12,455 24.8% 50,244 46,111 35,972
Ministry Total Operating and Infrastructure 3,643,070,799 378,237,455 11.6% 3,264,833,344 3,338,106,579 3,331,567,734
Consolidation (69,204,000) (2,047,000) 3.0% (67,157,000) (70,968,985) (64,744,598)
Ministry Total Operating and Infrastructure including Consolidation 3,573,866,799 376,190,455 11.8% 3,197,676,344 3,267,137,594 3,266,823,136

Assets
Votes/Programs Estimates2007-08 Change from Estimates 2006-2007 Estimates2006-07 Interim Actuals 2006-07 Actuals 2005-06
$ $ % $ $ $
Children and Youth Services 2,100,000 0 n/a 2,100,000 1,343,563 1,183,937
Total Ministry Assets 2,100,000 0 n/a 2,100,000 1,343,563 1,183,937
Less: Special Warrants 0 0 n/a 0 0 0
Total Assets to be Voted 2,100,000 0 n/a 2,100,000 1,343,536 1,183,937

* Amounts have been restated for transfers of funding with other ministries including Ministry of Government Services, Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, and Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Appendix I: Annual Report 2006-07 and Annual Report 2005-06

Ministry of Children and Youth Services

Annual Report, 2006-07

Ministry Achievements

Early Learning and Child Development

The ministry announced it would be expanding its Best Start programs so that more preschool children can develop the skills that will help them achieve success when they start Grade 1. A $9.6 million investment includes:

The ministry has supported the creation of almost 15,000 new licensed child care spaces by municipalities and signaled its commitment to sustain the significant progress that has been made. Ministry staff continued to work with municipalities to implement the various components of Best Start, including learning best practices from the three demonstration communities – the District of Timiskaming, rural areas of Lambton and Chatham-Kent and Hamilton’s east end.

More families became eligible for child care subsidies as a new eligibility model, based on net family income, came into effect on January 1, 2007. The new model will help families across a broader range of income levels balance work and family. In addition, the process for determining eligibility was simplified and standardized.

Legislation has been introduced to create a new regulatory college for early childhood education. The legislation if passed, would establish a college to set professional standards and enhance the important role early childhood educators play in the lives of Ontario’s children.

A provincial advisory committee was established to help the ministry move forward in bringing an enhanced 18-month well baby visit to Ontario families. The Expert Panel on an Early Learning Framework submitted their report and recommendations to the ministry in December 2006. The Expert Panel on Quality and Human Resources continued to provide advice on professional education, recruitment and retention of qualified early childhood education professionals and ways to improve licensed child care, and submitted their report and recommendations in March 2007.

The province acquired the license to share a helpful online child screening tool with parents at no charge. The Nipissing District Developmental Screen is a checklist for parents that helps them better understand how their child is growing and developing.

As part of its commitment to the health and success of Ontario’s children and youth, the ministry nearly doubled its investment in student nutrition programs to $8.5 million annually, providing healthy meals to more than 300,000 elementary and secondary students.

Child Well-being and Protection

Bill 210, the Child and Family Services Statute Law Amendment Act, 2006, was proclaimed on November 30, 2006. The Bill strengthens the province’s ability to protect and help vulnerable children, supports a safer, more responsive and more accountable system, and makes it easier for children in need of protection to be placed in a permanent and loving home.

The amendments make adoption more flexible, create more legal options for permanency planning beyond traditional adoption, and make children’s aid societies more accountable through a timely complaints process that includes third party oversight by the Child and Family Services Review Board.

In response to the Auditor General of Ontario’s annual report, the ministry directed all children’s aid societies to develop action plans to detail their plans to achieve and maintain ongoing compliance with the recommendations contained in the report. This year’s report was the first time the Auditor General was given the power to audit broader public sector agencies, including children’s aid societies.

Under a new policy, grandparents, extended family members and community members who care for children in the care of a children’s aid society, and who are approved as foster parents, may be eligible to receive the foster care rate of approximately $900 per month. This includes members of Aboriginal communities who are looking after a child under subsidized customary care arrangements.

The new policy also means grandparents and extended family or community members who obtain legal custody of a child under a child protection order, or who adopt those children, may also be eligible for funding and support services, up to the foster care rate. In addition, grandparents and extended family or community members looking after children who are in need of protection, but have not been admitted to the formal care of a children’s aid society, could be eligible for emergency or episodic financial aid for a variety of needs.

In January 2007, the ministry released an action plan reinforcing its commitment to promoting quality residential environments that contribute to the best outcomes for children and youth. The plan lays the foundation for aligning and improving residential services in the long term across a number of sectors, including youth justice, child well-being and protection and special needs. It also identifies immediate priorities the ministry is taking action on including: updating residential licensing standards to improve quality and safety; providing enhanced tools and training for ministry licensing staff; supporting better placement decision-making by improving access to residential services information through a web-based registry and supporting greater accountability for agencies serving children and youth. The ministry also established an expert panel to develop standards of care for the administration of psychotropic drugs to children and youth in residential settings.

Children and Youth with Special Needs

The ministry continued to work with individuals, agencies and groups across the province to help support children and youth with special needs and their families by making supports and services more accessible, better coordinated and centred on the needs of children and youth with one or more physical, developmental, behavioural, emotional or mental health issue(s).

In 2006-07, the ministry provided service to approximately 4,800 more children and youth with special needs through a $10 million investment in 19 children’s treatment centres across the province. This annual increase represents a 17 per cent base funding increase over 2005-06. Children’s treatment centres are an important part of a continuum of services that help provide young people with disabilities the best opportunities to reach their potential.

In partnership with other ministries, agencies and organizations across all sectors serving children and youth, the ministry developed and released Ontario’s first Policy Framework for Child and Youth Mental Health. The framework is the product of cross-sectoral collaboration, which included one year of discussions across the province with over 300 stakeholders from a wide range of government and community partners, including numerous child and youth mental health providers. The framework promotes a culture of shared responsibility and serves as a guide for long-term change in the delivery of child and youth mental health services.

The ministry announced an expansion of Ontario’s telepsychiatry program to support increased access to mental health services for children, youth and their families/caregivers in rural, remote and underserved parts of the province. To support this expansion, the government invested an additional $600,000 in 2006-07, increasing to $1.5 million in 2007-08, bringing the total investment in the program to $2.4 million annually.

In 2006-07, the ministry continued to promote the well-being of Ontario’s children and youth through funding to the Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. The centre is the provincial lead to collate, generate and distribute knowledge on maintaining and improving the mental health of Ontario’s children and youth. It supports its activities through intervention, research, education and partnerships with the mental health and broader child- and youth-serving sectors.

The ministry also worked diligently to build and improve the continuum of services for children and youth with autism, from the time they are diagnosed right through their school years. Services and supports continue to be provided to children and youth with autism regardless of age.

An additional $13.1 million annually was announced to increase the number of children receiving Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) and provide additional supports for children and youth with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their families.

The investment provided IBI to approximately 120 more children with autism. It helped youth with ASD make successful transitions to adolescence, through behavioural supports, crisis intervention and skills-based training. It helped the Autism Society of Ontario provide more supports to families of children and youth with ASD, including parent support networks, training, resource materials and access to consultation with ASD specialists. And the Geneva Centre for Autism received funding of $6 million over the next three years to provide training for up to 1,600 resource teachers and home visitors in child care centres. In early 2007, the ministry announced it would fund IBI services for 225 more children on waitlists in the province.

The ministry, together with the Ministry of Education, created a reference group to advise on the most effective ways to meet the needs of students with ASD. The group, comprised of parents, researchers, educators and autism experts from across the province, presented their report and recommendations in early 2007. The government is moving immediately to address more than half of the group’s recommendations and will continue to review the remainder.

Youth Justice Services

The ministry continued to reform the youth justice system so that it balances custody with community-based programs and services, maximizes the potential for youth rehabilitation, contributes to the reduction of re-offending rates and enables youth in conflict with the law to become positive contributors to their communities.

To give youth in conflict with the law a better chance to succeed, five new youth intervention centres were established in 2006-07. These centres provide structured and closely supervised programs that help youth reintegrate into their communities. There are now 32 centres across the province that help youth in conflict with the law accept responsibility for their actions while developing anger management, learning, employment and other life skills.

The ministry continued to work towards building a dedicated youth justice system in Ontario that is separate from the adult system - one that recognizes that the needs of youth are different from the needs of adults. Construction began in early 2007 on a new secure facility in Sault Ste. Marie and will begin shortly on a new secure facility in Brampton. Both facilities will have on-site education and rehabilitation programs.

Youth Opportunities

In 2006-07, the ministry’s new Youth Opportunities Strategy was implemented in Durham Region and in 13 Toronto communities identified by the United Way of Greater Toronto and the City of Toronto as being underserved and in greatest need.

The strategy - a broad plan to help young people faced with significant challenges achieve individual success and promote stronger communities – was welcomed by stakeholders and participants. It included:

In 2007-08, the strategy will be expanded to include other communities across the province, including Windsor, Ottawa, London, Hamilton and Thunder Bay.

Aboriginal Children and Youth

In 2006-07, the ministry continued to work with Aboriginal organizations and First Nation communities to improve services for Aboriginal children, youth and families.

Child well-being and protection services in the Rainy River and Kenora area were enhanced by the designation of Anishinaabe Abinoojii Family Services as a children’s aid society. With this designation, Anishinaabe Abinoojii Family Services assumed full responsibility for providing child well-being and protection services that respect Aboriginal customs and traditions to five Treaty 3 First Nation communities.

Akwe:go, a community-based urban Aboriginal children’s program, continued to provide children ages 7 -12 with the support, tools and activities to foster their ability to make healthy life choices.

The aboriginal Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and Child Nutrition Program also continued to provide funding for health promotion, prevention education and family support services related to fetal alcohol syndrome/effects and child nutrition.

Independent Child and Youth Advocate

The ministry continued to deliver on its commitment to better protect vulnerable children and youth by introducing legislation that, if passed, would establish an independent provincial advocate in Ontario. The new legislation would make the child and youth advocate an officer of the legislature, as independent as the ombudsman or auditor general. The child and youth advocate speaks on behalf of Ontario’s most vulnerable young people, including children and youth involved with the youth justice system, foster, group or residential care, and who have physical or developmental disabilities and seek or receive approved services.

The child and youth advocate continued to review complaints regarding the treatment or care of a child or youth in ministry-funded programs.

  Ministry Interim Expenditures ($M) 2006-07*
Operating 3,286
Capital 652
BPS Consolidation (71)
   
Staff Strength
(as of March 31, 2007)
2,162.3 Full-time equivalents

* The 2006-07 Interim Expenditures are restated to reflect transfers with other ministries as approved in the 2007-08 Estimates.

Annual Report, 2005-06

Ministry Achievements

Early Learning and Child Development

The ministry made significant progress implementing its Best Start vision in 2005-06, moving forward with key initiatives to help strengthen healthy development, early learning and child care services during a child’s first years to help children to be ready to learn by the time they start Grade 1.

In 2005, Ontario signed a five-year $1.9 billion Early Learning and Child Care agreement with the federal government to enhance and expand early learning and childcare programs in the province. Despite termination of this agreement by the federal government in early 2006, the ministry was able to help municipalities proceed with the creation of almost 15,000 new licensed child care spaces by the end of September 2006.

The ministry also proceeded with the implementation of the full Best Start vision, including neighborhood hubs that provide one-stop services for families, in three demonstration communities: the District of Timiskaming, the rural areas of Lambton and Chatham-Kent, and Hamilton’s east end. These model communities are helping the ministry learn best practices.

In 2005-06, the province waived the requirement for municipalities to cost share on the new child care funding for Best Start. Work also proceeded on the development of a new eligibility model for child care fee subsidies based on family income, and on plans to introduce legislation that would, if passed, establish a new College of Early Childhood Educators that would set out professional qualifications and standards for the individuals who work in child care.

In 2005-06, the ministry sought the advice of three expert panels in the field of early development and learning. The Expert Panel on the Enhanced 18-Month Well Baby Visit submitted their report that provides the basis for a strategy to support a standardized developmental assessment for each child at 18 months of age in Ontario. The Expert Panel on Quality and Human Resources studied professional education, recruitment and retention of qualified early childhood education professionals and ways to improve quality licensed care. And the Expert Panel on an Early Learning Framework worked on the development of an early learning framework for preschool children that can link to junior and senior kindergarten learning programs.

Children and Youth with Special Needs

The ministry worked with its partners and stakeholders in 2005-06 on a number of initiatives to better support children and youth with special needs and their families.

The ministry partnered with Children’s Mental Health Ontario to undertake a number of province-wide cross-sectoral discussions to inform the development of a provincial policy framework and action plan for children and youth mental health.

The Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario – launched in 2004-05 with funding by the province - expanded the amount and quality of information available to service providers. It completed a review of indicators of service effectiveness that helps agencies evaluate their services; researched stigma and how to reduce its impact on children and youth in the school environment; and provided information to service providers on best practices.

Also in 2005-06, the ministry welcomed the Ombudsman’s report on children with complex special needs and moved immediately to address many of its recommendations.

New funding brought the ministry’s total investment in mental health services for children and youth to approximately $450 million in 2005-06, helping to create 113 new programs and expand 96 existing programs that benefit children and youth with social and behavioral problems, and mental health and psychiatric disorders. Ten million dollars was allocated so children and youth with severe special needs receive residential treatment and other specialized supports faster.

The ministry also continued to work hard to improve and expand the continuum of services to help Ontario families meet the challenges of autism by delivering Intensive Behavioral Intervention (IBI) services to more children through the Autism Intervention Program. Regional autism service providers were directed to assess and provide services to all children referred to this program consistently, regardless of age. Regional autism providers were also directed to phase in a consistent province-wide wait list management strategy based on the principle of first come, first served.

Through the School Support Program (SSP), established in 2004, more than 185 Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) consultants were hired to help teachers and educators better understand how children and youth with autism learn. As of January 31, 2006, the School Support Program was determined to be fully operational.

To increase the pool of qualified autism professionals, in partnership with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, the ministry created the Ontario College Graduate Certificate Program in Autism and Behavioural Science at nine colleges or college consortia across the province.

To advance research and expertise in autism spectrum disorders (ASD), in partnership with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and the Ontario Council of Graduate Studies, the ministry established the first Endowed Chair in Autism and Behavioural Science at the University of Western Ontario, as well as an Autism Scholar Awards program.

At-Risk Children and Youth

The Child Welfare Secretariat held extensive consultations to inform transformation initiatives to reform the child well-being and protection system and support a system that is more flexible and better able to respond to the needs of children who are in the care of children’s aid societies.

Bill 210, the Child and Family Services Statute Law Amendment Act 2006, was proclaimed November 30, 2006. The amendments are aimed at helping more children in the child protection system grow up in stable, caring homes and making children’s aid societies stronger and more accountable to the families and communities they serve.

Amendments to the Child and Family Services Act and related regulatory and policy initiatives increase the accountability of children's aid societies through a stronger, more timely complaints process; allow more children to be adopted while keeping important ties to their birth family and community through openness agreements or openness orders; and provide more permanency options for children other than adoption. Complementary policy changes bring consistency to the adoption application process, making it simpler and easier for prospective parents; and create a province-wide registry to help match available children with prospective parents.

To strengthen the current system of residential licensing and services, the ministry undertook a review of residential services across child welfare, children’s mental health, youth justice and the specialized supports system.

The transformation of Youth Justice Services has included the following key elements: creation of an integrated and dedicated system - for youth aged 12 to 17 at the time of the offense - that provides services based on youth needs, rather than age; repositioning of the Youth Justice system from a predominantly custody focused system to one that offers a broad continuum of evidence-based community programs and services and integration into the broader framework of children and youth at-risk. Progress included an announcement of a new youth facility planned for Brampton; closure of a co-located youth unit in the Windsor Jail; rationalization of the significantly under-utilized open custody system and reinvestment in a broad continuum of community-based alternatives to custody.

The minister announced $2 million in annual funding to the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres to establish and operate a new community-based program, Akwe:go, in 27 urban communities to help Aboriginal children ages 7-12 succeed.

  Ministry Actual Expenditures ($M) 2005-06*
Operating 3,193
Capital 139
BPS Consolidation (65)
   
Staff Strength
(as of March 31, 2006)
2,114.4 Full-time equivalents

* The 2005-06 Actual Expenditures are restated to reflect transfers with other ministries as approved in the 2007-08 Estimates.