Improving Ontario's child protection services

Ontario is working to help children and youth across the province reach their full potential by strengthening and modernizing children and youth services. On April 30, 2018, the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017, came into force. This legislation provides a strong foundation to support the transformations underway to improve service experience for children, youth and their families.

Ontario is:

  • Putting children and youth at the centre of decision making by outlining a clear set of rights that apply to all children and youth receiving services. These rights include the right for children and youth to participate in decisions that affect them and to have their voices heard.
  • Making services more inclusive and culturally appropriate for all children and youth by requiring service providers to take into account the many elements of a child or youth’s identity when making decisions about their care – including ancestry, language, sexual orientation, race, creed, disability, gender identity and gender expression.
  • Strengthening accountability and oversight of licensed residential services by increasing announced and unannounced inspections, and improving the quality of care children and youth receive in licensed residential settings by enhancing requirements that support their health, safety and well-being.
  • Supporting better outcomes for First Nations, Inuit and Métis children and youth by:
    • Replacing outdated terms with more inclusive language that includes all First Nations, Inuit and Métis children and youth.
    • Requiring children’s aid societies to make all reasonable efforts to pursue a plan for customary care for First Nations, Inuit and Métis children and youth in need of protection.
    • Requiring service providers to recognize the cultures, heritages, traditions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and their families, their connection to their communities and the concept of the extended family when providing services.
  • Supporting better outcomes for Black and African Canadian children and youth, including:
    • Implementing the One Vision One Voice plan in children’s aid societies.
    • Requiring children’s aid societies on the Child Protection Information Network (CPIN) to collect self-reported identity-based data from children and youth, including information on race, ethnic and cultural origin, and religion or spiritual affiliation.
    • Collecting identity-based data will help to better understand who is receiving care and support planning across the provincial child welfare system and at individual societies.
  • Supporting better outcomes for LGBT2SQ children and youth, including:
    • The release of a resource guide to support the child welfare sector to respond to the needs of LGBT2SQ children and youth.
    • The resource guide provides practical information and tools to help child welfare workers, caregivers, children’s aid societies and residential service providers better serve LGBT2SQ children and youth when they are coming into care, when they are in care and when they are transitioning out of care.

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