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Permanency

In cases where a child or youth cannot remain safely in his or her home due to protection concerns, the child or youth may be placed in the care of a children’s aid society (CAS). If a child cannot return to his or her family, the CAS works to find a permanent, safe home for the child, ideally in a family setting.

CASs are reporting on two permanency performance indicators:

  1. the days of care, by placement type.
  2. the time to permanency.

The days of care, by placement type

This performance indicator measures the number of days of care provided to children in the care of a CAS in a fiscal year by placement type. It compares care in a family-based setting with care in a group care setting.

Placements included in the “family-based” category include placement with a foster family, placement with kin and placement with a prospective adoptive family before the adoption is finalized. Group care is when a child or youth is cared for in a children’s residence, also known as a group home. The “other” category includes youth who are in care but living independently. It also includes children and youth cared for in settings such as hospitals, children’s mental health centres or youth justice facilities.

The Percentage of Days of Care, by Placement Type
Year Family-based Group care Other
2010-11 77% 15% 8%
2011-12 77% 15% 8%
2012-13 77% 14% 9%
2013-14 79% 13% 8%

The data shows that the majority of days of care provided are in a family-based setting.

The time to permanency

This performance indicator measures the time it takes for children and youth in care to leave care. A child leaves care when a permanency plan is in place or they turn 18 years of age. Permanent living arrangements include reunification with a parent or guardian, kinship service, legal custody and adoption.

The Percentage of Children Who Leave Care From the Time of Admission
Year By 12 Months By 24 Months By 36 Months
2010-11 62% 77% 85%
2011-12 63% 77% 85%
2012-13 64% 77%
2013-14 62%

The data shows that the majority of children who come into the care of a CAS leave care within 12 months and move on to a permanent arrangement.

Importance of these indicators

Research shows that the outcomes for children in care are improved when they grow up in stable, healthy family-based settings.

Permanency promotes healthy development, encourages continuity in relationships and a sense of community and identity.

About the data

  • Children and youth in customary care arrangements supervised by CASs are not included in this data. Customary care is the care of a First Nations child by a person who is not the child’s parent, according to the custom of the child’s band or native community. A CAS pays a subsidy to the person caring for the child. Work is underway to reflect customary care in this data set in future years.
  • This information is based on data from 44 CASs (for the days of care) and 34 CASs (for the time to permanency).