Policy Directive: CW 001-19 Verifying the Credentials of Individuals Conducting Parenting Capacity Assessments

 

This policy directive, under s. 42 of the Child Youth and Family Services Act (CYFSA) to provide direction to children's aid societies (societies) with respect to verifying individual's representation of their credentials to conduct parenting capacity assessments.

Effective Date

This policy directive will come into effect on the date of its issuance.

The intent of this policy directive is to provide direction to societies with respect to verifying individual's representation of their credentials to conduct parenting capacity assessments in order to promote the reliability of parenting capacity assessments in child protection matters, including their use as evidence in child protection proceedings.

Nothing in this directive prevents societies from taking additional steps to promote the reliability of parenting capacity assessments in child protection matters.

Requirements

  1. Societies shall review their current policies and practices on parenting capacity assessments and incorporate the steps outlined below into their policies and practices. For the purpose of this first requirement, "parenting capacity assessments" means any parenting capacity assessment, sought at any stage following a society's determination that a child is in need of protection according to the grounds set out in s. 74(2) of the CYFSA, including parenting capacity assessments ordered pursuant to s. 98 of the CYFSA.
    1. After a society has determined that a parenting capacity assessment is necessary and has selected or agreed to an individual that, in the society's opinion, is qualified to evaluate the particular questions to be addressed by the assessment, the society shall have a process for verifying the individual's representation of their credentials.
    2. At a minimum, for individuals who have identified themselves as being a member of a regulatory body for a particular profession (e.g., College of Psychologists of Ontario, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Services Workers), the society shall verify with that individual's regulatory body the individual's representation of their professional credentials, and that the individual remains in good standing with their professional regulatory body.
      Where individuals have identified themselves as being a member of multiple professional regulatory bodies, the society shall verify their professional credentials with each of the relevant regulatory bodies.
    3. Where, in the course of verifying an individual's professional credentials, the society identifies a concern with an individual's representation of their professional credentials and the society still has a concern after discussing this with the individual, the society shall file a complaint with the individual's professional regulatory body or otherwise contact that body to follow up on the concern.
    4. The society shall record the steps taken to verify an individual's credentials and shall record any reports or complaints it has made to a professional regulatory body about an individual's representation of their professional credentials, including the outcome of the report or complaint if known.
  2. Societies shall identify all parenting capacity assessments that are in progress and all parenting capacity assessments that have been completed in cases that are still before the court, and take the following steps with respect to the assessor(s):
    1. For individuals who have identified themselves as being a member of a regulatory body for a particular profession or professions, verify their representation of their professional credentials in accordance with the requirement set out in 1b of this directive, and
    2. Where concerns are identified with respect to an individual's representation of their professional credentials, follow the requirements set out in 1c and 1d

Reporting

  1. By September 30, 2019, each society shall confirm in writing to the ministry that it has implemented the requirements in this directive.

Original signed by:

David Remington
Assistant Deputy Minister
Child Welfare and Protection Division
Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services

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