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Minister’s Message

The greatest responsibility of government is to care for children and youth. For the young people who come into care, residential services can be a long-term or temporary home. Whether it is foster care, customary care, a group home, or another form of care, I want that home to be a place where young people feel loved, respected, cared for, and safe.

That is why I am releasing Safe and Caring Places for Children and Youth: Ontario’s Blueprint for Building a New System of Licensed Residential Services.

Many youth have worked with my ministry, shared their lived experiences, and advocated for transformation. We have heard you. This Blueprint would not have been possible without the insight and efforts of our partners in the community, across government, and most importantly, our children and youth.

The advocacy and collaboration with the Residential Services Youth Panel, Indigenous partners, the Child and Youth Residential Services Review Panel, the Residential Services Reference Group and the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth have been invaluable. Your words and recommendations are at the heart of this Blueprint, and will continue to form the basis of our efforts as we move forward with implementing these comprehensive transformations.

It is my job and the responsibility of government to support all young people in Ontario so that they have the services and support they need, when they need them, and as close to home as possible. Along with the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017, we are working across government to support the delivery of services that are culturally appropriate and strengthen children’s rights. The work we do must empower children and youth and celebrate and respect their individuality - their age, where they live, their gender identity, their sexual orientation, their race, their culture, their religion, and all aspects of their identity that make them unique.

It will take time to achieve this, but we are committed to continuing to build up child and youth-centred residential services in Ontario to empower those who need protection and support.

Michael Coteau
Minister of Children and Youth Services