Residential Services Panel Terms of Reference


The objective of the Residential Services Panel (the Panel) is to make recommendations to the Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) on improving the residential service system in Ontario to optimize positive outcomes for children and youth.

Background Information

There have been a number of reports that have highlighted issues about the residential services system in Ontario, and the changes required to enhance the service experience for children and youth and maximize positive outcomes.

MCYS is establishing the Panel to conduct a review of the child and youth residential service system across all sectors, including youth justice, child welfare, mental health and complex and/or special needs. Residential care includes the full range of out of home and regulated care, such as foster and group homes.

Effective residential services should ensure that children and youth can:

Official Name

The official name of the Panel is the Ministry of Children and Youth Services Residential Services Panel.


The Panel will be comprised of:


The Panel’s mandate is to build on the foundational work of previous reviews and reports to MCYS advising on what is needed to improve the child and youth residential service system. The Panel will also undertake targeted discussions with stakeholders, including associations, service providers and individuals with lived experience of child and youth residential services.

This mandate is consistent with the goals of Growing. Together. The Ministry of Children and Youth Services 2013-2018 Strategic Plan, which recognizes that children and youth need to have a voice in their care, and that the best outcomes come from services that are accessible, responsive, grounded in respect and dignity, and are embedded in a system that is easy to navigate.

The Panel will recognize the strategic framework in Stepping Up: A Strategic Framework to Help Ontario’s Youth Succeed, to align Ontario’s efforts towards the needs of children and youth. This framework guides decision-making under a common vision, namely that "together, we will support all young people to become healthy, safe, hopeful, engaged, educated and contributing members of their communities and our province."

The Panel will also recognize the principles of the MCYS Aboriginal Child and Youth Strategy, including aspirations for First Nations jurisdiction and Aboriginal control.

The Panel will make recommendations on the most effective and efficient way to design the delivery of care and treatment services in a residential setting to optimize positive outcomes for children and youth.

In completing the review and developing their report the Panel will:

The Panel will deliver a final report to the Deputy Minister of Children and Youth Services by December 31, 2015, unless an alternate date is mutually agreed upon by MCYS and the Panel.

The report will reflect the input of all Panel members and the recommendations developed will reflect the voice of children and youth and the perspectives of all sectors providing child and youth residential services (e.g., youth justice, mental health, child welfare and complex and/or special needs).


The Panel will be responsible for conducting a review of the child and youth residential services system and providing the Deputy Minister with a final report that will include the results and recommendations from stakeholder discussions and recommendations on: