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HIGHLIGHTS OF 2016-17 ACHIEVEMENTS

  • In December 2016, the government introduced Bill 89, the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017 (CYFSA). If passed, the CYFSA would repeal and replace the Child and Family Services Act (CFSA). The CYFSA is a modern, child and youth-centred legislative framework that would strengthen services and oversight, and better protect some of Ontario’s most vulnerable young people. The proposed legislation would also increase the age of protection to include all 16- and 17-year-olds in need of protection.
  • The ministry continued to implement the Child Protection Information Network (CPIN) which to date, has consolidated 45 million records from 17 children’s aid societies across Ontario. CPIN is enhancing child safety through the ability to consistently track children and their outcomes, quickly transfer critical case histories across societies, and get timely access to crucial information.
  • The ministry is supporting greater use of culturally appropriate placement options for Indigenous children and youth in need of protection by providing one-time funding of up to $5,000 to help customary caregivers accommodate First Nation children in their homes. The one-time financial assistance may be provided to customary caregivers in addition to the ongoing subsidy that is equivalent to the foster care rate. In 2016-17, over 1,400 First Nations children were placed in customary care arrangements.
  • The ministry invested $4.5 million in First Nations and urban Indigenous partners for community capacity building and to lay the groundwork for ongoing youth life promotion and suicide prevention initiatives. The ministry also invested almost $700,000 more to enhance the Tele-Mental Health Service to enable more outreach to Indigenous communities and to provide additional consultations for children and youth in rural, remote and under-served communities.
  • The ministry provided $163.8 million in funding to Indigenous child well-being societies for culturally-appropriate child protection services, and $12.4 million to support Indigenous pre-designated agencies to work towards becoming Indigenous child well-being societies.
  • Ontario is investing $538M over five years to expand and improve services for children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder. These investments will support making it easier for families to access services for their children by reducing wait times, providing more flexible services based on children's needs, and serving more children and youth.
    • In January 2017, five new diagnostic hubs were established to improve the availability of timely autism spectrum disorder diagnostic assessments. The hubs will provide an additional 2,000 assessments by March 2018, allowing more children to begin accessing services as quickly as possible.
    • By February 2017, Ontario parents had access to four new early intervention sites for young children showing early signs of autism spectrum disorder.
    • Implementation of the new Ontario Autism Program (OAP) is beginning in June 2017, and with the program expected to be fully in place by Spring 2018.
  • Ontario Child Benefit (OCB) payments increased to a maximum of $1,356 per child, per year. About one million children in over 500,000 low- to moderate-income families are provided financial assistance by the OCB.
  • The ministry invested $20 million into a Family Well-Being program in support of the Ontario Indigenous Children and Youth Strategy and Walking Together: Ontario’s Long-term Strategy to End Violence Against Indigenous Women. This investment promotes culturally-grounded wellness and family supports through the hiring 270 new frontline workers in over 200 Indigenous communities to establish safe spaces and provide community based programming to address the impacts of violence on Indigenous families.
  • Additionally, in 2016-2017, MCYS invested $3 million in capacity funding to support First Nations, Métis, Inuit and urban Indigenous partners in co-implementing the Ontario Indigenous Children and Youth Strategy. This funding supported Indigenous partners in developing the infrastructure, tools and supports to continue their transformation planning through enhanced Indigenous control/First Nations jurisdiction, based upon their communities’ needs and priorities.
  • Construction is nearing completion on three new children’s treatment centres in Oakville, Mississauga and Brampton, which received $163 million in funding from the ministry.
  • To support the Collective Impact for Disconnected Youth initiative, the ministry brought together a provincial leadership table of partners from across sectors including government, private business, philanthropic and non-profit organizations to explore a new model to improve outcomes for youth who are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET youth) using a Collective Impact approach.
  • In June 2016, MCYS initiated a review of its Healthy Babies Healthy Children program to assess program efficiency and effectiveness, and alignment with the ministry’s mandate. Beginning in the Summer of 2017-18, work will begin in partnership with public health units to improve the delivery of this foundational program to support as many vulnerable children and families as possible to achieve their full potential.
  • Under the Special Needs Strategy, the ministry continued to work with inter-ministerial partners, local service providers and educators to implement Coordinated Service Planning for children and youth with multiple and/or complex special needs. Through this work, local collaborative processes are being put in place to help connect children and youth with multiple and/or complex special needs to a range of services across sectors.
    • New local models to support integrated children’s rehabilitation services have been developed and will begin rolling out across the province in Fall 2018.
    • Holistic Coordinated Service Plans were implemented with an initial group of Coordinating Agencies in spring 2016-17 to ensure services are responsive to the individual goals, strengths and needs of children, youth and families. These early adopters have built momentum, provided lessons learned and will serve as models for implementation across the province.
  • The ministry and the sector continued to implement Moving on Mental Health, with lead agencies developing plans to meet the needs of children and youth in their service areas and to support province-wide consultation on the development of a needs-based funding allocation model.
  • The Premier’s Council on Youth Opportunities met with over 400 youth in ten communities across the province on Listening Tours. The council also held six official meetings and was consulted by seven ministries on various initiatives.
  • Between 2003 and 2015, the youth violent crime rate in Ontario decreased by 39 percent.
  • Twenty-five ministries, secretariats and offices contributed to the Stepping Up 2016 Annual Report and Inventory of Youth Programs, reflecting an awareness of the need for a whole-of-government approach to helping youth reach their full potential.
  • The ministry responded and continues to respond to the needs of families arriving from Syria with increased funding to the Youth Outreach Workers (YOWs) to provide support to Syrian refugee youth.
  • As of March 2017, the ministry provided $19.3 million for upgrades and repairs at approximately 170 community agencies across Ontario. These investments will help children's treatment centres, children’s aid societies, youth centres and other sites used to deliver ministry programs maintain and improve their facilities.
  • Ontario released the 2016 Poverty Reduction Strategy Annual Report on March 20, 2017, highlighting progress made in lifting people out of poverty. Key achievements include providing healthy meals and snacks to more than 896,000 children and youth during the school year, and to 63 First Nations communities, through the Student Nutrition Program.