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Results-based Plan Briefing Book 2008-09

Ministry of Children and Youth Services

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Ministry of Children and Youth Services
The Estimates, 2008-09

Table of Contents

PART I: RESULTS-BASED PLAN 2008-09

Ministry Overview

APPENDIX I: ANNUAL REPORT 2007-08

Part I: Results-based Plan 2008-09

MINISTRY OVERVIEW

Introduction

The Ministry of Children and Youth Services was created in 2003 to bring together children and youth programs from the Ministries of Community and Social Services, Health and Long-Term Care and Community Safety and Correctional Services.

The majority of the ministry funding flows through agencies to provide services on behalf of the ministry. In addition, the ministry directly operates 10 facilities (8 in the youth justice system and two mental health facilities) as well as a system of probation offices across Ontario.

The Ministry of Children and Youth Services funds and provides:

Ministry Vision

The Ministry of Children and Youth Services’ vision is an Ontario where all children and youth have the best opportunity to succeed and reach their full potential.

Ministry Mission/Mandate

The ministry works with community partners, other ministries, agencies, and municipalities to develop policies and programs and provide services that:

In 2008-09, the ministry’s key priorities include supporting:

Ministry Programs and Services: Summary

The following programs and services are delivered through the Ministry of Children and Youth Services:

Ontario Child Benefit

Early Learning and Child Development

Children and Youth at Risk

Specialized Services

Key Activities

Ontario Child Benefit

The Ontario Child Benefit (OCB) is a non-taxable financial benefit for low-income families to help provide for their children. To be considered for the benefit, individuals need to file their annual income taxes and apply for the Canada Child Tax Benefit.

Beginning in July 2007, eligible families received a one-time OCB down payment of up to $250 for each child under age 18. When OCB monthly cheques begin in July 2008, approximately 460,000 families will be eligible for up to $50 per month or $600 annually for each child. The OCB will be fully implemented by 2011, when more than 600,000 families will be eligible for up to $1,100 per child each year.

The ministry will invest $335 million in OCB in 2008-09.

Early Learning and Child Development

Early screening programs help support the early identification of child well-being and health risks in children and connect families with services. The Healthy Babies Healthy Children Program provides pre- and post-natal screening for every baby by a public health nurse. It also includes follow-up, assessment and home visiting up to age 6 to support healthy child development.

The ministry also has several targeted programs that provide individual assessment and treatment support for young children. These include the new Blind-Low Vision Program introduced in 2007 to support children born blind or with low vision and their families. The Infant Hearing Program identifies and supports babies born deaf or hard of hearing. The program aims to identify babies born deaf or hard of hearing by 4 months of age and to start language development services by 6 months of age. The Preschool Speech and Language Program provides services to children with communication delays or disorders from birth to school entry. Over 83,000 children were part of the program in 2006-07. Children from birth to age 5 with developmental disabilities are supported through the Infant Development Program.

The ministry also supports early learning and child development programs for children who do not require targeted services. These include 103 Ontario Early Years Centres (OEYCs) with free programs for parents and caregivers. In 2006-07, OEYCs served 257,290 children and 220,854 parents and caregivers. The Student Nutrition Program also provides financial support to communities that want to provide nutritious breakfast, lunch and snack programs in schools and in the community. An annual investment of $8.5 million in 2007-08 benefited almost 400,000 children. In 2008-09, the government is increasing funding by an additional $32 million over three years for the Student Nutrition Program. This includes a commitment of $3.9 million in one-time grants in 2008-09 to buy equipment, non-perishable food and other basic supplies for local programs.

The ministry funds child care programs that provide safe, nurturing environments that support early learning and child development. $105.7 million in new funding was provided in 2007-08 to sustain child care services. 325 spaces for Aboriginal children in off-reserve communities were also created. The ministry licenses and inspects child care programs in approximately 4,500 child care centres and 140 private-home day care agencies.

In 2007, the ministry created an online child care database to help parents make informed decisions about child care (www.ontario.ca/licensedchildcare).

Working with community partners, the ministry has created 24 Best Start neighbourhood hubs where families can find services such as child care, drop-in centres, public health programs, speech and language therapy and mental health services. Families in three demonstration communities, Timiskaming, the rural areas of Lambton and Chatham-Kent and Hamilton’s east end, also receive an enhanced 18 month well-baby check up to help spot early risk factors.

In November 2007, Dr. Charles Pascal was appointed to examine and recommend the best way to implement early learning for four- and five-year-old children. To inform his report, Dr. Pascal is consulting with people who work with children and visiting programs across Ontario. His advice will help Ontario develop an innovative model of early learning that builds on recent child care and kindergarten programs.

Children and Youth at Risk

Child Protection Services

Ontario’s child protection services help children and youth who have been or are at risk of being abused or neglected to grow up in a safe, stable, caring environment and become successful adults.

Fifty three children’s aid societies (CASs) have the mandate to: protect children who are abused or neglected by their caregivers, or at risk for abuse or neglect; provide for children and youth in their care; to place children for adoption.

Five northern Aboriginal CASs serve 63 of Ontario’s 134 First Nation communities. One other Aboriginal CAS serves solely urban Native clients.

In 2007-08, the ministry increased its investment in child protection by more than $45 million. For 2008-09, ministry investments total more than $1.38 billion for child protection.

Children and Youth Mental Health

Mental health services for children and youth are delivered through over 260 children and youth mental health and community service agencies, seventeen hospital-based children and youth mental health outpatient programs providing day treatment and youth specific programming for youth in conflict with the law. The ministry also directly operates two child and youth mental health centres: Thistletown Regional Centre and Child and Parent Resource Institute.

Ministry-funded services include early identification and intervention; intake and assessment; counseling; individual, group and family treatment; parent education; and supports including respite.

Specific provincial programs include the following:

Residential Services

Children and youth may come into residential care through a children’s aid society or through a court-order for youth in conflict with the law. Other children may require residential care due to developmental and physical challenges, medically fragile conditions, behavioural difficulties, psychiatric disorders or substance abuse. Residential care is provided through either group or foster care settings. Some residential services offer specialized treatments and therapeutic programs while others provide care and support to children and youth at risk. The ministry funds approximately 5,000 beds in group homes, 11,000 in foster homes, and about 1,400 beds for youth in conflict with the law.

Youth Challenge Fund and the Youth Opportunities Strategy:

The Youth Challenge Fund provides grants to youth-led projects in 13 priority Toronto neighbourhoods. The province has provided almost $21 million to the United Way of Greater Toronto, who acts as trustee of the Fund on behalf of the independent community board.

The Youth Opportunities Strategy was expanded in 2007-08 from Toronto and Durham Region in to include Windsor, Thunder Bay, Ottawa, Hamilton, London and communities policed by Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service. The strategy includes training and summer job opportunities, and programs to help youth stay in school and avoid future conflict with the law. The School-based Prevention/Diversion Program helps schools and youth manage conflict and reduce suspensions through peer mediation and by linking youth to services. 62 youth outreach workers connect youth to programs and services while a youth website, youthconnect.ca, supports the program with youth information and resources. The strategy receives $10.9 million annually.

The Youth in Policing Initiative provides opportunities for youth to work with police in summer jobs to develop skills and support positive police/community relations. 159 youth completed this program in 2007.

Youth Justice Services

The goal of youth justice services is to provide meaningful rehabilitation and reduce the rate of re-offending.

The ministry is mandated to provide both community and custodial programs for youth in or at risk of conflict with the law. This mandate comes from the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) which is the federal criminal law for youth. The Act focuses on prevention, diversion and rehabilitation, addressing the underlying causes of youth crime, and reserving custody for serious and violent offences. Ontario is now in the final stages of moving from a custody-focused youth justice system to a system offering community and custodial programs, and services for youth, their families and communities. In 2008-09, Ontario will invest more than $307 million for youth in conflict with the law.

Youth in secure custody or detention facilities take part in structured programming including education and skill development, addiction counseling, anger management, life skills, recreation and cultural programming. About 800 youth can be accommodated in Ontario’s 24 facilities. New secure youth facilities in Sault Ste. Marie and in Brampton are scheduled to open in May 2008 and winter 2009, and construction has begun on new facilities in Fort Frances, Thunder Bay and Ottawa. By April 2009, Ontario will have a dedicated youth justice system in Ontario, separate from the adult correctional system.

The ministry is also responsible for 62 open custody or detention residences. These are smaller residential-type settings generally in community neighbourhoods where youth have greater access to the community and can more easily take part in residence or community programming. About 600 youth can be accommodated in open custody.

The ministry is also mandated to provide youth probation services for youth given a sentence of probation by a youth court judge. Probation staff in 64 probation offices work with youth and families to help the youth meet his or her goals and stay out of trouble.

The Alternatives to Custody and Community Interventions Strategy include prevention, diversion and reintegration programs, including:

The ministry is also focused on the prevention of youth crime. The report on the Roots of Youth Violence, co-chaired by former Chief Justice Roy McMurtry and the Honourable Alvin Curling will help to identify the root causes of violence involving youth, and provide recommendations to continue building safer, stronger communities and schools.

Specialized Services

Children’s Treatment Services

The ministry will invest over $82 million in 2008-09 in 20 children’s treatment centres providing core rehabilitation services. Services include physio- and occupational therapy and speech and language services to children with physical and/or developmental disabilities, chronic illness and/or communication disorders, and their families. About 54,000 children receive services each year. In addition to increasing ongoing operating funding in 2007-08 to children’s treatment centres, Ontario has also invested in capital projects to support services in London, Thunder Bay, North Bay and Windsor.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Services

The ministry funds services and supports for children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In 2008-09, the ministry will invest over $150 million in services. The ministry’s objectives for autism services are improved outcomes for children and youth, supports for families, increased parent confidence in the service system, and collaboration with the Ministry of Education to enhance the continuity of supports for students with ASD as they move into and through school.

Nine service providers deliver the Autism Intervention Program (AIP) which provides assessment, child and family supports, intensive behavioural intervention (IBI) and transition supports. About 1,400 children and families are part of the AIP program.

Twelve Ontario Colleges now deliver the Ontario College Graduate Certificate in Autism and Behavioural Science to help support an increase in qualified individuals to deliver autism services through the AIP or other service agencies. The ministry also supports the Grant Assistance Program for AIP professionals to reimburse tuition costs for those pursuing relevant training and education.

The ministry works with the Ministry of Education on initiatives to support children with ASD as they move into and through school. Supports include the School Support Program, which provides consultation, training and resource development for school staff. The ministry has also been involved in training school teams to include applied behavioural analysis (ABA) methods for children with ASD in school programs. The ministry is also working with Education on the collaborative service delivery models initiative. This will build on current successful community delivery models supporting educational outcomes for students with ASD. It will share and transfer knowledge about effective educational practices with school boards and community agencies.

Respite Services

Families of children with special needs have identified respite as one of the most important services. The ministry will invest almost $18 million in 2008-09 for respite services for families with special needs children. These include meaningful activities for children and youth that promote the development of skills and relationships. Services are provided in the family home or in a setting outside the home such as in a group home.

The ministry has provided over $3.9 million in 2007-08 for ASD respite services. These included March Break camps, summer camp experiences and funds that allowed families to hire workers to provide one-on-one help so their children can attend camp. In 2008-09 the ministry will invest $7.8 million for ASD respite services.

Delivering the Ministry’s Programs and Services

The Ministry of Children and Youth Services programs and services are delivered in four ways:

  1. Through directly operated facilities and probation offices.
    The ministry directly operates 64 probation offices and 4 secure custody/detention youth centres. In addition, there are 4 youth units co-located in adult facilities. Three new youth justice facilities are under construction and will open between May 2008 and April 2009. The ministry also directly operates two child and youth mental health centres: Thistletown Regional Centre in Etobicoke and the Child and Parent Resource Institute in London.
  2. Through community-based service agencies.
    The ministry flows funding to over 1,000 community-based agencies who partner with the government to deliver program and services. These services are delivered through 53 children’s aid societies, over 260 children’s mental health and community service agencies, 20 children’s treatment centres providing rehabilitation services, and 197 youth justice agencies. Service contracts between the ministry and the service provider establish accountability requirements. These contracts detail the ministry’s funding, budgetary and financial reporting requirements, program deliverables and outcomes, service volumes, legislative standards and safety requirements.
  3. Through municipalities.
    Consolidated Municipal Service Managers (CMSMs) and District Social Services Administration Boards (DSSABs) were established by the province to manage programs funded by ministries. CMSMs and DSSABs are responsible for managing the delivery of Ontario’s child care services for the ministry.
  4. Through direct financial support to families.
    The Ontario Child Benefit and respite funding for families with children requiring constant supervision or intervention are two examples.
Ministry Contribution to Key Priorities & Results
Priorities Better Ontario For Families Healthier Ontario Smarter Ontario Stronger Ontario
Key Results
  • More children arriving in Grade 1 ready to learn
  • More children are screened for risk factors and identified earlier
  • Increase in adoptions
  • More children are screened for risk factors and identified earlier
  • More children in nutrition programs
  • Improved function after mental health care
  • More children arriving in Grade 1 ready to learn
  • More at-risk youth successful in school
  • More youth graduating from secondary school
  • More opportunities for youth at risk
  • Fewer youth entering justice system and reduction in re-offending rates
Strategies Support for low-income families; screening programs and support for at-risk families; early learning and child development programs; access to services for children and youth with special needs including autism and mental health issues; nutrition programs; stability for children in protection. Screening programs and support for at-risk families; early learning and child development programs; increased access to services for children and youth with special needs and mental health issues; nutrition programs. Support for low-income families; Programs for at-risk youth and youth in conflict with the law; early learning and child development programs; nutrition programs; focus on permanency for children in care; increased access to services for children and youth with special needs and mental health issues. Programs for at-risk youth and youth in conflict with the law; support for low-income families; support for low-income families; increased support for families with children with special needs and mental health issues.
Major Activities

Ontario Child Benefit

Early Learning and Child Development

Services for children and youth with special needs including autism

Mental health programs and services

Child protection services

Ontario Child Benefit

Early Learning and Child Development

Services for children and youth with special needs including autism

Student Nutrition Program

Mental health programs and services

Ontario Child Benefit

Youth Opportunities Strategy

Services for children and youth with special needs including autism

Mental health programs and services

Child protection services

Akwe:go Urban Aboriginal Children’s Program

Ontario Child Benefit

Youth Opportunities Strategy

Youth Justice Services

Services for children and youth with special needs including autism

Mental health programs and services

Ministry Contribution to Priorities & Results

The ministry’s initiatives support the government’s priorities of success for students, better health and jobs and prosperity. The ministry, in conjunction with its community partners, is developing and tracking outcomes for children and youth. These will help the ministry better determine how programs are working and if youth are getting the services that they need.

Ontario Child Benefit: Supporting Ontario’s Families

The Ontario Child Benefit (OCB) helps low-income families provide for their children and supports the government priorities of success for students and strong people, strong economy. Beginning in July 2007, eligible families received a one-time OCB down payment of up to $250 for each dependant child under age 18. Monthly payments of up to $50 per month per child will begin for eligible families in July 2008.

Early Learning and Child Development

To help more preschool children develop the skills they need to be ready to learn in Grade 1, the ministry invested an additional $9.6 million annually in 2007-08 to expand early childhood development programs. This included the new Blind-Low Vision Early Intervention Program, and enhancement to the Preschool Speech and Language, Infant Hearing, and the Healthy Babies Healthy Children Programs. The Infant Hearing Program continued to exceed its target of 70 per cent of referred infants to receiving an audiology assessment by 4 months of age. In 2007-08, the ministry also strengthened Healthy Babies Healthy Children with an additional investment of over $5.46 million.

Since 2004, the province has created more than 22,000 new licensed child care spaces, including 325 culturally-appropriate spaces for Aboriginal children living off-reserve. In 2007, the ministry improved access to training opportunities for child care supervisors and staff and created Canada’s first regulatory College of Early Childhood Educators. In 2008-09, the province will continue to strengthen the quality of licensed child care by providing grants to help child care professionals upgrade their qualifications and supporting early childhood educators with easily accessible training and education opportunities.

Performance Measure: Growth in licensed child care spaces

Number of licensed child care spaces

Youth Opportunities Strategy: Creating More Opportunity For Youth

In summer 2006, approximately 900 youth from high needs Toronto neighbourhoods gained valuable training and work experience through the employment components of the strategy – the Summer Jobs for Youth Program and the Youth in Policing Program. In summer 2007, the strategy expanded to include high needs neighbourhoods in Windsor, Thunder Bay, Ottawa, Hamilton, London and communites policed by Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service and included:

The ministry will continue to support youth through the Youth Opportunities Strategy with annualized funding of $10.9 million.

Performance Measure: Expanded summer job and training opportunities for vulnerable youth

Expanded summer job and training opportunities for vlunerable youth

Youth Justice Services: Reducing Youth Re-offending Through Effective Programming

Evidence indicates that a broad range of community-based and custodial programs and services can reduce re-offending. To support this, an Effective Programming Project is underway that involves a comprehensive review of the research literature, consultations with experts and stakeholders and strategies for training, monitoring and evaluating its full implementation.

The changes to Ontario’s youth justice system through the implementation of the YCJA legislation and related programming is expected to result in a five per cent reduction over 2 years in re-offending rates for youth released from custody, and youth released from probation. A 2006-07 baseline for re-offending was determined through a two-year follow-up of youth who left care or supervision in 2004-05. The 2006-07 cohort is being tracked and will be reported in 2008-09.

Performance Measure: Number of youth who re-offend as a percentage of all youth tracked

Number of youth who re-offend as a percentage of all youth tracked

Youth Justice Services: New Facilities To Meet Youth Needs

The ministry has begun construction on three youth justice facilities in Fort Frances, Thunder Bay and Ottawa. New facilities in Sault Ste. Marie and in Brampton are nearly complete. When these facilities open in 2008-09, Ontario will have achieved its goal of building a dedicated youth justice system that provides appropriate rehabilitation in youth facilities.

The Fort Frances secure custody facility will serve up to 12 Aboriginal youth from northwestern Ontario and will be operated by an Aboriginal organization. Aboriginal youth will receive services in line with their culture, including education and life skills programs. The Thunder Bay facility will serve up to 16 young people. The 16 bed expansion of the William E Hay Youth Centre in Ottawa means that youth will move from the Ottawa-Carleton Correctional Facility to a centre specifically designed for youth in conflict with the law. This will bring the total number of beds in William E Hay Youth Centre to 40.

Specialized Services: Autism Spectrum Disorder Services and Respite Care

The number of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) receiving Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) has more than doubled since April 2004, bringing the current total to more than 1,400, a 160 per cent increase since 2004.

The ministry also invested more than $3.9 million in 2007-08 for ASD respite services for almost 3,000 families. More than 800 children and youth with autism went to summer camp in 2007 and more than 500 children and youth had March Break programming in 2008.

The Graduate Certificate Program in Autism and Behavioural Science was expanded to three new colleges in southwestern Ontario to increase the pool of qualified professionals to work with children and youth with autism. Beginning in 2008-09, almost 300 students will take the program at 12 colleges across Ontario, including Fanshawe College in London, Lambton College in Sarnia and St. Clair College in Windsor.

Performance Measure: Autism Intervention Program – Number of children receiving IBI

Autism Intervention Program – Number of children receiving IBI

Child and Youth Mental Health: Improving outcomes and reducing wait times

The ministry provided new investments of $24.5 in 2007-08 to address gaps in local service needs and reduce wait times. Through this additional funding, the government is building on its previous investments in more than 260 child and youth mental health agencies and 17 hospital-based outpatient programs.

The two new hubs and ten new, rural, remote and underserved communities joined the ministry’s Child and Youth Telepsychiatry Program through an investment of $1.5 million, bringing the total investment in the program to $2.4 million annually. This expansion means better access and reduced wait times for more children and youth needing mental health services.

Performance Measure: Percentage of children and youth showing improved functioning at exit from Child and Youth Mental Health Services

Percentage of children and youth showing improved functioning at exit from Child and Youth Mental Health Services

Performance Measure: Average wait time from referral to receipt of "regular ongoing" Child and Youth Mental Health Services.

Average wait time from referral to receipt of "regular ongoing" Child and Youth Mental Health Services

Providing more stability for children in need of protection

The ministry is working with Ontario’s 53 children’s aid societies and community partners to make the child protection system more accountable, flexible and responsive to the needs of children, youth and their families receiving care. Changes made to the child protection system since 2006 have resulted in:

The changes have also made adoption more flexible by allowing more children to be adopted while retaining ties to their birth family and community. There are also a range of options beyond adoption for more children and youth in care to have permanent homes.

Performance Measure: Number of completed Children’s Aid Societies (CAS) adoptions.

Number of completed Children’s Aid Societies (CAS) adoptions

* Adoption numbers represent completed adoptions, which can take several years to process. The changes to adoption provisions under the amended Child and Family Services Act came into effect on November 30, 2006. As there were only four months in 2006-07 to assess the effect of the changes it was not possible to set a post-amendment target for the full year. A new target will be established for reporting for 2007-08 and beyond, to reflect the changes in permanency options for children in care.

Organization Chart

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Organization Chart

Cost Sharing with the Federal Government

Independent of block funding received by the province under the Canada Social Transfer (CST) for Early Childhood Development (ECD) and Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC), the province receives federal funding under the following cost-sharing agreements:

For the 2008-09 fiscal year, federal contributions are estimated at:

  Cash Accrual
Indian Welfare Services Agreement  
Child Care $10,000,000 $11,000,000
Children and Youth at Risk $96,604,000 $95,860,000
Subtotal $106,604,000 $106,860,000
Agreement re: Youth Justice Services  
Youth Justice Services $194,425,000 $66,250,000
Subtotal $194,425,000 $66,250,000
Total $301,029,000 $173,110,000

Statutes Administered by the Ministry

Agencies, Boards and Commissions

  2008-09 Estimates 2007-08 Interim Actuals 2006-07 Actuals
Child and Family Services Review Board (CFSRB) 778,900 1,585,962 800,986
Custody Review Board (CRB) 94,000 44,656 92,750

Figures for CFSRB include Salaries and Wages

The Child and Family Services Review Board (CFSRB) is a tribunal with authority to review matters:

The Custody Review Board (CRB) hears applications and makes recommendations to Provincial Directors who perform duties under the Young Offenders Act, the Youth Criminal Justice Act, the Ministry of Correctional Services Act and the Child and Family Services Act with respect to youth in conflict with the law. The young person may apply to the Board for a review of a director’s decision respecting the following matters:

The CFSRB and CRB are administratively integrated with a common Board Chair. The Boards operate at arms-length from government and its decisions are not subject to review by a government minister or ministry official.

Ministry Financial Information

Table 1: Ministry Planned Expenditures 2008-09
  Ministry Planned Expenditures ($M) 2008-09
Operating $3,991
Infrastructure $172
BPS Consolidation $(89)
Total including Consolidation $4,074

Table 2: Overall Summary (Operating and Infrastructure)
Votes/Programs Estimates 2008-09 Change from Estimates 2007-08 Estimates 2007-08* Interim Actuals
2007-08*
Actuals
2006-07*
$ $ % $ $ $
OPERATING AND INFRASTRUCTURE            
             
Ministry Administration 12,454,600 (290,200) (2.3%) 12,744,800 11,845,363 11,568,586
Children and Youth Services 3,978,683,600 366,751,600 10.2% 3,611,932,000 3,732,671,640 3,279,270,942
Infrastructure 172,325,000 152,759,500 780.8% 19,565,500 64,942,002 52,195,804
Total Including Special Warrants 4,163,463,200 519,220,900 14.2% 3,644,242,300 3,809,459,005 3,343,035,332
Less: Special Warrants 0 (1,053,136,400) (100.0%) 1,053,136,400 0 0
Total to be Voted 4,163,463,200 1,572,357,300 60.7% 2,591,105,900 3,809,459,005 3,343,035,332
Special Warrants 0 (1,053,136,400) (100.0%) 1,053,136,400 0 0
Statutory Appropriations 64,014 1,315 2.1% 62,699 54,667 46,111
Ministry Total Operating and Infrastructure 4,163,527,214 519,222,215 14.2% 3,644,304,999 3,809,513,672 3,343,081,443
Consolidation (89,200,000) (19,996,000) 28.9% (69,204,000) (87,400,000) (78,843,987)
Ministry Total Operating and Infrastructure including Consolidation 4,074,327,214 499,226,215 14.0% 3,575,100,999 3,722,113,672 3,264,237,456

Assets
Votes/Programs Estimates2008-09 Change from Estimates 2007-2008 Estimates2007-08 Interim Actuals 2007-08 Actuals 2006-07
$ $ % $ $ $
Children and Youth Services 2,100,000 0 n/a 2,100,000 0 1,343,537
Total Ministry Assets 2,100,000 0 n/a 2,100,000 0 1,343,537
Less: Special Warrants 0 (1,500,000) (100.0%) 1,500,000 0 0
Total Assets to be Voted 2,100,000 1,500,000 n/a 600,000 0 1,343,537

* Amounts have been restated for transfers of funding with other ministries including Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, and Ministry of Education.

Appendix I: Annual Report 2007-08

Ministry of Children and Youth Services

Ministry Achievements in 2007-08

Ontario Child Benefit

The Ontario Child Benefit helps low-income families provide for their children and supports the government priorities of success for students and strong people, strong economy. In July 2007, eligible families benefited from the OCB down payment of up to $250 for each dependant child under age 18. Monthly payments of up to $50 per month per child begin, for eligible families, in July 2008.

To help ensure parents understand how to access the new program, information has been posted online at www.ontariochildbenefit.ca including downloadable brochures in 23 languages. A toll-free ministry phone line was setup to handle individual questions and a toll-free line for the Canada Revenue Agency was arranged for specific income tax questions.

Early Learning and Child Development

Ontario strengthened its early learning system in 2007-08 with investments in child care, early learning and child development to help more children arrive in Grade 1 ready to learn. Investments included:

The college will start accepting members in 2008 and is expected to be in place in 2009. An important part of early learning and child development, the college will support high standards in early childhood education by:

In November 2007, Dr. Charles Pascal was appointed to examine and recommend the best way to implement a full day of early learning for four- and five-year-old children. To inform his recommendations, Dr. Pascal is consulting with people who work with children and visiting programs across Ontario. His advice will help Ontario develop an innovative model of early learning that builds on our child care and kindergarten progress. This initiative is about ensuring the youngest students have the right supports in place to succeed when they enter Grade 1.

The ministry continued to support early healthy child development through: infant screening programs that identify potential issues, needs and risks; hearing, speech and language programs that identify, treat and support children with a communication disorder; and a new early intervention program that provides services for children who are blind or have low vision.

Children and Youth at Risk

Child Protection

Ontario’s child protection services help children and youth who have been abused or neglected to grow up in a safe, stable, caring environment and become successful adults.

53 children’s aid societies (CASs) have the mandate to protect children who are abused or neglected by their caregivers, to provide for their care, and place children for adoption. Aboriginal children who are not covered by Aboriginal CASs are served by local CASs. Five northern Aboriginal CASs serve 63 of Ontario’s 134 First Nation communities on and off reserve. One other Aboriginal CAS serves solely urban Native clients. In 2007-08, the ministry increased its investment in child protection by more than $45 million.

In response to an Auditor General’s report that identified concerns with four specific children’s aid societies and the ministry’s child protection program, the ministry initiated a number of processes to improve accountability. In early 2008, the Auditor General released a follow-up report indicating progress had been made to address his recommendations.

The ministry continues to work with children’s aid societies and community partners to make the child protection system more accountable, flexible and responsive to the needs of children, youth and their families receiving care. Changes to the child welfare system have resulted in:

The changes have also made adoption more flexible by allowing more children to be adopted while retaining ties to their birth family and community. There is also a range of options beyond adoption for more children and youth in care to have permanent homes.

Children and Youth Mental Health

The ministry strengthened mental health services for children and youth through new investments of $24.5 to address gaps in local service needs and reduce wait times. Through this additional funding, the government is building on its previous investments in more than 260 child and youth mental health agencies and 17 hospital-based outpatient programs.

Two new hubs and ten new, rural, remote and underserved communities joined the ministry’s telepsychiatry program through an investment of $1.5 million, bringing the total investment in the program to $2.4 million annually. This expansion means better access and reduced wait times for more children and youth needing mental health services in rural, remote and underserved communities.

Together with community partners, the ministry is mapping Ontario services available for children and youth with mental health needs. Mapping will be used to support children and youth mental health planning at the provincial and community levels to support a more responsive and sustainable system through the next decade.

Residential Services

Children and youth may come into residential care through a children’s aid society or through a court-order for youth in conflict with the law. Other children may require residential care due to developmental and physical challenges, medically fragile conditions, behavioural difficulties, psychiatric disorders or substance abuse. Residential care is provided through either group or foster care settings. Some residential services offer specialized treatments and therapeutic programs while others provide care, support to children and youth at risk. The ministry funds approximately 5,000 beds in group homes, 11,000 in foster homes, and about 1,400 beds for youth in custody.

The ministry continues to implement its 2007 action plan, Improving Child and Youth Residential Services in Ontario, to strengthen quality in residential environments for children and youth in the child protection, youth justice and special needs sectors. The action plan includes:

Youth Justice Services

The ministry provides a range of services to maximize youth rehabilitation, reduce re-offending rates and help youth in, or at risk for, conflict with the law to become positive contributors to their communities. In 2007-08, Ontario invested over $307 million for youth in conflict with the law.

The ministry has made significant progress towards its goal of an integrated and dedicated youth justice system in Ontario -- one that recognizes that the needs of youth are different from the needs of adults. Construction continued on new secure youth facilities in Sault Ste. Marie and Brampton, and the government committed $28.4 million to build new facilities in Thunder Bay and Fort Frances and to expand the youth justice facility in Ottawa.

The ministry, through collaboration with an Interministerial Committee has been working over the past three years to implement, deliver and evaluate a range of pre- and post-charge diversion programs. In October 2007, the ministry released a draft Interministerial Extrajudical Measures Framework for youth for consultation at the community, regional, provincial, federal and interministerial levels. This Framework is being finalized, working towards implementation over the next two years.

The Alternatives to Custody and Community Interventions (ATCCI) Strategy helps youth in conflict with the law to reach their full potential as well as be held accountable for their actions. The goal is to provide meaningful rehabilitation and reduce the rates of re-offending.

ATCCI programs include prevention, diversion, alternative sentencing and reintegration and are responsive to the needs of youth, including specific youth populations such as Aboriginal youth and youth with mental health issues. These include:

The ministry is also focused on the prevention of youth crime. The report on the Roots of Violence, co-chaired by Roy McMurtry and Alvin Curling will help to identify the root causes of violence involving youth, and provide recommendations to continue building safer, stronger communities and schools. The report is expected to be released in 2008.

Youth Opportunities Strategy

The Youth Opportunities Strategy was expanded from Toronto and Durham Region in 2007-08 to include youth from high needs neighbourhoods in Windsor, London, Thunder Bay, Hamilton, Ottawa and communities policed by Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service. It receives $10.9 million in annual funding. The 2007 strategy included:

Specialized Services

Autism Spectrum Disorder Services

The ministry’s objectives for autism services are to increase access and parent choice, improve the service quality, and support the continuity of services for children in school through collaboration with the Ministry of Education.

An $8.3 million investment to expand the Autism Intervention Program provided Intensive Behaviour Intervention (IBI) treatment to approximately 210 more children and youth with autism. The funding was also used to hire more IBI therapists and to provide temporary relief services to more than 3,000 families across the province.

The ministry invested $530,000 to help send more than 800 kids with autism to nine summer camps across the province. The money also allowed families to hire support workers to provide one-on-one help to their children while at camp. During the 2008 March break more than 500 children and youth with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) took part in camps designed especially for them and their families. Support workers were also available for some kids who needed one-on-one help to participate in the activities.

The Graduate Certificate Program in Autism and Behavioural Science was expanded to three new colleges in southwestern Ontario to increase the pool of qualified professionals to work with children and youth with autism. Beginning in 2008-09, almost 300 students will take the program at 12 colleges across Ontario, including Fanshawe College in London, Lambton College in Sarnia and St. Clair College in Windsor.

Children’s Treatment Centres

The ministry increased its annual investment in 20 children’s treatment centres by $4 million in 2007-08 to $81.9 million to improve supports for kids with special needs. This new funding provided more services that benefited approximately 2,200 kids. The centres provide core rehabilitation services including physio- and occupational therapy and speech and language services to children with physical and/or developmental disabilities, chronic illness and/or communication disorders, and their families. About 54,000 children receive services each year. In addition to increasing ongoing operating funding in 2007-08 to children’s treatment centres, Ontario has also invested in capital projects to expand services in Thunder Bay, North Bay and Windsor.

Aboriginal Children and Youth

The ministry continued to work with Aboriginal organizations and First Nation communities to improve services for Aboriginal children, youth and families. This past year, the ministry provided a range of supports to Aboriginal children and families including:

In 2007/08, the ministry announced it will build a new 12-bed youth justice facility in Fort Frances dedicated to Aboriginal youth and operated by an Aboriginal organization. This will allow young people to move from the Kenora Jail, which is an adult facility. The new facility is expected to be operational by April 2009.

Independent Child and Youth Advocate

The Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth Act, 2007 was passed providing an independent voice for some of Ontario’s most vulnerable children and youth. The legislation makes the province’s Child and Youth Advocate an independent officer of the legislature.

The Child and Youth Advocate speaks on behalf of Ontario’s most vulnerable young people, including those involved with the youth justice system, children and youth in foster, group or residential care, and those who have physical or developmental disabilities.

  Ministry Interim Expenditures ($M) 2007-08
Operating 3,745
Capital 65
BPS Consolidation (87)
   
Staff Strength
(as of March 31, 2008)
2,187.9 Full-time equivalents