Ministry of Children and Youth Services – Child Welfare Secretariat – May 2006
An update on Child Welfare Transformation
The following is next in a series of periodic updates on the work of the child welfare secretariat. Please share a copy with staff, foster parents and volunteers as well as those whom you believe would benefit from this information. BILL 210 PASSAGE The recent passage of Bill 210 in late March was an exciting time for the Secretariat and for the entire sector. The work of developing the associated regulations and policy is currently underway. To celebrate the passage of Bill 210, Minister Mary Anne Chambers along with Deputy Minister Judith Wright visited the Secretariat to thank staff for all their hard work. They also confirmed the ministry’s commitment to working with the sector to make it better respond to the needs of children and families. The Secretariat will continue to consult regularly with its stakeholders and advisory committees as it moves forward with regulations and policy development. KINSHIP SYMPOSIUM The Child Welfare Secretariat, along with the OACAS, Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto and the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, hosted a two-day symposium on kinship care on April 4th and 5th. The symposium brought together experts from across North America to talk about developing and implementing kinship programs. Over 500 individuals representing children’s aid societies from across the province attended the symposium. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and participants appreciated the chance to come together and learn from one another. Minister Chambers attended the symposium and provided opening remarks. She expressed her gratitude for the work of the sector and encouraged everyone to embrace kinship as a permanency option for children and youth. ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION SYMPOSIUM Mark your calendars for June 26, 2006 to attend the Alternative Dispute Resolution Symposium. Learn from experts about various areas of alternative dispute resolution including developing systems, family group conferencing, child protection mediation and the unique way that the Aboriginal community uses alternative dispute resolution techniques. This conference will be presented by the Child Welfare Secretariat and the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies. For more information, or to register, visit the OACAS website at www.oacas.org .
The following provides you with updated information about the work underway in each of the major project areas: DIFFERENTIAL RESPONSE The Differential Response team continues to revise the mandatory clinical tools to ensure they are integrated with legislation, standards and practice. The draft revisions have taken into consideration the content of the University of Toronto report regarding the outcome of the clinical tools test drive that was received by the Secretariat in early April. A focus group, whose members include leaders from the child welfare field, has been established to review those revisions and it is expected that all mandatory tools will be finalized shortly. New child protection standards are being written and this work is well underway. A focus group has now met twice to review the standards in draft form. The Differential Response Reference Group remains active and continues to meet regularly. As well, the Differential Response staff continues to serve as a reference to the Single Information Project as it moves forward. ALTERNATIVES TO COURT The Alternative Dispute Resolution team continues to appreciate the involvement and support of the Alternatives to Court Reference Group and have also received valuable input from a number of stakeholders and practitioners in the field. This input will be used in the policy development of a number of regulations involving alternative dispute resolution. The Secretariat has been working with the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies on the development and production of an educational video to support the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). The 10-minute film is intended to be a training/information resource for the staff of children’s aid societies and to act as a tool to engage families in considering ADR as a possible alternative to proceeding to court. The film will debut at the upcoming symposium on Alternative Dispute Resolution on June 26 and will then be distributed to CASs for use with clients. TRAINING Orientation sessions on the transformation initiatives for CAS managers, trainers and transformation leaders are almost complete. The sessions began in February and should end in May. The curriculum for the next round of orientation sessions for frontline, administrative and support staff has been completed. Training for the agency based instructors who will facilitate the sessions has begun; as well as has some of the orientation sessions. Curricula for CAS boards, foster parents and communities are currently under development by the OACAS. The Secretariat continues to work with other areas of the ministry, community and government to ensure the appropriate information is communicated and to support capacity building as needed.
CUSTOMARY CARE The Association of Native Child and Family Service Agencies of Ontario submitted the final report February 20, 2006 on Principles and Best Practice Guidelines for Customary Care. The Secretariat will be initiating further discussion regarding next steps with the Association of Native Child and Family Services and the OACAS through the Transformation Advisory Committee. PERMANENCY PLANNING The Kinship Workgroup held a two day planning session in early May to develop the first draft of standards for kin service and kinship care. The Permanency Reference Group continues to provide vital consultation to support the revision of regulations related to a Place of Safety and Extended Care Maintenance and the development of standards to support permanency agreements for adoption and legal custody. The Secretariat continues to work on policy development to support permanency agreements for adoption and legal custody and in the future will develop standards and best practices for youth leaving care. As well, the permanency team has received the report on youth leaving care and will begin to consider the recommendations found in this report. The Permanency team has started the process of reviewing foster care regulations, standards and licensing to support the goals of the transformation. The Secretariat continues to work on a policy directive for SAFE/PRIDE/OnLac in conjunction with OACAS. Joan Conrad and Daniel Moore continue to utilize opportunities to speak to the field. Daniel recently made a presentation at the Foster Parents Society of Ontario conference in Ottawa and Joan and Daniel presented at the Foster Care Operators’ Association of Ontario conference in Toronto. Representatives from the Secretariat have been invited to make a presentation to OARTY. Update on Policy Directive for SAFE/PRIDE/OnLAC As a follow-up to the policy announcement on November 28, 2005 related to implementing SAFE/PRIDE/OnLAC, plans are in place for a written policy directive to be sent to the field in the near future. Staff from the CWS have been meeting with representatives of private adoption, private foster care and OACAS to develop an implementation plan for SAFE/PRIDE/OnLAC for the services provided by these sectors. For CASs that have started implementation or have plans to start shortly, we encourage you to contact the OACAS for the necessary support and training. ADOPTION Questions and Answers regarding the SAFE (Structured Analysis Family Evaluation) homestudy tool were finalized and sent by e-mail to all children’s aid societies and to private adoption practitioners, agencies and licensees. The Q’s and A’s are also available on the professional portion of the AdoptOntario website – www.adoptontario.ca, and the OACAS members’ website. Future additions or revisions to the Q’s and A’s will be made available through these two websites. The Ministry and OACAS have also responded to concerns from the field regarding difficulty in using the supplementary forms for the adoption homestudy. The forms have been “unlocked” so that letterhead or other questions can be inserted. A CD containing all the forms for easy download to your society network will be sent out to each CAS and private practitioner in the near future. Additionally, an instruction sheet on how to use the forms and the SAFE templates will be provided.
A business requirements document ‘AdoptOntario Website Searching and Matching Requirements’ has been prepared for the adoption resource databank (electronic sorting and matching system for children available for adoption and potential adoptive parents) thanks to the commitment of the members of a small work group. Further design and development work will continue with TP Systems of British Columbia, who hold the license to the system we plan to adapt for Ontario. Work is underway with private and international adoption practitioners in conjunction with OACAS staff regarding adaptations needed to the PRIDE model for families adopting privately or internationally. Shelley Acheson presented to the business meeting of the children’s aid society adoption workers at the Adoption Resource Exchange on April 10, 2006, providing them with an update on legislative and policy reforms on permanency and adoption. ACCOUNTABILITY The Secretariat will continue working over the summer months to create a new framework that will strengthen accountability for child welfare and achieve a more balanced and rationalized accountability relationship with children’s aid societies. A Joint Child Death Review Committee, co-chaired by the Child Welfare Secretariat and the Office of the Chief Coroner and with representation from Children’s Aid Societies, Management Support Branch and Regional Offices, was established in July 2005 to consider options to strengthen accountability in this area. As a result, a new Joint Directive on Child Death Reporting and Review was issued and took effect March 31, 2006 under section 20.1 of the Child and Family Services Act. Feedback to Accountability Discussion Paper, Achieving a Better Balance (October 2005) was also considered and incorporated into the new directive. The Office of the Chief Coroner now has lead responsibility for the analysis of child death, the dissemination of findings and recommendations related to child death and the production of an annual report on child death in Ontario. The Secretariat has also moved forward with policy to support increased community capacity to respond to child welfare as a key component of a new accountability framework. The policy document
Linking Child Welfare within the Children’s Service System in Ontario: A Policy Framework for Communities recognizes that we will have the greatest impact on improving results for children when
the broader service system can respond from the first call or referral to child welfare and or by helping to restore and rebuild permanent families. Local community capacity planning is currently underway across the province and plans are due to regional offices by the end of June 2006.
Work on the development of a province-wide client complaints process remains ongoing. Regulations are currently being developed to more clearly define the practices and procedures for societies to follow when handling complaints. A reference group is being created and will include membership from the regions, CASs, the Aboriginal community as well as the Secretariat to help guide policy development. Recently, members of the Secretariat met with the Child and Family Services Review Board (CFSRB) to discuss upcoming policy work and create further opportunities for working together.
RESEARCH AND EVALUATION The Letters of Intent (LOI) submitted for the Child Welfare Research Grants Program are currently under peer review. The results of this competition will be announced the week of May 15, 2006. Successful LOI applicants will be invited to submit full research proposals, which will be considered for funding of up to $250,000 per annum for a maximum of three years. SINGLE INFORMATION SYSTEM The high level of focused activity related to this initiative continues with the significant involvement of staff from societies contributing to the business redesign process scheduled for completion by June 30, 2006. The Secretariat has and will continue to work closely with the OACAS/IBM project team to ensure that all elements of transformation are incorporated into the system re-design.
SIS Project Delivery Plan
SIS Requirements Business Process Redesign
Pilot System Design, Development and Testing
Pilot Sites System Implementation
Preparing documentation for the Data Center & Full Implementation Planning & Costing
Confidential Policy Development and Program Design Division Child Welfare Secretariat April, 2006
CHILD WELFARE FUNDING MODEL AND MULTI-YEAR RESULTS BASED PLANS The Multi-year Funding Model ( MYFM) and Results Based Plans ( MYRBP) for child welfare were first implemented in June 2005 to prepare for the resourcing of, and information gathering for, service transformation in the following years. The design and components of each of these vehicles will change and evolve over time to help enable the transformation legislation, regulations, standards and policies as they are implemented. On April 4, Jim Phillips and Sally McGowan presented the proposed changes to the MYFM and MYRBP for 2006/07 to over 150 CAS executive directors, finance managers and ministry staff at the OACAS Consultation. The MYFM presentation affirmed the key funding model elements introduced in 2005/06, identified those elements that are proposed to be updated in 2006/07 and identified the proposed new elements for Block 2 Change Management and Investment funding in 2006/07. The Block 2 elements will be implemented in two phases
during the year. The MYRBP presentation identified the proposed changes to the reporting process and reviewed the information to be included. Staff of the Secretariat are now working with ministry staff within the Program Management and Financial Planning and Business Management branches to incorporate the Phase 1 changes into the 2006/07 Budget , Quarterly Reporting and MYRBP Reporting packages. Changes are also being made to update the Operating Guide and the Agency Chart of Accounts. Current plans are for training sessions to be held in early May and for budget packages and agency allocations to be rolled out through Regional office table meetings by mid May. Further training and support will be made available to agencies and Regional Offices after the regional tables are held. Work will continue over the summer on further design changes to the MYFM and MYRBP as transformation policy is finalized. Phase 2 implementation will begin in October.
New faces at the Secretariat
Increasing our staffing capacity to keep up with the enormous demands regarding the detailed policy and implementation planning, continues to be a top priority. The response from the field to our request for assistance at both the ministry and CAS level has been most generous and is much appreciated. A new organization chart on page eight outlines the new structure and the roles of our staff. The following individuals have recently joined the child welfare secretariat on a secondment basis: Brad Bain joins the Secretariat to assist in the development of common data definitions and standards in order to ensure data integrity and consistency across agencies. Brad is seconded from his position as Director of Family Services at the Durham Children's Aid Society. Brad brings a broad range of professional experiences in intake, family services and children in care. He has been an active participant in many agency and provincial projects including quality assurance. Patti Jacobs joins the Secretariat to work on permanency and in particular adoption. She has 25 years experience in the child welfare field and most recently worked as a supervisor of foster care, adoption and family access programs with Haldimand & Norfolk children’s aid society. Patti is the cochair for the Provincial Resource Managers Network and is an original member of the Secretariat’s Adoption Reference Group. Sandy Hayduk joins the Secretariat to advance the work on the client complaints process. Previously, Sandy was the executive assistant to the MCYS Deputy Minister where she managed the day to day operations of the Deputy Minister’s office and provided executive support to the Deputy Minister and the Minister’s office. Sandy brings a range of policy and operations experience gained through her work with the Ministries of Labour, Government Services and the Ontario Realty Corporation. Samantha DeGeer joins the Secretariat to provide administrative support. Prior to working at the Secretariat, Samantha was with the ministry’s Business and Resource Planning Branch.
Staff Changes In order to build capacity of the Child Welfare Secretariat and better manage policy, regulation and implementation planning, two new managers have been appointed on an acting basis. Shelley Acheson will take the lead for the following portfolios: adoption, permanency planning, communications and training. Kevin Morris will take the lead for Single Information System, Aboriginal, data, research and shared services. Both Shelley and Kevin have been with the Secretariat for some time and will bring their broader ministry experience to their new portfolios. Cathy Harrison will continue as a manager and will be the lead for alternative dispute resolution, differential response, accountability and client complaints. As well, she will guide the development and approval of the regulations and policies associated with Bill 210. Mary-Ann Kennedy will now be working with Virginia Clark to manage the increased workload in correspondence and issues management. Chris Steven has returned to his home position with the children’s aid society in London. He will continue to work at the Secretariat one day a week and will assist in the development and approval of regulations. Daniel Moore will be returning to his home position at the Grey Bruce Children’s Aid Society at the end of May. We are very grateful to Chris and Daniel for their tremendous contributions to the Secretariat and the transformation agenda. As well, we thank the ministry and CASs for being so supportive of the work of the Secretariat and for continuing to provide staff through secondments. As most of you are aware, Bruce Rivers is leaving at the beginning of June to become the CEO of Community Living Toronto effective August 1, 2006. Bruce has been with the Secretariat since April 2004 and has guided the team on all aspects of the child welfare transformation. Bruce’s role has been pivotal in the transformation of child welfare within the Secretariat and the ministry. The process of recruitment for the Executive Director of the Child Welfare Secretariat is currently underway through the office of Trinela Cane, Assistant Deputy Minister. To ensure stability, continuity and to continue the important work of the transformation agenda, including the development of regulations, many individuals have agreed to extend their secondments and continue their policy and development work with the Secretariat.
The following organization chart outlines the new structure at the Secretariat and provides a complete listing of current staff.
Bruce Rivers Executive Director Debbie Moore Executive Assistant • Administration • HR Function
Elaine Kennedy (A/A)
Sally McGowan Manager
Funding Framework Jim Phillips
Shelley Acheson Manager
Adoption Wilma Burke Patti Jacobs
Naomi Macleod (A/A)
Cathy Harrison Manager
ADR Paul Heung Sharon Greene Lauren Laskin DR
Anna Mazurkiewicz Nancy French Dawn WalcottParris
Jessie Li (A/A) Client Complaint Susan Rudnik Accountability Sandy Hayduk Donna Irvine Budgets Grant Letters
Kevin Morris Manager
SIS Single Information System Data Brad Bain
Samantha DeGeer (A/A) Research Della Knoke Sarah Petrik
Permanency Planning Daniel Moore Joan Conrad Communications Lisa Joyce
Shared Services OPR Project
Training Sheryl Cohen Shecter
FPT (Federal/ Provincial/ Territorial) Director’s Chair of Child Welfare Regs
MB 20 RBP
Ongoing Policy RESPs
Fast Track Data on a Stick Aboriginal Marianne Borg
Issues Management and Correspondence Virginia Clark Mary-Ann Kennedy Sarah Petrik
KEY DATES June 5 – 7 June 26 June 30 Working Together for Ontario Children and Families – 2006 Joint Conference – OACAS and CMHO Alternative Dispute Resolution Symposium SIS – full documentation of business processes complete
UPCOMING EVENTS The Adoption Resource Exchange Conference is celebrating fifty years.
November 11, 12, 13, & 14, 2006. Delta Chelsea 33 Gerrard Street East Toronto, Ontario Adoption Council of Ontario Seminars. Presentation of Children Available for Adoption Time: 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Training Day – Private and Public Adoption Practitioners, Licensees and Licensed Agencies Presentation of Children for Public Adoption Practitioners and afternoon Business Meeting Time: 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 11, 2006 Sunday, November 12, 2006
Monday, November 13, 2006
Tuesday, November 14, 2006