Province announces strategy to improve foster care system

Last updated: 08-03-2020

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Province announces strategy to improve foster care system

Province announces strategy to improve foster care system
News
by Rick Vanderlinde
Barrie Advance
The provincial government is taking steps to improve what a Barrie-based advocacy group calls a broken foster care system.
Simcoe North MPP Jill Dunlop, associate minister of children and women's issues, said new measures will focus on prevention, early intervention and seeking more permanent homes for foster children.
“Children and youth in care experience significantly worse outcomes than those in a family setting, such as lower graduation rates, a higher risk of homelessness and more involvement with the justice system,” she said in a prepared statement on July 29. “That is why we are transforming the child welfare system, to ensure more families stay together and children and youth in care have the supports they need to transition from care to adulthood.”
The Child Welfare Political Action Committee, founded by Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions chair Jane Kovarikova in 2017, applauds the efforts to improve residential care, address the overrepresentation of minority groups, and improve education and employment opportunities.
But the group, which is made up of former foster children, maintains that its original goal of improving programs by studying the outcomes of existing aged-out foster children is essential.
“Without studying youth outcomes after care, it is not possible to understand whether earlier policy and programming have generated positive effects on youths' futures,” Child Welfare PAC said in a media release.
In a previous interview, Kovarikova said part of the problem is that Ontario’s child welfare system sets foster children up for failure by instilling “low expectations.”
“A big miss in the system right now is they don’t track their outcomes, so they don’t know if what they are doing works or not,” she said in 2017.
The provincial strategy to redesign the system includes:
• strengthening family well-being through community-based prevention services that keep children safe in family-based settings;
• improving the quality of residential care; 
• promoting the development of stable and lifelong connections and supports for youths, with a focus on education and employment opportunities;
• improving the adoption experience and focusing on family-based options;
• creating a financially sustainable and effective child welfare system.
The province has yet to announce funding to support the initiatives.
Province announces strategy to improve foster care system
Measuring outcomes of in-care youths still needed, Barrie-based group says
News
by Rick Vanderlinde
Barrie Advance
The provincial government is taking steps to improve what a Barrie-based advocacy group calls a broken foster care system.
Simcoe North MPP Jill Dunlop, associate minister of children and women's issues, said new measures will focus on prevention, early intervention and seeking more permanent homes for foster children.
“Children and youth in care experience significantly worse outcomes than those in a family setting, such as lower graduation rates, a higher risk of homelessness and more involvement with the justice system,” she said in a prepared statement on July 29. “That is why we are transforming the child welfare system, to ensure more families stay together and children and youth in care have the supports they need to transition from care to adulthood.”
The Child Welfare Political Action Committee, founded by Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions chair Jane Kovarikova in 2017, applauds the efforts to improve residential care, address the overrepresentation of minority groups, and improve education and employment opportunities.
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But the group, which is made up of former foster children, maintains that its original goal of improving programs by studying the outcomes of existing aged-out foster children is essential.
“Without studying youth outcomes after care, it is not possible to understand whether earlier policy and programming have generated positive effects on youths' futures,” Child Welfare PAC said in a media release.
In a previous interview, Kovarikova said part of the problem is that Ontario’s child welfare system sets foster children up for failure by instilling “low expectations.”
“A big miss in the system right now is they don’t track their outcomes, so they don’t know if what they are doing works or not,” she said in 2017.
The provincial strategy to redesign the system includes:
• strengthening family well-being through community-based prevention services that keep children safe in family-based settings;
• improving the quality of residential care; 
• promoting the development of stable and lifelong connections and supports for youths, with a focus on education and employment opportunities;
• improving the adoption experience and focusing on family-based options;
• creating a financially sustainable and effective child welfare system.
The province has yet to announce funding to support the initiatives.
Top Stories
Province announces strategy to improve foster care system
Measuring outcomes of in-care youths still needed, Barrie-based group says
News
by Rick Vanderlinde
Barrie Advance
The provincial government is taking steps to improve what a Barrie-based advocacy group calls a broken foster care system.
Simcoe North MPP Jill Dunlop, associate minister of children and women's issues, said new measures will focus on prevention, early intervention and seeking more permanent homes for foster children.
“Children and youth in care experience significantly worse outcomes than those in a family setting, such as lower graduation rates, a higher risk of homelessness and more involvement with the justice system,” she said in a prepared statement on July 29. “That is why we are transforming the child welfare system, to ensure more families stay together and children and youth in care have the supports they need to transition from care to adulthood.”
The Child Welfare Political Action Committee, founded by Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions chair Jane Kovarikova in 2017, applauds the efforts to improve residential care, address the overrepresentation of minority groups, and improve education and employment opportunities.
Related Content
Simcoe North MP working to improve supports for victims of human trafficking
But the group, which is made up of former foster children, maintains that its original goal of improving programs by studying the outcomes of existing aged-out foster children is essential.
“Without studying youth outcomes after care, it is not possible to understand whether earlier policy and programming have generated positive effects on youths' futures,” Child Welfare PAC said in a media release.
In a previous interview, Kovarikova said part of the problem is that Ontario’s child welfare system sets foster children up for failure by instilling “low expectations.”
“A big miss in the system right now is they don’t track their outcomes, so they don’t know if what they are doing works or not,” she said in 2017.
The provincial strategy to redesign the system includes:
• strengthening family well-being through community-based prevention services that keep children safe in family-based settings;
• improving the quality of residential care; 
• promoting the development of stable and lifelong connections and supports for youths, with a focus on education and employment opportunities;
• improving the adoption experience and focusing on family-based options;
• creating a financially sustainable and effective child welfare system.
The province has yet to announce funding to support the initiatives.


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