And how it will improve child welfare services to families in Ontario
1. History in the Making
The new provincial process for authorizing child protection workers will be launched in 2017 and is a historic first for child welfare in Ontario. Until now, authorization processes varied across Children’s Aid Societies.
2. Achieving Service Excellence
The purpose of authorization is to standardize and enhance the delivery of child protection services, so that every family in Ontario can expect the same superior service, no matter where in the province they live. It will ensure that all new child protection workers have access to the same training, resources and information, and learning path to carry out specific child welfare services.
3. Responding to Inquest Recommendations
The need for a standardized process to authorize child protection workers was identified in both the Jeffrey Baldwin and Katelynn Sampson inquests. The new authorization process is child welfare’s response to the demand for more transparency and accountability from authorities making decisions that affect children, youth and families.
4. New Curriculum
The new pathway to authorization includes a redesigned training series that all new child protection workers will be required to take. The curriculum includes eight courses and 120 hours of instruction and is offered in a hybrid format, with both in-person and online content. At the end of the coursework, staff will write an exit exam.
5. Improved Curriculum
The new training series has been designed to reflect the realities of child welfare work in Ontario using an anti-oppressive framework. Topics covered include equity, human rights, and anti-racism, with a focus on Indigenous content.
6. Introducing Gradual Caseload Management
New child protection staff will be limited in the scope of work they can do. As they gain knowledge and experience through the authorization process, they will be permitted to take on additional, and increasingly independent, caseload management responsibilities.
7. Ongoing Learning
Following authorization, child welfare professionals will continue to engage in post-authorization professional development activities to ensure they maintain the necessary skills and knowledge to best meet the needs of Ontario’s children, youth, and families.