5 things you should know about the recently released child welfare performance indicators

Through the implementation of a provincial performance measurement and management system, Ontario’s Children’s Aid Societies have taken an important step to enhance their accountability and commitment to achieve better outcomes for the children, youth and families they serve.

  1. The three core areas of child welfare work are safety, permanency and well-being. These are reflected in the five performance indicators that Children’s Aid Societies publicly report on as an annual commitment to increase the accountability and transparency of the child welfare sector. You can find performance indicator results for individual agencies here.
  1. The most recent performance indicator results (2014-15) remain on trend and include the highest number of agencies validating, including three agencies using the Child Protection Information Network (CPIN), the provincial child welfare information system.
  1. The majority of work that CASs do is to keep children and youth safe within their families, focusing on the best interest and well-being of the child. The performance indicators for safety look at the recurrence of families coming back into contact with the child welfare system after their files were closed. In 2014-15 the number of families that returned to the system with child protection concerns was low, with 84-85% of cases not recurring after an investigation and 81- 82% of cases not recurring after ongoing protection services were provided. These provincial results indicate that the majority of families that received child welfare services did not need to return to the system. Of the 18-19% of families that did return with further protection concerns, 16% involved chronic needs, including cases of families struggling with issues of poverty, mental health, substance abuse and extreme poverty.
  1. The performance indicators for permanency measure where children in care are placed and how long it takes for them to be discharged from the care of a CAS. Many permanency options exist for children leaving care, including returning to their family of origin, living with extended family, legal custody, and adoption. The results show that the majority of days of care provided to children/youth in care are family-based at 80%, and that about 65% of children that come into the care of an agency are discharged within one year, 75% within two years, and 85% within three years.
  1. The performance indicator that measures well-being looks at how children and youth perceive their relationship with their caregivers. The results are on trend and are very positive, with 10-15 year olds feeling more positive about their caregiver relationship than youth aged 16 and 17. The lower score for the 16 and 17 year olds is comparable to a Canadian norm.

To read more about performance indicators and to view the most recent year’s results, click here.