Today, at Jewish Family and Child, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues Jill Dunlop, announced the government’s intentions to begin an engagement process aimed at informing their plans to modernize Ontario’s child welfare, adoption, and residential services system.
Nicole Bonnie, CEO of OACAS, was in attendance for the announcement and was encouraged by the early details outlined in the Ministry’s engagement plans.
“We are pleased that Associate Minister Dunlop expressed a commitment to engage directly with those with lived experience, Indigenous partners, leadership from Children’s Aid Societies, and other key stakeholders,” said Nicole Bonnie. “We know that in order to make changes that will improve outcomes, we must continue to centre the voices of children, youth, and families. Those changes must also be guided by the child welfare leaders and professionals who provide vital prevention and protection services every day, as well as other key stakeholders who work with children, youth, and families.”
Associate Minister Dunlop also acknowledged the over-representation of Indigenous and Black children and youth in the child welfare system. For the last several years, OACAS and Children’s Aid Societies have made addressing the over-representation and disparities in outcomes for marginalized populations a priority.
“OACAS has embarked on an ambitious five-year strategic plan to re-imagine the children’s services system, with a focus on four priority areas: equity and belonging, respect and empowerment, Reconciliation, and consistent, excellent services,” said Nicole Bonnie.
OACAS is in strong support of a robust consultation process where the primary focus is on improved outcomes for Ontario’s children, youth, and families, and is looking forward to receiving further details from the Ministry on the process moving forward.
“We support an engagement process that will help strengthen the child welfare system in providing excellent, equitable, and culturally appropriate services consistently across Ontario,” said Nicole Bonnie.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Media Relations and External Communications Specialist
Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies