Saturday, February 21, 2015

Ontario slow to fix child protection system, critics say

The Ministry of Children and Youth Services says it has no intention of amalgamating Ontario’s 46 children’s aid societies into one coordinated agency, rejecting a key recommendation from the coroner’s inquest into the death of 5-year-old Jeffrey Baldwin.
The Ministry of Children and Youth Services is dragging its feet on making significant improvements to Ontario’s child protection system, critics argued on the day the ministry responded to recommendations from the Jeffrey Baldwin inquest.

Released almost a year to the day after the coroner’s inquest into the 5-year-old’s death concluded, the ministry’s reponse says its Child Information Protection Network — a system to help the province’s children’s aid societies better share their information — won’t be fully operational until 2020.

That’s a full four years later than the deadline set by the inquest jury, which had designated getting the network up and running as its top recommendation.

“There is this sense of a lack of urgency from the government on making the changes that need to be made now,” said Irwin Elman, Ontario’s Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, “and a reticence to look at the fundamental change that really needs to occur.”  (more...)

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