Because the establishment of the Representative's position and the hiring of Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond was simultaneous with the Hughes Review and Recommendations of 2006, this report is appraising the progress of MCFD in accomplishing the specific 62 recommendations resultant from the Hughes Review. I told you yesterday that she will not use the recommendations for any future measurement of MCFD because MCFD has abandoned them.
The Representative of Children and Youth considers that the MCFD has willfully disconnected from the Hughes recommendations, and in her report she is concerned that MCFD is presently positioned to make lofty promises but is showing no evidence of improved outcomes. She writes that “There is insufficient evidence of appropriate budgeting, workforce management or clarity around expectations for non-governmental service providers. All of this is compounded by recent budget pressures and new priorities on fiscal restraint.”
I have lifted the next two paragraphs directly from her report, pgs. 6-8.
That entire report can be read at this link.
“The Representative is not expecting MCFD to achieve a standard beyond reach."
There is no such thing as a perfect child welfare system. But an effective system has some essential characteristics, and these were articulated clearly in the Hughes Review. A well-functioning child welfare system meets the obligations established in legislation by:
• establishing a clear mandate
• guaranteeing children and families equitable and consistent access to core services
• establishing service expectations and standards to ensure consistency
• establishing effective structures and systems to support the services, including adequate
supervision and ongoing training
• allocating appropriate resources, including adequate and qualified staff
• achieving reasonable outcomes
• reporting on outcomes achieved at the level of the child, particularly for children at risk
• maintaining transparency in the delivery of services, and
• monitoring performance and using data to improve services.”
“These are the fundamental elements of the system that the Representative will continue to monitor in the interests of transparency and public accountability. The Representative is not confident that these components are currently in place given the level of reporting and accountability the ministry has provided.”