You already know that former health services chief administrative officer Stephen Brown has replaced Lesley du Toit as the deputy minister of children and family development. His experience encourages me. Most of his career has been spent in child and family services. He was CEO of the Ma-mowe Capital Region, Child and Family Service Authority in Alberta. Stephen has worked for the Government of Alberta’s Ministry of Children’s Services where he was Executive Manager for that province’s Child Welfare Act Review. He has a PhD focusing on the management of strategic change in the public service and holds Masters degrees in Business Administration and Organizational Psychology. Brown's autobiography is posted on Royal Roads University's Website as I noted yesterday.
- I am eager to watch him confer with Mary-Ellen Turpel-Lafond, the Representative for Children and youth and designated watchdog over the Ministry of Children and Family Development. Ms. Turpel-Lafond's job was handicapped by a reported unwillingness by Leslie du Toit's office to collaborate or cooperate for the common outcome of healthy and improved practice.
- I will be delighted to learn that Dr. Brown works in tandem with the Minister, newly appointed Mary McNeil, and that Ms. McNeil is not merely a defender of public mouthpiece for MCFD but a keenly advised player in a true transformation of the Ministry.
- I am anxious to watch Dr. Brown assess the present state of Ministry practice within the regions, the judicial congestion of cases and whether he concludes that many of these court appearance could be avoided by improved early negotiation and service provisions.
- I will be an avid supporter of any initiative he makes to licence all social workers so that there is uniform accountability.
- I will want to know whether his experience in Alberta informs his directions and his leadership with respect to working with First Nations in B.C. to protect children with high respect for native culture and families.
- I will look forward to watching his expertise in business administration accomplish improved services with MCFD's available budget and resources, as well as to watch his organizational psychology background address the structure of MCFD, the interplay of regions with Victoria, and perhaps somewhere in the not too distant future a fullscale review and revision of the Child, Family and Community Services Act which has generated this legal logjam.