A Stronger, Safer Tomorrow: A Public Action Plan for the Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention’s Final Recommendations
On any given day in Alberta, more than 10,000 children and youth receive child intervention services, and roughly six out of every 10 of these young people are Indigenous
The Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention was an unprecedented, open and transparent review of the child intervention system. For more than 12 months, an all-party panel heard from Indigenous leaders, families, communities, international experts, staff and stakeholders. Less than a month after the panel gave its first recommendations, I tabled legislation to ensure the independent Child and Youth Advocate would review every single death of a child in care. Bill 18: The Child Protection and Accountability Act, was proclaimed in March 2018.
The second phase of the panel delivered 26 final recommendations derived by consensus, and aimed at reducing the overrepresentation of Indigenous children and youth receiving services. The action plan I am unveiling today provides a pathway to a safer, stronger child intervention system that better protects children and youth and supports their families. All of the panel’s recommendations have clear actions designed to move our province forward, 16 of which will be completed this fiscal year. These actions improve supports for families and make the system stronger, safer and more accountable. They will include full implementation of Jordan’s Principle. They develop new assessment processes for kinship caregivers. They spell out some of the work needed to end the service gap on reserves. They include updates to the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act. And they will create an Indigenous advisory body to guide every step of the way.
Children’s Services will lead the implementation of this public action plan, but we will not be alone. I will continue to advocate to the federal government and collaborate with my cross-ministry colleagues. Most importantly, Indigenous people will be involved at every step of implementation, jointly working together to develop solutions that meet the needs specific to their communities. I am wholeheartedly committed to reconciliation. To correct historical injustices, we will support Indigenous families and strive to keep their children safe and at home whenever possible.
The report identifies 25 recommendations divided into:
- Short-term: To be completed in 2018-19
- Mid-Term: To be compeleted by 2020
- Long-Term:To be completed by 2022