Background Content

Child Welfare (1-5)

Auditor-General Report on Child and Family Services in NWT

October 23, 2018

A complex range of issues—such as family violence, poverty, alcohol and drug misuse, and the intergenerational effects of the former residential school system—put some children and families in the Northwest Territories at risk and in need of child protection and family services. According to the Department of Health and Social Services, an average of about 1,000 children per year have received either protection or prevention services under the Act over the past 10 years.
Our audit determined that there continued to be serious deficiencies in the delivery of child and family services in the Northwest Territories. We found that many of the services provided to children and families were worse than when we examined them in 2014.

Audit Results:

Services for children in parental care

  • Health and Social Services authorities did not meet key requirements to protect children and support families

Services for children in temporary and permanent care

  • Health and Social Services authorities did not fulfill their parental responsibilities to protect and care for children in temporary and permanent care
  • Inadequate supervision of children placed out of the territory put some children’s safety at risk
    Youth leaving the system received new support

Foster care

  • Serious deficiencies persisted in foster care monitoring and support

The system for delivering child and family services

  • System changes did not result in better services for children and families
    The Department had still not determined the financial and human resources needed to deliver the required child and family services

Govvernment Response to the Auditor-Geberal Report: Feb, 26, 2019
To address the issues identified by the OAG, the Department of Health and Social Services has committed to achieving major, much-needed change within the next two years.