This Annual Report of the Director of Child and Family Services presents data on the delivery of services under the Child and Family Services Act during the ten-year period between April 1, 2008 and March 31, 2018. This 2017-2018 report meets the requirement under the Child and Family Services Act to provide an annual report to the Minister of Health and Social Services.
Table 1 highlights the major trends described in this ten-year retrospective report:
Major Trends in Child and Family Services Statuses (2008-2018)
|10-Year Trend (2008-2018)|
|Rate of Children Receiving Services (0-15 years)||X|
|Rate of Children Receiving Services (16-18 years)||X|
|Proportion of Children Receiving Services at Home||X|
|Proportion of Children Removed from Home and Community||X|
|Proportion of First Nations Children Receiving Services||X|
|Rate of Voluntary Services Agreements||X|
|Rate of Support Services Agreements||X|
|Rate of Apprehensions Less Than 72 Hours||X|
|Rate of Apprehensions Greater Than 72 Hours||X|
|Rate of Plan of Care Agreements||X|
|Rate of Supervision Orders||X|
|Rate of Interim Custody Orders||X|
|Rate of Temporary Custody Orders||X|
|Rate of Permanent Custody Orders||X|
|Rate of Children in Out of Territory Placements||X|
|Rate of Children in Permanent Care||X|
There are a number of Child and Family Services statuses under which a child may receive services. These statuses include services that are established by agreement with parents or youth (Voluntary Services Agreements, Support Services Agreements, and Plan of Care Agreements), and court-ordered services (Supervision Orders, and Interim, Temporary and Permanent Custody Orders). The 2017-2018 data shows an increasing trend over the past ten years of statuses by agreement, and a decreasing trend of those statuses that are court-ordered.
In some circumstances, a child may be placed outside of the family home by agreement or by court order. The placement of children while receiving services is discussed in this report. Over the past ten years, there has been an increase from 19% in 2008-2009 to 30% in 2017-2018 of children remaining in their home while they and their family receive services. A second noteworthy trend is that the number of children being removed from their home community has been decreasing. The integrity of the family and the possibilities for positive outcomes are increased when children are able to remain within their family home, and/or maintain very close ties with their family and community.
Between May and August 2017, the Department conducted an internal audit across the Child and Family Services System in collaboration with the Health and Social Services Authorities. A strong methodology for conducting auditing processes was developed and audit teams included staff from the Department and the Authorities. The audit results indicated that, while there were some audit items in which there was a high degree of compliance, there were a number of audit items in which there was a low rate of compliance, and immediate steps are being taken in order to improve the quality of services. In addition to our internal auditing process, the Office of the Auditor General of Canada also initiated its second audit of the Child and Family Services System in 2017, and this report is to be tabled in 2018-2019.
This annual report identifies a number of accomplishments achieved in the 2017-2018 fiscal year. The report also outlines next steps to continue to improve the services offered to children, youth and their families in the Northwest Territories.