Changes to Improve Services for Children and Families

first_img on-call services that provide emergency response after hours; community services and children’s aid society shared services, such as facilities and equipment; foster and adoption resources; and placement services for children in care. Specific recommendations include, removing the barriers that currently prevent foster and adoptive families from being available to children outside the jurisdiction of their particular agencies or government offices. This will help ensure the best match between children and families, leading to fewer moves and more permanent placements. Placement services will be reorganized to ensure a full range of residential services is available to meet each child’s unique needs. These services include foster homes, group homes and programs for children with disabilities who are in the province’s care. Support for families at home, including prevention, parenting programs and services to youth, will continue to be strengthened in partnership with community organizations. Implementation of the recommendations will begin over the next year. “This was a tremendous joint effort in the best interests of families and children in our province,” said Mr. Morse. “These improvements will strengthen the high quality child welfare services already in place in Nova Scotia.” In 2004, there were about 11,500 child welfare cases in Nova Scotia. About 840 of those involved court proceedings. Less than one per cent of all cases involved apprehending a child from the home. The full report can be viewed online at www.gov.ns.ca/coms . Strategies to improve services for families, increase foster care support and strengthen placement options for children and youth in care were outlined in a report released today, Jan. 12, by the Department of Community Services and children’s aid societies. “Our first goal is to support families so children can remain at home, but the need to protect children from abuse or neglect means that’s not always possible,” said Community Services Minister David Morse. “The recommendations in this report will help us strengthen our services to ensure we are providing stable, safe and nurturing environments when children can’t live with their birth families.” More than 100 people from the department and children’s aid societies participated in several working groups to examine existing services and recommend improvements. Input was also received from the Federation of Foster Families of Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia Council for the Family, IWK Mental Health Services, Nova Scotia Home for Coloured Children, Chisholm Youth Services, Growing Together Dartmouth Family Centre, Dayspring Children’s Centre and many other organizations serving children and families. “We entered into this project with the goal of modernizing the administration of our services, while keeping the best of what makes our child welfare system effective for children and families,” said Jack Coffin, past president of the Children’s Aid Society of Cape Breton-Victoria. “It was an opportunity to work together to examine how services are delivered, and recommend important changes to improve support for vulnerable children and families in our province.” The report examined key areas of child welfare service delivery:last_img read more

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