|2003/04 – 2005/06 SERVICE
Ministry of Children and Family Development
am pleased to present the Ministry of Children and Family Development’s
plan to serve the people of British Columbia for the next three
fiscal years, from 2003/04 – 2005/06. This plan outlines the
direction the ministry will take to meet the commitments of the
New Era document and other identified priorities of government.
Three of the ministry’s four core business areas provide direct
services to many thousands of British Columbians each year: Community
Living Services; Child and Family Development; and Provincial Services.
I am optimistic about our move to community-based governance. Over
the past year, we have worked collaboratively with transition committees
and groups, communities, service representatives and families to
seek their advice and input. The joint work completed with the transition
steering committee for community living services to partner in the
establishment of a provincial authority has been highly successful.
I am certain that the changes we are making will ultimately benefit
the at-risk children and youth, adults with developmental disabilities
and the families whom we serve. Bill 65, the Community Services
Interim Authorities Act, was passed in October 2002. It allows
for the creation of five interim child and family development authorities,
five Aboriginal authorities, and an interim provincial community
living authority. Moreover, the Act facilitates the creation of
the new boards and partnerships that will be needed to build the
new service delivery structure and make it successful.
I am both honoured by and grateful to the leaders of Aboriginal
communities in British Columbia for their willingness to work in
a respectful partnership with the ministry to focus on the best
interests of Aboriginal children. We share a vision for the establishment
of regional Aboriginal authorities, anticipated for fiscal 2005/06.
This can only be accomplished through close, effective, working
partnerships with Aboriginal communities. The Minister’s Joint Aboriginal
Management Committee is already playing a key role in providing
advice and recommendations on over-arching issues as well as feedback
on the implementation of Aboriginal authorities.
In the next year, we will continue to balance the organizational
shifts to regional and community governance with the fiscal parameters
of our budget. We will implement individualized funding supports
for families receiving community living services, reduce the overall
per capita rate of children in care by providing family development
supports and services, increase the percentage of children in care
placed in foster homes rather than residential resources; and continue
to increase adoption placements for children in permanent care.
Our challenges will stem from the need to achieve budget targets,
effect legislative change, attain sufficient family care homes for
adults with developmental disabilities, and partner with First Nations
communities to enhance their capacity to care for their children
and families at risk.
All of this must be accomplished within our budget targets. From
2002/03 to 2005/06, the ministry’s budget will decrease by 19 per
cent, or $305 million. It is critical that the ministry meets this
target, while maintaining or enhancing the quality of life for many
of B.C.’s most vulnerable children, youth, and adults with developmental
disabilities and their families. We see a future where people participate
in caring, inclusive communities that encourage their individual
strengths and gifts, rather than exclude them for their perceived
The new provincial and regional authorities will be ideally positioned
to provide services to vulnerable citizens while building family
and community capacity throughout British Columbia.
The Honourable Gordon Hogg
Minister of Children and Family Development
Message from the Minister of State
next three years covered by this Service Plan promise to be an exciting
and innovative era in the progress of early childhood development
programs and services. Since Premier Campbell appointed me as Canada’s
first Minister of State for Early Childhood Development in 2001,
I have been encouraged by the remarkable progress the ministry and
its partners have initiated. I am even more encouraged by our future
opportunities in building a cross-government, integrated early childhood
development strategy that empowers families and communities to improve
outcomes for their own children.
Currently, there are over 270,000 children in B.C. under age six
years. An abundance of research shows that investments in those
critical years can bring about remarkable benefits that bolster
a child’s success through not only school years, but through an
A few examples of the exciting projects we are undertaking with
a variety of motivated partners are as follows:
- Under the leadership of renowned international early childhood
development leader Dr. Clyde Hertzman, we are establishing a multi-university
and society consortium through the Human Early Learning Partnership
(HELP). Based at the University of British Columbia, this innovative
partnership links academia, government and communities in fostering
innovative programs and services in early childhood development.
- Administration of the Early Development Instrument (EDI) through
HELP is underway. The EDI is studying kindergarten-aged children
over a five-year funding period, to create baseline data that
can then be used to gauge readiness to learn in the general population.
- Continuing initiatives to encourage better outcomes for Aboriginal
families and communities, such as through the Urban Aboriginal
Early Childhood Development project already begun in 25 priority
communities and targeted to increase. This culturally appropriate
project will build capacity within Aboriginal communities, and
will strengthen and honour Aboriginal families’ abilities to create
positive environments and outcomes for their children.
Throughout the period covered by the Service Plan, the ministry
will continue investing in and working with community partners on
early childhood development programming in four key areas: promoting
healthy pregnancy, birth and infancy; strengthening early childhood
care and learning; improving parenting and family supports; and
strengthening community supports. I am excited about the potential
achievements that lie ahead in our work with the communities of
the province, to the positive benefit of many children and families
being served by us now and in the years ahead.
The Honourable Linda Reid
Minister of State for Early Childhood Development