Budget 2003 -- Government of British Columbia.
         
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Minister's Letter  
Accountability Statement  
Strategic Context  
Core Business Areas  
Ministry Goals, Objectives, Strategies, Performance Measures and Targets  
Consistency with Government Strategic Plan  
Resource Summary  
Summary of Related Planning Processes  

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2003/04 – 2005/06 SERVICE PLAN
Ministry of Children and Family Development

Photograph -- Honourable Gordon Hogg.I am pleased to present the Ministry of Children and Family Developmentís 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 ministryís 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 Ministerís 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 ministryís 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.ís 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 deficits.

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


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Message from the Minister of State

Photograph -- Honourable Linda Reid.The 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 Canadaís 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 childís success through not only school years, but through an entire lifetime.

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 familiesí 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

 

 
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