Message from the Minister
and Accountability Statement
It is my privilege to present the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) 2006/07–2008/09 Service Plan. This plan outlines how the ministry will support government in achieving its Five Great Goals for a Golden Decade.
Strong partnerships and collaborative relationships with other ministries, stakeholders and community partners are corner-stones of how the ministry will assist in supporting government’s Five Great Goals. The ministry’s support is focused on the first three Great Goals which emphasize literacy, healthy living and physical fitness, and support for vulnerable children, youth and adults. Where possible the ministry also supports Great Goals 4 and 5 — sustainable environmental management and the creation of jobs — through its programs and initiatives.
My first priority is the health and safety of children and youth in B.C. We provide a wide range of supports and services to keep children safe and to strengthen and assist families. I am confident that our child welfare system is one of the finest in the world, and that staff, through their professionalism and dedication, are ensuring all necessary steps are being taken to protect children. It is critical to our success that the ministry has effective and responsive approaches to build and support the capacity of families. The regular review of our practices, combined with the implementation of practices that are informed by current research, is a necessary and important part of providing the best services possible. I believe the recommendations from the reviews that are currently underway will assist us in improving the services provided to children and their families in this province.
Reflecting government’s new relationship with Aboriginal people, the ministry works with Aboriginal leaders to address issues relating to the safety and well-being of Aboriginal children and families. Children are the heart of the Aboriginal community and the ministry is committed to improving services to better meet the needs of Aboriginal people. Working in partnership with other ministries will enhance our ability to positively impact the lives of Aboriginal citizens. Our ministry is working with Aboriginal communities to enhance the capacity for service delivery and to develop regional Aboriginal child and family development regional authorities to give greater community control over Aboriginal child and family services. The ministry also plans to proceed with establishing regional non-Aboriginal child and family development authorities.
The Ministry of Children and Family Development, working with our partners, including the Ministries of Health and Education, is committed to building an integrated system of programs and services to increase the capacity of families and communities and to provide the best possible environment in which to raise a child. The ministry supports initiatives and programs for children with special needs, for youth who are at risk, and for child and youth mental health. Actively participating in the development of the StrongStartBC strategy provides MCFD with opportunities to realize improved outcomes for British Columbia’s children, youth and their families. Coordinated efforts with other ministries and community organizations will assist in meeting Great Goal 3 — building the best system of support in Canada for persons with disabilities, those with special needs, children at risk, and seniors.
The ministry will continue to support and make improvements to strategies and initiatives for young children, and their families, that promote early childhood development, including child care, early intervention and services for children with special needs. Working with the Ministry of Education, we will continue to strengthen linkages between and among early learning, child care and early childhood development initiatives to improve school readiness and school performance, helping to realize Great Goal 1 — to make B.C. the best-educated, most literate jurisdiction on the continent. The ministry contributes to Great Goal 2 — to lead the way in North America in healthy living and physical fitness — through initiatives in our child care centres and initiatives targeted for vulnerable children.
Our province continues to be a leader in developing community-based services for individuals with developmental disabilities, as evidenced by the creation of Community Living British Columbia (CLBC), the Crown agency responsible for providing services for persons with developmental disabilities.1 I support CLBC’s vision for the future that will lead to service improvements, and will enable individuals with developmental disabilities to more fully participate in and contribute to their communities. As Minister Responsible, I will work with CLBC to meet its objectives and ensure its accountability.
We will continue the implementation of the multi-year Child and Youth Mental Health Plan across the province. The first two years focussed on making the existing services effective and efficient. Resource enhancements to children’s mental health services are underway to reduce the gap between need and capacity. The ministry will continue to improve B.C.’s mental health service system in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and community partners.
I have set challenging performance targets in our service plan to guide the ministry’s efforts to move toward the desired results. For all of the ministry’s services, ongoing monitoring assists with determining that needs are being met in an effective and efficient manner and that the service delivery system is sustainable.
The Ministry of Children and Family Development 2006/07–2008/09 Service Plan was prepared under my direction in accordance with the Budget Transparency and Accountability Act. I am accountable for the basis on which the plan has been prepared. All material fiscal assumptions and policy decisions as of February 8, 2006 have been considered in preparing the plan and I am accountable for achieving the specific objectives in the plan.
Honourable Stanley B. Hagen
Minister of Children and Family Development
and Minister Responsible for CLBC
February 8, 2006