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Message from the Minister and Accountability Statement

I am pleased to present the 2008/09 – 2010/11 Service Plan for the Ministry of Children and Family Development. This plan reflects the work being done in the Ministry, the achievements of the past year and our strategies to build on those achievements over the next three years.

Our goal, as a Ministry and as a government, is a simple one but at the same time particularly complex: to recognize and build on the strengths inherent in all children, youth and families, to understand their challenges and to support them — through a continuum of integrated programs and services — in reaching their unique potential within the context of their own culture and community.

This strengths-based approach continues to guide us as we build on the process of change that began almost two years ago. The steps we have taken in this journey are significant and include increased regional autonomy with decision making based on local priorities and assessed needs, and an ongoing cultural shift in the way the Ministry works, giving children, youth, families and communities a greater say in determining their own futures.

The Ministry supports Aboriginal communities to strengthen their capacity to deliver culturally appropriate services and integrated programs to their communities. The Ministry continues to work in partnership with Aboriginal communities to develop community based decision making models. In 2007, Interim Aboriginal Authorities were established in the Fraser and Vancouver Island regions. Interim Authorities and Planning Committees are working with Aboriginal communities in their regions on how services can be changed to better meet the needs of Aboriginal children, youth and their families.

The Ministry works to continuously improve policy and practice. Quality assurance mechanisms are in place to ensure that standards are met and that positive outcomes are achieved for B.C.’s children, youth and families. In 2008/09, the Ministry will take steps to enhance existing quality assurance activities across all program areas.

We are also committed to ensuring permanency plans are in place for children in care. We are committed to reducing the time it takes to identify adoption matches for those children who will benefit from this type of permanent family home.

Recognizing the important and valued role of B.C.’s 3,200 foster families, 2008/09 will see the second installment of a $31 million rate increase. Most foster families are receiving an increase of at least $200 per month for each child, incrementally over three years.

Our efforts to support families and communities to raise healthy and resilient children and youth are augmented by our commitments to lead the way in healthy living and physical fitness, and in climate action.

The Ministry supports programs and services that help achieve the goals of ActNow BC — such as healthy child development and family strengthening services that include pregnancy outreach programs, family support workers and recreation programs.

Every day, we each make choices that impact the earth’s climate and the world we all share. All of us can care for our children by placing an emphasis on reducing the effect we have on the environment. One of the ways the Ministry is working toward this is through the adoption of accreditation standards that support involvement in projects and programs such as recycling, use of environmentally friendly products, lower consumption of water and energy, and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

I am extraordinarily proud of the efforts of Ministry staff, stakeholders and our many valued partners over the past year in creating stronger, more responsive child and family development services in our province. I look forward to our continued journey together on behalf of B.C.’s children, youth and families.

The Ministry of Children and Family Development 2008/09 – 2010/11 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, 2008 have been considered in preparing the plan and I am accountable for achieving the specific objectives in the plan.

Honourable Tom Christensen
Minister of Children and Family Development

February 8, 2008

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