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Dufferin CAS to Continue

November 20, 2010 permalink

Dufferin CAS logo

Dufferin CAS will not merge with a surrounding CAS, contrary to an earlier report.



Province says it will leave DCAFS as it is

After meeting with staff and clients of Dufferin Child and Family Services (DCAFS) last week, the provincial Commission for Sustainable Child Welfare assured the agency there will be no move to integrate it with similar children’s aid organizations funded by the province.

DCAFS executive director Trish Keachie hailed the news as “good for Dufferin County.

“As a smaller children’s aid society, we knew we were being looked at (for integration),” she said in an interview.”

Appointed by the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services in November 2009, the commission has a three-year mandate to develop and implement solutions to promote the sustainability of child welfare in Ontario.

The Nov. 10 meeting was with Ene Underwood, one of the three commissioners.

In its July 2010 report, Towards Sustainable Child Welfare in Ontario, the commission wrote that a “sustainable child welfare system should be dynamic and self renewing.

Ms. Keachie says DCAFS, as it is, has already integrated child protection, mental health and developmental support services under one roof.

“One of the key reasons for not asking us to merge with another agency) is the integrated nature of the service we already have,” she said. Thus, with the consent of his/her family, DCAFS professionals can work in concert with each other to service a child’s needs.

“It’s like a rapid response team,” she noted.

Sylvia Jones, Dufferin- Caledon MPP and Opposition Critic for Children and Youth Services, has chided the ministry and the commission for what she sees as a lack of transparency.

She said the ministry sent out letters to all 53 Children’s Aid Societies in the province and asked over one-quarter of them to consolidate with a neighbouring agency.

“There has been no transparency in this process. There has been no formal announcement, no press release, no press conference, no ministerial statement – not even a single tweet from the Ministry or the Commission to let Ontario families know that a consolidation of child protection services is in the works.”

Ms. Jones has asked the minister to release the list of agencies that the Commission has asked to consolidate, but says she was refused one.

Source: Orangeville Citizen