• Good Intentions, Not Enough Action in Indigenous Child Welfare Plan, Says Advocate

    … many of the prevention programs the government is now pledging to fund don’t currently exist. Additional funding will be needed for capital and start-up costs for new programming to keep kids with their families… “It’s taken us literally generations to get into the circumstances that have led to a severe overrepresentation of Indigenous children in child welfare… So it’s not going to happen overnight, but we’re seeing really positive movement…”

  • MMIWG inquiry gets six-month deadline extension to finish its work

    … the extension will ensure more people can share their experiences with the inquiry, while still “underscoring the urgency” of its final report… extra money will depend on staffing and other costs that the inquiry will identify… The due date for the inquiry’s final report — meant to probe the “systemic causes” of violence against Indigenous women and girls and make recommendations to the government to address them — is now April 30, 2019.

  • A Prescription for Better Health for Canadians

    … helping families raising children, would have a much bigger impact on the average Canadian’s health than spending more on the health-care system would… The worse a person’s childhood is, the more risk there is of everything from obesity and diabetes to substance abuse and suicide. If we really want to get upstream and prevent illness, it means doing more to support people who are raising children. It would take pressure off the health-care system and save money, but only in the long term.

  • How Canada Created a Crisis in Indigenous Child Welfare

    The outcomes for kids in the child welfare system, Indigenous or not, are not good… For Indigenous youth, the issues are worse… Every province and territory makes its own decisions on child welfare, including for reserve communities. So how did they all end up with an overwhelming number of Indigenous children in care? Like every social issue facing Indigenous people in Canada, the origins date back to colonization.

  • The new Toronto megacourthouse is not for youth

    Evidence shows that the most effective way to support young people in conflict with the law, reduce recidivism, and ensure public safety is through community-based programs. Courts and legal services alone can neither address the underlying issues that lead young people into conflict with the law, nor support their rehabilitation. However, once in the system, the best way to treat adolescents appropriately is in separate, specialized youth courts.

  • Community justice hubs to offer addiction, mental health support under same roof as courts

    In the present model, “the judge will say, ‘You need a treatment plan and can you just get on the streetcar and go down the street to CAMH?’ And people walk out the door and they are gone.” Instead, at a justice centre, the “accused actually has access to a social worker, someone they can point to, and say, ‘You need to go talk to that person who is sitting at the back of the courtroom and they are going to help you put together a plan to deal with all the issues you are facing.’ ”

  • Black and Indigenous children over-represented in Ontario child-welfare system: report

    The review by the province’s human rights commission finds a “staggering” number of Indigenous children in care across Canada — more now than there were in residential schools at the height of their use — and Ontario is part of the dismal situation. “The proportion of Indigenous children admitted into care (in Ontario) was 2.6 times higher than their proportion in the child population,” the report states. “The proportion of black children admitted into care was 2.2 times higher than their proportion in the child population.”

  • Ontario Liberals promise $300-million to support special education

    Premier Kathleen Wynne called the increased funding a significant and permanent investment in the province’s special education system. It will go toward hiring about 2,000 new workers in schools, including psychologists, speech and language pathologists and educational assistants, and eliminating the wait list to have children’s special education needs assessed. One in six children in Ontario needs special support, Ms. Wynne said.

  • Hot!

    The mounting case for a single public-school system in Ontario

    It is unequal: Jewish or Hindu or Muslim schools don’t get government funding. How is that fair…? It is expensive: running two giant school systems side by side… It is increasingly awkward: the values of Catholic authorities are bound to clash with changing views in the world… Most of all, it is backward… It is time to embrace that new reality and wind up the separate school system.

  • Kathleen Wynne announces $2.1B in new mental health funding over four years

    The new money is over and above the $3.8 billion spent annually on mental health services… The new funding will mean every secondary school in the province will have access to additional mental health professionals with 400 positions created over the next two years. Next year, 12,000 more young people will have community-based therapy and counselling, jumping to 46,000 by 2021-22. There will also be as many as 15 new “youth wellness hubs” over the next four years to help those aged 12 to 25.