Child intervention action plan

A pathway to a stronger, safer child intervention system in response to the Child Intervention Panel’s recommendations.

Overview

A Safer, Stronger Tomorrow provides a pathway to a stronger, safer child intervention system that better protects children and youth, and supports families.

This Action Plan is the Government of Alberta’s response to all of the final recommendations made by the Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention.

It outlines 39 actions that we will take to improve services for Indigenous families, increase supports for children, youth and all caregivers, and address the funding gap on-reserve.

It was developed with Indigenous leaders and communities, as well as community partners across Alberta. This public input helped inform the actions in the plan.

Implementation

To address urgent needs, 16 of the 39 actions will be implemented immediately, including forming an Indigenous advisory body, funding early intervention and prevention services and fully implementing Jordan’s Principle, which ensures all children receive necessary services and supports no matter where they live.

Some actions need more collaboration or require legislative, regulatory or policy changes. All 39 actions will be completed by 2022.

  • 16 immediate actions – to be completed before April 2019
  • 9 short-term actions – to be completed by 2020
  • 14 long-term actions - to be completed by 2022

Specific measures for each action are outlined in the plan. Progress on these actions will be shared through annual reporting and other public reports.

Actions we are taking

The following are high-level actions we are taking to improve the child intervention system, with specific actions and their implementation timeline listed below.

Embedding an Indigenous world view in legislation, policy and programs

The following actions will create stronger, safer and more supportive legislation, policy and programs.

Action Implementation timeline
Amend the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act — Phase One Immediate (2018/19)
Establish three new advisory bodies, including an Indigenous advisory body to oversee implementation Immediate (2018/19)
Implement the Indigenous Cultural Understanding Framework for staff Immediate (2018/19)
Work with Education and other government ministries to address racism Immediate (2018/19)
Amend the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act — Phase Three Long-term (2022)
Develop additional partnerships with the Government of Canada and Indigenous communities to develop programs and services, including addressing equitable funding on- and off- reserve Long-term (2022)

Building capacity of children, youth and families

The following actions will assist and empower youth and families.

Action Implementation timeline
Jointly develop Indigenous parenting, culture and social connectedness programs Immediate (2018/19)
Address social inequalities with new funding prevention and early intervention programs Immediate (2018/19)
Fully implement Jordan’s Principle Immediate (2018/19)
Support Indigenous communities in developing cultural mentoring and peer-support programs and services Short-term (2020)
Improve trauma-informed programs and services for families Short-term (2020)
Improve prevention and early intervention services by increasing accountability for coordinated cross-ministry funding and outcomes Long-term (2022)
Increase access to trauma-informed supports and treatment for children, youth and families Long-term (2022)
Support staff in developing additional skills to better serve families with children with disabilities Long-term (2022)

Supporting and empowering our youth

The following actions will assist young people across Alberta.

Action Implementation timeline
Establish a Youth Advisory Committee to improve supports for youth transitioning into adulthood Immediate (2018/19)
Increase funding for youth suicide prevention programs and services Immediate (2018/19)
Improve post-secondary opportunities for youth involved in the child intervention system Short-term (2020)

Reducing the number of Indigenous children in care

The following actions work towards strengthening and healing Indigenous children, youth and families.

Action Implementation timeline
Pilot a holistic kinship assessment tool to increase the number of safe providers and ensure the safety and well-being of children Immediate (2018/19)
Provide kinship caregivers with more supports when needed for successful placements and stability for children and youth Immediate (2018/19)
Clarify the First Nation Band Designate role to support children and families receiving services Immediate (2018/19)
Establish a long-term funding model for Alberta’s Child Advocacy Centres Immediate (2018/19)
Amend the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act — Phase Two Short-term (2020)
Increase family involvement in decision-making Short-term (2020)
Increase placement options and access for children and youth with complex needs Short-term (2020)
Improve service delivery for children and youth with disabilities and their families Short-term (2020)
Improve mental health and addiction services, prioritizing the Valuing Mental Health report Immediate (2020)

Improving our Child Intervention System

The following actions will help improve the cultural competency of the system and the health and well-being of children and youth receiving services.

Action Implementation timeline
Establish a client feedback and reporting system to empower the voices of children and families Immediate (2018/19)
Establish and fund an Indigenous Research Committee Immediate (2018/19)
Improve Children’s Services workplace culture through mentoring and support, and Indigenous programs Immediate (2018/19)
Develop more culturally focused practice, policy and legislation Long-term (2022)
Provide equitable funding to First Nations, both on- and off-reserve, and Métis communities for child intervention services Long-term (2022)
Improve procurement requirements to better include cultural competencies Long-term (2022)
Strengthen service delivery through ongoing program evaluation Long-term (2022)
Improve policy and programs through longitudinal research, and jointly developing strength-based outcomes and measures Long-term (2022)

Strengthening the child intervention workforce

The following actions will help service-delivery staff better meet the needs of children, youth and families.

Action Implementation timeline
Improve Children's Services workplace culture through mentoring, support and Indigenous programs Immediate (2018/19)
Increase the cultural understanding and competency of service delivery staff Short-term (2020)
Increase service delivery staff in rural and remote communities Long-term (2022)
Recruit and retain service delivery staff to reflect the populations served Long-term (2022)
Provide restorative-practice education and training to service-delivery staff and foster and kinship caregivers Long-term (2022)
Increase Indigenous peoples’ enrollment in social work programs Long-term (2022)

Next steps

Indigenous peoples will be involved at every step of implementation, working jointly with the province to develop solutions that meet the needs specific to their communities.

An advisory body of Indigenous advisors, including Indigenous caregivers, will be immediately created to help guide implementation and ensure the public action plan improves the safety and well-being of children and families, including those in First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities.