Services to Children in Need of Protection
A response to a Child Protection report may include a Family Development Response (FDR), an investigation, a Youth Service Response, or a non-protective response such as offer of support services or referral to community agency. Over the past several years MCFD has increasingly focused on using FDR by working in collaboration with families to address child protection concerns and using investigations for situations when evidence is required to determine if a child needs protection. This report presents data and outcome indicators that support the appropriate use of FDR as an alternative to investigation.
4.00 Family Preservation Rates
Evidence has shown that children and youth have far better social, health, education, and economic outcomes when they live safely with a family – a parent, family member or extended family, or in a home with permanent caregivers – than they do in government care. The strategic direction of the ministry is to invest in supports to help preserve families, while continuing to ensure the safety of children and youth.
The percentage of Family Preservation shows the percentage of children who were not admitted into care within 12 months of Investigations and FDR. The March 2018 Family Preservation rate is based on children who had closed Investigations and FDR between April 2016 and March 2017.
There is a gap between Indigenous Family Preservation and Non-Indigenous Family Preservation. In March 2018, the Indigenous Family Preservation rate is 8.6 percentage points lower than the Non-Indigenous Family Preservation rate in the province. The ministry strives to improve Indigenous Family Preservation and reduce the over-representation of Indigenous children in the child welfare system.
4.16 Relative Use of Admissions into Care and Admissions to Out-of-Care (OCO)
When appropriate, OCOs are a best practice. The well-being of children and youth is, overall, better when children and youth can continue to live with their extended families. Sometimes children and youth can be placed in OCO options as a substitute for admission into Care.
OCO includes the following agreements and court orders:
Extended Family Program Agreements
Interim Custody with Other under Director’s Supervision – s. 35(2)(d)
Interim Custody with Other under Director’s Supervision – s. 35(2)(d) – Consent
Temporary Custody with Other under Director’s Supervision – s. 41(1)(b), 42.2(4)(c), 49(7)(b), 54.01(9)(b)
Temporary Custody with Other under Director’s Supervision – s. 41(1)(b), 42.2(4)(c), 49(7)(b), 54.01(9)(b) – Consent
Extension to Temporary Custody with Other under Director’s Supervision – s. 44(3)(b)
and Extension to Temporary Custody with Other under Director’s Supervision – s. 44(3)(b) - Consent.
Since September 2014, this performance indicator increased significantly from 389 to 533 in November 2015, followed by a decline to 458 in December 2017. The trend reverted since early 2018, to reach 512 OCO Placements per 1,000 Admissions into In Care Placements in March 2018. The overall upward trend in this indicator is largely attributed to a significant drop in the number of Non-Indigenous children being admitted into Care and a relatively stable number of Non-Indigenous children being admitted into OCO over time (based on a rolling twelve month period). For the Indigenous children, since the growth in the number being admitted into Care outpaced the OCO admissions, this ratio has decreased for the Indigenous children over the same time period
For the province and the majority of SDAs, there was relatively greater use of OCO options for Indigenous children than for Non-Indigenous children in March 2018. The Admissions into OCO Placements per 1,000 Admissions into In Care Placements ranged from 234 in Vancouver/Richmond SDA to a high of 692 in Northwest SDA, with the provincial average of 512 in March 2018.
Currently, a protection report is least likely to become an admission into Care in South Fraser SDA (probability 4%), and most likely in North Central SDA (10%). North Central SDA (6%) is also more likely to utilize admissions into OCO as a response to a protection report than any other SDA, while Vancouver/Richmond SDA is the least likely to utilize an OCO admission as a response to a protection report.