Sault child welfare workers confused over province's system overhaul
Child welfare workers in Sault Ste. Marie say they are confused and frustrated by the province's plan to overhaul the system.
The plan was unveiled earlier this week as a means to "modernize" the child welfare system, but critics say it provides very little framework to follow.
"We're looking for more information and more communication from the government and from the Ministry of Community, Children and Social Services, on the plans on how they are looking, how they're going to redesign the system," said Kim Streich-Poser, executive director of the Children's Aid Society of Algoma.
A government release said the redesign will focus on its new five pillars. That includes an effort to keep children with their families, improvements to residential care, adoptions, a focus on education and employment opportunities and making the overall system, more "financially sustainable."
'It's a little confusing'
"It's a little confusing to me as to what they're promoting," Streich-Poser said. "We already focus on keeping children with their families -- in fact, 95 per cent of those we work with, children remain at home."
The system overhaul also aims to reduce the number of Indigenous youth in foster care, the release said.
"I just wish there were more communication with us here in the region to tackle that issue," said Cathy Syrette, executive director of the Indian Friendship Centre. "I would like to see funding going for mental health and addictions in our community, when it comes to our young and our youth and that includes our young parents."
Streich-Poser said there's no immediate plans for funding to come to the region to help integrate the restructured system.
Meanwhile, she says the CAS is in desperate need of more foster parents at this time.
The Doug Ford government could not be reached for comment.