2017-2018 Annual Report (English)

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Hamilton CAS 2018 Annual Report (English)

2017-2018 Annual Report


LETTER TO THE COMMUNIT Y

Greetings

It is an unprecedented time for Ontario’s child welfare

field. Dramatic changes in structure, oversight and

service are being implemented province-wide in an

effort to ensure that child protection services meet

the demand for enhanced accountability, transparency

and compliance while operating within a financially

limited landscape.

Through the ongoing deployment of the Child Protection

Information Network (CPIN) across Ontario’s child

protection agencies, a change to the age of protection,

the implementation and expansion of race-based/

culturally focused initiatives, and enhanced training for

staff province-wide, the one constant has been change.

We are proud of the many accomplishments achieved

during a fiscal year characterized by significant change

and we are pleased to share highlights through the 2017-

2018 Annual Report.

The Society remains committed to ensuring that youth

and families of all cultures, races, and ethnicities in our

city can access our services that are responsive to their

unique needs. As such, a heightened focus has been

placed on developing collaborations and relationships

within diverse communities.

Our Mission

The Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton,

in partnership with families and our

community, is committed to the safety,

protection, and well-being of children

and the strengthening of families, while

valuing diversity and promoting equity.

Improvements to French Language Services offered by

the agency have been made to address and continue to

improve upon the Francophone community’s sense of

disconnect. The ongoing operation of our school-based

program within the French School Board has expanded

and continues to strengthen partnerships between child

protection agencies, schools and community organizations

in the best interest of supporting Francophone children

and families. In recognition of the French Language

Service offered by the agency, the Society also developed

a new bilingual logo.

At the provincial level, the sector is working to address

systemic and historical issues resulting in the over

representation of African Canadian and Indigenous

families involved in the child welfare system.

The One Vision One Voice program led by the African

Canadian community and funded by the Ministry of

Children and Youth Services (Ministry), in partnership

with the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid

Societies (OACAS) aims to address the disparity and

disproportionality of African Canadians coming into

contact with the child welfare system. The Society has

been active in its representation at the provincial level

and has developed a five-year timeline supported by a

staff working group for implementing change locally.

In the fall of 2017, the OACAS acknowledged and

apologized for the harmful role child welfare has historically

played, and continues to play, in the lives of Ontario’s

Indigenous children, families, and communities. The sector

has outlined key commitments to improve relationships,

service and outcomes. Over the past year, staff have

attended a learning day at Six Nations of the Grand River

dedicated to deepening our understanding of the unique

history of the Six Nations of the Grand River Community.

Our agency also played a small but vital role in assisting

with the designation process for Ogwadeni: deo – the

first Indigenous Child Wellbeing Agency in the region.

Over the past year, the agency engaged in three separate

mentorship experiences, acting as mentors to seven staff

from Ogwadeni: deo. We feel confident that this is the

beginning of a positive and collaborative relationship

where the voices and needs of children at Six Nations

of the Grand River are at the heart of our decisions.

Establishing permanency for children and youth and

offering services that promote resiliency, life skills and

a successful transition into adulthood remain agency

priorities. A variety of in-house youth initiatives, many

new, have supported youth in care to develop literacy

and educational skills, pursue post-secondary

opportunities, improve life skills and enhance

opportunities for positive social interaction.

While establishing permanency for children and youth

in care is a priority, the majority of the agency’s work,

close to 90 percent, actually involves providing service

to families to keep children safe in their own homes.

Families supported by the Society often experience

trauma, mental illness, addiction, food or housing

insecurity and extreme poverty which can inhibit

effective parenting and place children at risk. Hence,

community partnerships and shared service initiatives

such as those made available through the agency’s

Community Capacity Building Initiative (see page 9

for details) continue to be of utmost importance in

accessing appropriate and timely service. Our community

partnerships not only aid families experiencing crises, but

are fundamental in developing safety nets for children.

At times when it is deemed unsafe for a child to remain in

their home, temporary placement with kin caregivers or

foster parents may be required. The use of kin caregivers

to care for children within the extended family and

community system has continued to grow, with 236 kin

caregivers providing homes to 346 children throughout

the year.

The Society remains deeply invested in supporting foster

families and has collaborated with the Foster Family

Association to form the Foster Family Retention Steering

Committee, aimed at developing solutions to help retain

one of our most important resources. Significant progress

has also been made in establishing connections with the

Muslim, LGBTQ and African Canadian communities as

the Society seeks foster families that better represent the

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diverse population of children in care. During the course of

the year, 162 foster families provided stable and nurturing

homes for children and youth.

While the majority of the agency’s work is clinically

based, the field recognizes and appreciates the need

for transparency and accountability. The Society

continues to participate in Ministry led Quality

Improvement Plan reporting, and consistently scores

higher than the provincial average, thereby highlighting

the strength of our staff in meeting standards and

providing high quality service.

Our Vision

A community where every child is a gift

to be valued, nurtured, and kept safe.

The Society’s annual Client Feedback Survey remains

a valuable tool for obtaining insight from families who

have received service and subsequently ceased agency

involvement. Feedback indicates a steady satisfaction

rate ranging from 75-94 percent in each critiqued aspect

of service, which is strong and consistent with past

performance. Listening to the voices of the children

and families we serve plays an instrumental role in

making the changes required to enhance our ability

to respond to their needs.

The long-sought after amendment to the age of

protection came into effect on January 1st, 2018. Hence,

child protection agencies are now able to support 16 and

17 year old youth who were previously ineligible for service.

The 77 referrals (many self-referrals) received within the

first three months of implementation is indicative of

the drastic need to service this vulnerable population.

The agency, in partnership with the Catholic Children’s

Aid Society of Hamilton, is working with youth focused

community partners to develop a wrap-around style

approach to servicing this unique demographic.

While staff responded to 7,049 referrals and continued

to provide top quality ongoing child protection services

to 1,294 families, the Society spent the past year preparing

for the implementation of CPIN, which will drastically alter

daily operations. CPIN is a single, modern information

system developed by the Ministry to provide confidential

data sharing across the province for the purpose of

enhancing child safety. It is hard to fathom the profound

impact of dedicating both staff and financial resources to

prepare for implementing a database of this magnitude

while maintaining optimum service to children and

families. The Society is extremely fortunate to be supported

by a dedicated team that was able to focus on the ultimate

goal of improved child safety.

Transformation within hiring practices was also realized

through the mandatory application of the Child Welfare

Pathway to Authorization Program (Authorization).

Based upon inquest recommendations, Authorization is

an in-depth training series with embedded assessment

and evaluation, geared toward new child protection staff

to ensure a consistent standard of practice across the

field. The Society had all 31 new child protection workers

successfully complete the Authorization Candidacy Exam,

and the agency serves as a regional lead for this shared

service training.

Amidst limited resources, the Society continues to

responsibly steward its fiscal responsibilities. Despite this

commitment, the Society closed the 2017-2018 fiscal year

in a deficit position. The deficit is in large part due to the

costs associated with CPIN deployment, and an increase

in boarding costs given the number of children in care

and the complexity of their needs.

~ continued on page 4

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LETTER TO THE COMMUNIT Y

~ continued from page 3 About Us

Throughout the many changes faced over the past year, the

agency has remained committed to its strategic priorities to

improve and protect the well-being of children and families;

support, appreciate and empower staff, foster families and

volunteers; build and strengthen partnerships; work efficiently

and effectively, particularly as it relates to internal systems, and

to responsibly steward, attract and consolidate scarce resources.

The Society is grateful for the support of a devoted staff team

with an unwavering commitment to the children and youth

we serve. It is noteworthy to acknowledge that 32 members of

staff have more than 20 years of service within the organization.

This dedication speaks volumes to the work we do.

The agency is also fortunate to have a tremendous team of

volunteers and foster parents who provide unparalleled service

to promote the best interests of children.

At this time we would like to extend sincere thanks and

appreciation to all staff, foster parents, volunteers, members of

the Board of Directors, community partners and donors for your

ongoing dedication and steadfast commitment to the work we

do. Together we will continue to provide optimum service to the

community and work to instill positive outcomes for all children,

youth and families we serve.

Sincerely,

The Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton

is a not-for-profit agency that, by law,

is required to protect children from

physical, sexual and emotional abuse

and neglect. The Society is funded by the

Ministry of Children and Youth Services

according to Ontario’s Child, Youth and

Family Services Act (formerly Child and

Family Services Act).

Full-Time Staff........................................................267

Part-Time Staff.........................................................32

Student Placements...........................................30

The Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton

26 Arrowsmith Road, P.O. Box 1170, Depot 1

Hamilton, Ontario L8N 4B9

Phone: 905-522-1121

French Language Service: 1-855-550-3571

After Hours Emergency Service:

905-522-8053

www.hamiltoncas.com

Charitable Business No. 11885 2136 RR0001

A French version of the Annual Report is

available upon request.

Editor: Stacey Birett

Creative design by SIMS Advertising

Mary Meyer

Interim Executive Director

Gareth Llewellyn

President, Board of Directors

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Intake Services

Intake Services is the first point of contact

at The Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton,

responding to concerns about children’s safety

and well-being 24-hours a day, seven days a

week. If a person has reasonable grounds to

suspect that a child is, or may be in need of

protection, they have a duty to report these

concerns to the Society.

The Society received 7,049 calls from

concerned community members about

a child’s safety and well-being.

Of the referrals received, 2,774 calls resulted

in a child protection investigation.

3,491 referrals did not require an investigation

or community link.

784 calls did not require a child protection

investigation and were linked to community

services due to the age of the child (0-5 years).

After Hours Emergency Services (AHES)

is a collaborative service between The

Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton and the

Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton to

provide emergency child protection services

outside of regular office hours, including

weekends and holidays. AHES staff received

8,262 calls.

TOTAL CALLS RECEIVED 7,049

The agency receives referrals from varying sources including schools,

medical professionals police and community members, as well as selfreferrals

from parents seeking support.

784 – Reports were

assessed as community

links and did not meet the

requirements for a child

protection investigation.

In these instances,

when children are five

years of age and under,

Society staff link primary

caregivers with other

community services

and provide follow-up

as required.

2,774 – Reports were

received and assessed to

require a child protection

investigation. The primary

allegation types include child

exposure to partner violence,

risk of physical harm, physical

abuse, neglect and lack of

supervision.

11%

39.4%

49.6%

3,491 – Reports were

received, assessed and did

not require an investigation.

All referrals undergo a

domestic violence screening,

family functioning

assessment and internal

provincial record checks.

Change in

Age of Protection

On January 1st, 2018, the Child and Family

Services Act was amended to raise the age

of protection from 16 to 18 years. The change

allows child protection agencies to support

youth who have previously been ineligible

for service.

From January 1st to March 31st, 2018, the

Society has received 77 referrals regarding

youth 16 and 17 years of age. The primary

source of referrals is from youth themselves,

followed by health care professionals,

school, community professionals and

law enforcement.

REFERRALS FOR 16 AND 17 YEAR OLDS

26.2%

21%

15.8%

15.8%

21%

Self

Health Care

Professional

School

Community

Professional

Law Enforcement

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CHILDREN’S SERVICES

Children’s Services

The Society makes every effort to keep children in their own

home. However, if the safety and well-being of a child is at

risk, a child may need to come into the Society’s care for

an interim or extended period. In these circumstances, the

Society will provide children with a safe, secure and supportive

environment, within a family setting whenever possible.

Children’s Services Workers are responsible for ensuring the

emotional, behavioural, cultural and developmental needs

of all children in the Society’s care are being met and for

arranging for any services that may benefit the child such as

counselling, psychological assessments, speech therapy, etc.

The agency is fortunate to have a variety of specialized

supports available in-house and through collaborations

with community partners to assist in the areas of pediatric

development consultation and assessment, FASD

consultations and training, transitional support for youth

transitioning out of care, resiliency facilitators, and more.

During the 2017-2018 fiscal year, the Society cared for a total of

752 children and youth. Currently, there are 524 children and

youth in the Society’s care and 236 of these youngsters are in

the extended care of the Society.

At the end of the year, 162 foster families were providing

stable and supportive homes to children and youth in the

Society’s care.

The Society approved 3 new Flexible Resource Family

homes during the year, bringing the current total to 7.

Flexible Resource Family caregivers are dually approved to

foster or adopt as a means to establish potential permanency for a child and limit caregiver changes.

Permanency for children in supportive, nurturing and loving homes was established over the past year through the

finalization of 40 adoptions.

At the end of the fiscal year, the Society was providing financial assistance to 97 youth between the ages of 18-21 years of age

through the Continued Care and Support for Youth (CCSY) Program.

The Educational Maintenance Fund (EMF) continues to provide financial assistance to youth 21+ years who are enrolled in a

post-secondary or trade program. This past year, EMF assisted 17 young adults.

Snapshot of Programs Available for Children & Youth in Care

Employment Workshops

Learn & Earn

Homework Club

Bookworm Club

Post-Secondary Skills

Development Program

Life Skills Program

Crown Ward Bursaries

In-house workshops for youth in care to assist in applying for summer jobs or part/full-time

employment.

Annual academic support incentive program for elementary and secondary school

students receiving services from the Society.

Provides participants up to grade 12 with monthly packages of books from Scholastic

(six-month period) to promote literacy, numeracy skills and a love of reading. The 2017/2018

program had 166 participants.

A new psychotherapist-run, interactive workshop for youth in care planning to attend

post-secondary programs. The program touched on setting clear goals and developing

a blueprint to manage and excel in post-secondary life.

A new four-week program for youth in care to prepare for adulthood. Skills include

budgeting, home management, cooking, personal hygiene, resume writing,

communication skills, etc.

Annual Crown Ward Bursaries are made available through donations and fundraising to

assist with the financial burden of post-secondary education.

6


Family Services

Family Services staff work with families experiencing

difficulties to help resolve problems and develop skills

for coping with crises so that parents can provide

their children with a safe, stable and nurturing home

environment. Families receiving support from Family

Services may have children residing in their own home,

with extended family/friends (kin), or in foster care.

Services are made available to help prevent children

from coming into the Society’s care and to promote the

reintegration of children back into their parents’ homes.

Family Services provided support to 1,294 families,

with 540 files opened during the year.

The Society is committed to working with families and

children in a collaborative, voluntary manner whenever

possible. In the past year, approximately 62 percent

of families receiving ongoing services were doing so

through a voluntary service plan.

566 families received ongoing services through the

Family Support Program, and 368 of those families

engaged in family visits at the agency’s on-site Dofasco

Family Visit Centre. At the end of March 2018, there

were 192 weekly visits scheduled at the Visit Centre

for 113 families.

KIN SERVICE

Where safety concerns exist for a child in the care of

their parents, a kinship arrangement is often considered.

Voluntary kin service is arranged while protection

concerns are addressed and the Society can work with

the child’s family and extended family or community

toward establishing a stable and permanent plan for

the child.

346 Children placed in a kinship home during the year

236 Kinship homes were made available during the year

184 Children living in kinship homes at end of the year

141 Approved kinship homes at year end

YOUNG PARENT TEAM

The Young Parent Team (YPT) was developed in 2016 to

offer specialized support both pre-natal and ongoing

support to young mothers and mothers-to-be ages

13-25. The YPT provided service to 132 young parent

cases and closed 105 cases during the year.

Volunteer Services

The agency is supported by a team of 194 volunteers

who contributed an incredible 32,619 hours of service

to the agency over the past year. Volunteer roles include

special event assistance, tutoring, mentorship, childminding

and driving. Our volunteer drivers travelled

1,459,751 kilometres transporting children and youth.

7


FAMILY SERVICES

Child, Youth & Family Services Act

Proclamation of the Child, Youth and Family Services

Act (CYFSA), to replace the Child and Family Services

Act (CFSA) occurred on April 30th, 2018. While the

paramount purpose of the Act - to promote the best

interests, protection, and well-being of children - has not

changed, the legislation puts children and youth at the

centre of decision-making with a shift toward a rightsbased

approach where children are seen as individuals

with voices to be heard and respected.

Prior to proclamation, an amendment to raise the

age of protection from 16 to 18 years in the pre-existing

CFSA came into effect on January 1st, 2018 and was

carried over into the new CYFSA. The change defines

a ‘child’ as a person younger than 18 years thereby

allowing more vulnerable youth to receive much

needed child protection service and support.

Over the year ahead, child protection agencies across

the province will be implementing changes resulting

from the Act’s proclamation including addressing

service delivery to incorporate more inclusive, genderneutral

terminology, offering services that respect

diversity and the principle of inclusion, continuing

work to address systemic racism and barriers in service,

ensuring all service is more culturally appropriate and,

building upon family strengths through prevention,

early intervention and community support.

The CYFSA also supports more accountable, responsive

and accessible child, youth and family services. The Act’s

changes, paired with the ongoing implementation of

the Child Protection Information Network (CPIN) are

welcomed measures being facilitated by the Ministry

of Children and Youth Services to ensure that children,

youth and families receive consistent, high-quality

services across Ontario.

Our Values

CHILDREN

• Children developing to their full potential

within a safe and healthy environment

• Positive, permanent relationships

for children and youth

FAMILIES

• The essential role of family in the lives

of children

PARTNERSHIPS

• Respectful communication and

collaboration with children, families,

agency colleagues and community.

QUALITY SERVICE

• Personal integrity

• Pursuit of professional excellence

• Progressive approach to services delivery

• Effective and efficient use of resources

8


Community Capacity Building Initiative

The agency’s work with community partners continues to be of

utmost importance in providing service recipients with optimum

service. The Community Capacity Building Initiative is a prime

example of the benefits of collaboration and the demand for service

continues to far exceed allotted funds. Hence, the agency utilizes

private funds raised to ensure service is available where required.

• CHOICES & CHANGES – Offered in partnership with Alcohol,

Drug & Gambling Services

An on-site Addictions Social Worker delivers clinical assessments

and consultation in respect of substance abuse issues.

• 343 individuals referred for an assessment

• 214 individuals received assessment (many decline/

don’t follow through)

• PARENT & ADOLESCENT IN CONFLICT PROGRAM –

Offered in partnership with Dawn Patrol

Offers a family focused, client responsive intervention for

families in crisis and at risk of breakdown or harm because

of parent/adolescent conflict. The focus is early intervention

and crisis management.

• 89 families received service

• GET CONNECTED – Offered in partnership with

St. Martin’s Manor

A program for pregnant and parenting youth, ages 13-21, involved

with the Society to achieve positive parenting outcomes.

• 52 referrals for service

• MEN’S ANTI-VIOLENCE COUNSELLOR – Offered in partnership

with Catholic Family Services

An on-site Anti-Violence Counsellor works within the agency

to offer clinical assessment and assistance to men identified

as perpetrating family violence, and offers clinical consultation

to staff.

• 72 referrals for service

• 50 clients served

• VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN – TRANSFORMATION

THROUGH ENGAGEMENT – Offered in partnership with

Interval House of Hamilton

A clinical supervision collaboration to assist with a differential

approach and management planning in domestic violence

cases. The program provides risk assessment and develops

strategies to reduce risk.

• 229 referrals for service

• 178 joint home visits occurred, 341 children in those homes

9


DONATIONS & BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Donations

The Society is grateful for the ongoing support and generosity of

the community. Through in-kind and monetary contributions, the

agency offers a variety of supports to children, youth and families

working with the Society.

Last year, donations and fundraising efforts enabled the Society

to award 41 post-secondary educational bursaries, provide 192

kids with a summer camp experience, support 1,050 individuals

through 317 hampers during the holiday season. In addition,

donations enable the agency to run youth-focused programs

such as Market 26 and the Holiday Prep event, provide financial

assistance to aid in admission to care prevention, provide assistance

to young parents, and other initiatives and opportunities not

supported through the agency’s operating budget.

Thank you to all who have made a contribution to the agency!

Board of Directors

President...................................Gareth Llewellyn

Past President...........................Victoria Walzak

1st Vice President......................Neil McMahon

Secretary................................................Mary Meyer

DIRECTORS

Anne Bono

Denise Christopherson

Dr. Dustin Costescu

Ryan Diodati

Marni Flaherty

David Mifsud

Javid Mirza

Brian Mullen

Dr. Anne Niec

Karen Turkstra

10


Statement of Operations and

Changes in Fund Balances

for the year ending March 31, 2018

Revenue

Province of Ontario...................................................................................................................$ 48,129,703

Children’s Special Allowance and Benefits.............................................................. 2,121,824

Other Children’s Aid Societies........................................................................................... 374,632

Special Purpose Grants.......................................................................................................... 215,507

Donations and Fundraising................................................................................................ 283,816

Investment Income .................................................................................................................. 76,114

Miscellaneous................................................................................................................................ 621,770

Expenses

$ 51,823,366

Client Services..............................................................................................................................$ 42,071,238

Legal Services............................................................................................................................... 2,503,955

Administration............................................................................................................................. 7,548,343

CPIN..................................................................................................................................................... 850,048

Special Purpose Grants.......................................................................................................... 215,507

$ 53,189,091

Excess of Expenditures over Revenue $ (1,365,725)

Fund Balance

Fund Balance April 1, 2017 ....................................................................................................$ 10,868,481

Excess of Revenue over Expenses................................................................................... (1,365,725)

Fund Balance March 31, 2018 $ 9,502,756

Individual Fund Balances

as at March 31, 2018

Child Welfare Fund ...................................................................................................................$ (1,641,929)

Ontario Child Benefit Fund................................................................................................. 320,397

Capital Fund................................................................................................................................... 7,840,934

Private Funds................................................................................................................................. 2,983,354

$ 9,502,756

Auditors: Deloitte LLP

A full audited financial statement for the year ended March 31, 2018

is available on-line.

11


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The Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton

26 Arrowsmith Road, P.O. Box 1170, Depot 1

Hamilton, Ontario L8N 4B9

Phone: 905-522-1121

French Language Service: 1-855-550-3571

After Hours Emergency Service: 905-522-8053

www.hamiltoncas.com

Charitable Business No. 11885 2136 RR0001

A French version of the Annual Report is available upon request.

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