On January 1st, 2018 Ontario will increase the age of protection to include all children under the age of 18 years. By increasing the age of protection, 16- and 17-year-olds who are in need of protection will be eligible for the full range of child protection services, which will give them a better opportunity to get the support they need, and have better outcomes as they transition to adulthood.
Following a presentation at the community services committee meeting earlier this month, council has approved the Ontario Early Years Child and Family Centre (OEYCFC) Plan. The plan builds on the Ontario Early Years Policy Framework and the Childcare Modernization Strategy, aiming for a system that is more integrated and accessible and that promotes a service-delivery model that strives to enhance programs and services. In February 2016, the Ministry of Education indicated it would be transforming the ministry-funded child and family programs to the new OEYCFC model to better coordinate services and make them easier and more convenient for children and families to navigate. OEYCFC will have three core services: engaging parents and caregivers, supporting early learning and development, and making connections for families. The county will be responsible for the systems management of the new OEYCFC starting in January, which includes oversight of funding and program accountability. Over the past year, the county has undertaken an assessment of services, data-collection and a service delivery review, which also includes meeting with parents/caregivers at a variety of program sites in Lanark County. As a result of this assessment, the county has determined service delivery of the OEYCFC can be achieved through an agreement with Children’s Resources on Wheels, which has delivered service in Lanark County for many years. During 2018, which will be a transition year, no significant change in service is expected. In addition, the Early Years Specialist position contract position will become a permanent position supporting the early years programs, and a Data Analysis Services position will be filled on a one -year contract basis in January, which will support planning and research. For more information, contact Mary Lou White, Children’s Services Manager, at 1-888-9-LANARK, ext. 2301.
The full plan can be viewed here: OEYCFC Service Plan 2017