The majority, 68-79% of days of care provided by the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto are family-based in each of the years under review.
For all children admitted to the care of a Children’s Aid Society, the days of care provided in the fiscal year, by placement type (i.e., family-based care versus non-family-based care).
Why is this Measure Important?
Family-based care is the preferred placement setting for the majority of children in care.
Children placed in family settings have greater opportunities to form a connection with consistent caregivers and to experience the benefits associated with membership in a family. The research tells us that children placed in family-based care are more likely to achieve permanency when they exit care, i.e., be discharged to parents or family including adoptive families or legal custody arrangements, compared to children in group care.
Limitations of the Data
Data illustrate the number of days of care provided by a Children’s Aid Society rather than the proportion of children by placement type. There are variations across Societies in how placement types are classified (i.e., as family versus non-family based care).
The focus of Children’s Aid Societies is to keep children safe in their home of origin with necessary supports for their family. When a child cannot remain safely in their home of origin, a Children’s Aid Society provides an alternative quality of care such as living with Kin or Foster Care. There are approximately 10% fewer children coming into care today than there were five years ago. On any given day in Ontario, there are approximately 14,500 children and youth in the care of the Province’s Children’s Aid Societies. A prominent focus of the Ministry of Children, Community & Social Services Transformation Agenda was to expand family-based care options for children to include and value the participation of extended family members and significant individuals in the child’s community.
While a high rate of family-based care is desirable, selection of a placement setting should be first and foremost influenced by the needs of the child and the fit to the placement. Given the mandate of a Children’s Aid Society, and the nature of the challenges experienced by some children and youth, it can be difficult for agencies to recruit and train quality alternative care through Kin arrangements or Foster Parents.
These data are compiled and analyzed by the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies through the Ministry Quarterly Reports.
“Other” includes days of care provided for young people who are in care but living independently; or days of care provided through institutions such as hospitals, children’s mental health centers or youth justice facilities.
*Due to rounding to the nearest percent, total percentages may not always add up to 100%.