The Minister of Health and Social Services, Julie Green, tabled the 2020-2021 Annual Report of the Director of Child and Family Services today in the Legislative Assembly. The Annual Report provides a summary of data on the delivery of services under the NWT’s Child and Family Services Act, Adoption Act, Custom Adoption Recognition Act, and the federal government’s Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth, and families. By examining data on an annual basis, the department can look at the positive impacts of system-improvements, assess where further improvements can be made to the Child and Family Services system, and identify ways to evolve service delivery to better meet the needs of NWT children, youth, and families.
The 2020-2021 Annual Report presents data on the delivery of child and family services across the Northwest Territories from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021. An important trend identified in the report shows that since 2011-2012, there has been a decrease of children and youth in permanent care from 193 to 93. This decrease speaks to the importance of family and community support in the lives of children and youth. It also highlights the benefits to children and youth that come from remaining connected to their family, community, and culture while receiving services.
The annual report shows that 98 per cent of children and youth receiving child and family services are Indigenous, while only 57 per cent of children and youth in the NWT are Indigenous. These numbers illustrate the overrepresentation of Indigenous children and youth in care. The 2020-2021 Annual Report includes new sections that speak to; the commitment to reducing the overrepresentation of Indigenous children and youth in care; the link between relevant socio-economic conditions like poverty and housing precarity on the health and wellbeing of children and youth; and the role of Child and Family Services, and system improvement initiatives that align with the new Federal Act, respecting First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children, youth, and families.
The Annual Report also highlights the need for a whole-of-government approach to address systemic issues families experience before they even begin to engage with the Child and Family Services system.
Commitments to engage with Indigenous governments about improvements to the service delivery model, specifically relating to Indigenous children, youth, and families, have been highlighted throughout the report. These engagement efforts will continue with the goal of sharing more information and strengthening our collaborative efforts in the best interest of children, youth, and families.
“The 2020-2021 Annual Report highlights the good work of Child and Family Services to improve outcomes for Indigenous families and align services with the Federal Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families. Through engagement with Indigenous governments, and a shared commitment to maintaining the connections of children and youth to family, community, and culture, the department of Health and Social Services has made significant efforts to eliminate the overrepresentation of Indigenous children and youth in care.
The GNWT is committed to ongoing system reform and quality improvement initiatives to ensure the needs of Indigenous communities and families are met.”
- Julie Green, Minister of Health and Social Services
- Between April 1st, 2020 and March 31st, 2021, 1,044 children and youth received either prevention or protection services through the Child and Family Services system:
- 41% received voluntary support services
- 44% received services through a Plan of Care Agreement
- 100% of youth who were in permanent care signed an extended support services agreement when they reached the age of majority.
- 98% of children and youth receiving child and family services identify as Indigenous.
- Over 92% of children and youth who received child and family services were living in their family home or with a caregiver in their home community.
- 2020-2021 Annual Report of the Director of Child and Family Services
- Quality Improvement Plan
- Voluntary Support Services Agreements and Child Protection
For media requests, please contact:
Manager of Communications
Department of Health and Social Services
Government of the Northwest Territories
(867) 767-9052 ext. 49034