GNWT Releases the Annual Report of the Director of Child and Family Services

News Releases

Yellowknife — October 5, 2023

Today the Minister of Health and Social Services tabled the 2022-2023 Annual Report of the Director of Child and Family Services in the Legislative Assembly. The Annual Report provides a summary of services delivered in the Northwest Territories (NWT) between April 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023. Services include adoption services, family preservation, prevention supports, and protection services, which are available and provided to each of the 33 communities in the NWT.

The Annual Report provides an opportunity for residents of the NWT to see the types of support and services delivered through Child and Family Services (CFS) and understand why they are offered. The report identifies trends, including how the CFS system can improve and where there has been a positive impact on the people served.

Regular foster placements continued to decrease, while extended family placements increased. For the first time, extended family placements outnumbered regular ones, benefitting Indigenous children and youth, as 62% of them received support from Indigenous caregivers, promoting cultural and familial ties.

Disparities in income and housing security are still two of the most common reasons why families and youth request voluntary services. Furthermore, the continued overrepresentation of Indigenous children and youth within the NWT CFS system is evidence the CFS system needs to shift the structure and delivery of services.

Earlier this week, the Child, Youth and Family Services Strategic Direction and Action Plan was released, and it will guide the system forward with confidence that the CFS system will continue to move towards system transformation. The Strategic Direction and Action Plan envisions a broader and deeper change to fundamentally shift the CFS system towards the goals of a culturally safe health and social services system and providing better supports to children and youth in ways that promote their overall safety and wellbeing.

Quote(s)

“We are committed to enhancing the well-being of children, youth, and families in need of Child and Family Services by investing in system transformation. We will persist in actively engaging with those we assist, validating their experiences, and responding to their requests for a culturally sensitive and an anti-racist approach in providing Child and Family Services.”

- Julie Green, Minister of Health and Social Services

Quick facts

  • From April 1, 2022, to March 31, 2023, CFS provided services to 1,102 children and youth, with 50% of these services being prevention focused.
  • 97% of the total number of children and youth receiving child and family services identify as Indigenous.
  • Compared to last year, the percentage of children and youth supported in their family home increased slightly (from 75% to 77%).
  • 62% of Indigenous children and youth received support from Indigenous caregivers.
  • The Family Preservation Program expanded its services, assisting 100 families and 27 youth.
  • 29 out of 30 adoptions in the NWT during 2022-2023 were custom adoptions.

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For media requests, please contact:

Jeremy Bird

Manager of Communications

Department of Health and Social Services

Government of the Northwest Territories

jeremy_bird@gov.nt.ca