GNWT Releases Quality Improvement Plan for Transforming the Child and Family Services System

News Releases

Yellowknife — August 19, 2019

Minister of Health and Social Services, Glen Abernethy, released the Child and Family Services System’s Quality Improvement Plan, and online Progress Tracker today.

The Quality Improvement Plan provides direction on how the Department of Health and Social Services and Authorities will improve the Child and Family Services System by taking action on issues identified through internal audits, the 2018 Auditor General Report, Standing Committee on Government Operations recommendations and feedback from staff, Indigenous Governments, the Foster Family Coalition of the NWT, and other important stakeholders.

The Quality Improvement Plan focuses efforts on ten priority areas for making changes in the Child and Family Services system. The Plan allows, where appropriate, for course correction to reflect continued input from Indigenous Governments and Standing Committees, and from the NWT Foster Family Coalition, staff, and other key stakeholders. Based on the principle that quality improvement is a process, not an event, the Plan is intended to be living document. This approach makes it possible to respond to, learn from, adjust and improve the ways that action items are addressed so that quality improvements are imbedded and sustained within the system and are effecting positive outcomes for children, youth and families.

Given the significance of this matter to all residents, the GNWT has taken the step of developing an online action tracker that will allow residents to see up-to-date progress on each of the action items at:


“Our number one priority is to ensure the safety and well-being of children and youth receiving services and care from Child and Family Services. This includes their connectedness to family, community and culture. What we learned from our experiences, through internal and external reviews, and stakeholder feedback, is that we need to better resource, manage, structure, and sustain changes through the Building Stronger Families Action Plan. To ensure that we are on the right track, we will continue to engage with Indigenous Governments and stakeholders and post quarterly updates to the Plan so that everyone can see what action items are completed, and any new action items added.”

- Honourable Glen Abernethy, Minister of Health and Social Services, GNWT


Quick Facts


  • The plan identifies four strategic directions to improve the system:
    • Culture of Quality: Embedding quality practice into our culture
    • Human Resource Planning: Making sure the right people are in the right places
    • Building Staff Capacity: Investing in our staff
    • Engagement: Drawing on the knowledge and experience of others


  • To meet the goals of the Plan, the GNWT is investing $3.3 million to add positions to support child and family services.

Informed by engagements and face-to-face meetings with stakeholders and Indigenous Governments, action items were reprioritized and refined with 70 action items identified. Of these, 19 action items are currently completed and 51 are on track.


Related Links


Media Contact

Damien Healy
Manager of Communications
Department of Health and Social Services
Government of the Northwest Territories
1-867-767-9090 ext. 49034