Minister of Health and Social Services, Glen Abernethy provided a statement on the 2018 Office of the Auditor General of Canada’s Report on Child and Family Services in the Northwest Territories.
“Our top priority is to ensure the safety and security of children and youth receiving services and care from Child and Family Services. The Auditor General’s report contains findings that are disappointing and concerning to all of us and which require immediate action to address.
“My Department and I have reviewed and accepted, without question, all 11 recommendations in the report. We take these findings and recommendations very seriously and have already begun to fix the issues identified in the OAG audit and our own internal audit.
“Since the last OAG audit of Child and Family Services in 2014, we have created the Building Stronger Family Action Plan to guide our work to transform our system. Under this plan we took a number of actions to better serve and support children, young people and their families in the NWT.
“The OAG audit and our own internal audits have shown that the actions we are taking are the right ones but that we have been falling short in how we implement these foundational changes to our system. These shortcomings can have consequences for staff and clients in our system, and we must improve how we are managing and resourcing the important changes.
“While the efforts we have made so far and the results we have seen support that we are on the right path, we cannot diminish the importance of the OAG report findings which clearly identify that we are not where we want or need to be and that we must do better.
“We recognize that there is more that must be done, and I have directed that immediate action be taken in four areas to fix the system and address issues raised by the OAG report: continuing to build a culture of quality, investing in human resources, building staff capacity, and engaging with our partners.
“As part of our commitment to quality improvement, we will continue working with Members, our staff, stakeholders, communities, Indigenous leaders and, of course, the families we serve, to make the changes we needed for a stronger Child and Family Services System.”
Media and Communications Coordinator
Cabinet Communications and Protocol
Government of the Northwest Territories
Ph: 867-767-9140 ext. 11092