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  1. Vision, goals and outcomes
  2. Strategic pillars
  3. Engagement
  4. Progress update

Vision, goals and outcomes

Ontario is building a child and family services system that ensures more families stay together and that children and youth in care have the support they need to be safe, succeed and thrive.

The child welfare redesign focuses on transforming child and family services to strengthen families and communities through:

  • prevention
  • early intervention
  • finding more permanent homes for children and youth in care when they cannot stay in their own homes or communities

The redesign strategy looks to achieve seven successful outcomes for families as well as Ontario’s overall child and family services system.

Strategic pillars

Our strategy to redesign the child welfare system is built on five pillars that focus on:

  • community-based prevention services to enhance family wellbeing
  • improving the quality of residential care
  • increasing youth supports
  • developing stable lifelong connections for children and youth
  • improving accountability and sustainability

A distinct Indigenous approach is being used in all pillars, which commits to co-developing approaches with Indigenous partners in order to improve outcomes for Indigenous children, youth and families.

1. Child, youth, family and community wellbeing

Providing higher quality, culturally appropriate and responsive community-based services, with a focus on prevention and early intervention.

2. Quality of care

Seeking to improve the quality of residential care provided to children and youth.

3. Strengthening youth supports

Ensuring children, youth and families have a strong voice in decisions about their care. It also includes supporting children and youth to succeed at school and graduate with their peers, setting them up for future success at work and in adulthood.

4. Improving stability and permanency

Developing permanent, stable connections and supports for children and youth through family-based placements such as adoption, legal custody, customary care and kinship service.

5. System accountability and sustainability

Creating a more efficient and effective child welfare system, one that is financially sustainable.


Engagement is taking place with:

  • community-based services sectors
  • Indigenous partners
  • the child welfare sector
  • the residential sector
  • children, youth and families

There is a particular focus on Indigenous, Black, racialized and LGBT2SQ communities as they are overrepresented in the child welfare system and experience disproportionate outcomes. Discussion on eliminating such barriers and making services more inclusive and culturally appropriate for all children, youth and families is key. This wide-reaching level of engagement is an important component in redesigning child and family services in Ontario.

As work progresses within each of the strategic pillars, engagement with these various groups will ensure that policies and initiatives are responsive to the needs of children, youth and families within their communities.

Opportunities for input will be identified and shared as they become available.

Progress update

February 2023

Announced the Ontario government is investing $68 million in a new program that connects youth in the child welfare system with additional services and supports they need to prepare for and succeed after leaving care

September 2022

Extended the moratorium on youth leaving care until March 31, 2023, to support youth as we built a more extensive plan to set up youth for success as they transition into adulthood.

August 2022

Posted the care you deserve resource to help young people:

  • find out what to expect while living, or being looked after, away from their parent's or primary caregiver's home
  • access other helpful resources
April 2022

The centralized adoption intake service, funded by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services and operated by the Adoption Council of Ontario, launched with a new website and team to assist prospective adoptive parents who are exploring adoption.

March 2022

Announced three-year investment of $822,399 in the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies to help develop new inclusive and gender affirming services and supports that improve outcomes for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Two Spirit and queer (LGBT2SQ) children, youth and families involved with the child welfare system.

February 2022

Announced investment of $2.2 million over five years in the Big Steps to Success mentorship program, to help kids aged 7-14 connect with adult mentors to improve their school performance, graduate from high school and build stable, meaningful, lasting relationships.

July 2021

Announced a new $800,000 investment in One Vision, One Voice, a community-led initiative with a focus on anti-Black racism.

May 2021

Announced an additional $1.5 million for the Education Liaison program to help improve educational outcomes for children and youth in care.

February 2021

Extended the moratorium on aging out of care until September 30, 2022, so no one would age out of supports or services they were receiving during the COVID-19 pandemic.

November 2020

Announced an additional $1.5 million annually in programs and services to make the public adoption process easier.

September 2020

Announced $650,000 to continue strengthening supports for African-Canadian and Black children and youth in care.

August 2020

Announced $200,000 to Peel Children’s Aid Society to enhance its Child Welfare Immigration Centre of Excellence program.

July 2020

Announced $5 million in new funding for prevention-focused customary care for Indigenous children and youth.

July 2020

The Ontario government released its plan to redesign the child welfare system.

July 2020

Announced that the practice of birth alerts would be eliminated.