We are not leaving kids at risk.
The ministry’s top priority is protection, not paperwork.
We are constantly working to make the system better – and
invest the resources available for the best possible result.
Our professional social workers are well trained to ensure
protection situations are appropriately addressed. There are
many steps to protecting children. The very first thing we do
is assess their immediate safety when we get a report – and
then we take action.
If the first indication is that they are at high risk,
action takes place immediately – as assessed by Ministry child
protection social workers, supported by experienced
The reality is that protecting children may be the most
challenging work in government. Our obligation to protect
children from abuse or neglect demands that we continually
review what we do and how we do it, and that we continually
strive to build the most effective child protection approach
When we made our realignments in the ministry, our
priorities were to minimize impacts in the field – which means
that headquarters was most affected.
Yes, there are always concerns about administrative work
and paperwork – but our top priority is protecting children.
Investigations today are more complex, and ministry staff
focuses on making children safe.
The Ministry is working with staff to prioritize workload
and administration issues – we are constantly working to make
the system better. The directors are aware of the
administrative issues about these open files and taking steps
to address them. But the important thing is that we are
confident that risks to the children have been addressed.
The 30-day standard is there to guide ministry work – but
protection of children is our top priority – not
We can’t close an intake file till we’re sure we’ve done
all that is needed. It’s better to miss an administrative
deadline than focus on paperwork and take shortcuts; that
would put kids at risk.
The ministry gets 29,000 calls per year. All result in an
assessment, but not all require an investigation.
Some files would be closed the same day. The complexities
involved mean not every case would meet the timelines; often
it would be as simple as the front-line workers have
difficulty in contacting a family member.
As well, the practice standards include supervision and
discussion with case managers and regular meetings among
front-line staff to address those concerns – all in aid of
Open Protection Report Statistics 1997-2005