Tuesday 8 February 1994

Annual report, Provincial Auditor, 1993: Ministry of Community and Social Services


*Chair / Président: Cordiano, Joseph (Lawrence L)

*Acting Chair / Président suppléant: Villeneuve, Noble (S-D-G & East Grenville/S-D-G & Grenville-Est PC)

*Vice-Chair / Vice-Présidente: Poole, Dianne (Eglinton L)

Bisson, Gilles (Cochrane South/-Sud ND)

*Callahan, Robert V. (Brampton South/-Sud L)

*Duignan, Noel (Halton North/-Nord ND)

Frankford, Robert (Scarborough East/-Est ND)

Marland, Margaret (Mississauga South/-Sud PC)

*Murphy, Tim (St George-St David L)

O'Connor, Larry (Durham-York ND)

*Owens, Stephen (Scarborough Centre ND)

*Perruzza, Anthony (Downsview ND)

Tilson, David (Dufferin-Peel PC)

*In attendance / présents

Substitutions present/ Membres remplaçants présents:

Haeck, Christel (St Catharines-Brock ND) for Mr Bisson

Hayes, Pat (Essex-Kent ND) for Mr Frankford

Hope, Randy R. (Chatham-Kent ND) for Mr O'Connor

Jackson, Cameron (Burlington South/-Sud PC) for Mrs Marland

Villeneuve, Noble (S-D-G & East Grenville/S-D-G & Grenville-Est PC) for Mr Tilson

Also taking part / Autres participants et participantes:

Ministry of Community and Social Services:

Rosemary Proctor, deputy minister

Heather Martin, coordinator, children's services, program management division

Peter Gooch, project manager, children's policy framework, children's policy branch

Sue Herbert, assistant deputy minister, program management

Dale Elliott, program analyst, young offenders program

Lynne Bertolini, policy analyst, children's policy framework, children's policy branch

Peters, Erik, Provincial Auditor

Clerk / Greffier: Decker, Todd

Staff / Personnel: Anderson, Anne, research officer, Legislative Research Service

The committee met at 1010 in the St Clair/Thames/Erie Rooms, Macdonald Block, Toronto.


The Chair (Mr Joseph Cordiano): Again this morning we have before us the Deputy Minister of Community and Social Services and her staff. We will proceed where we left off yesterday with Mr Hope's question, and we await response from the deputy.

Ms Rosemary Proctor: The question that was put, if I can sort of go back, was around the whole issue of how you know which services particular community agencies are providing within the mandate and how you plan and budget with those agencies in relationship to priorities and so forth.

Heather Martin will talk about the service planning approach the ministry uses with respect to planning services and budgeting with organizations.

Ms Heather Martin: Through the area offices, the agencies that we fund negotiate a service contract with the ministry which specifies the level of service they intend to provide and the number of clients they intend to serve with the dollars that they are getting. That's a contract between the ministry and the agency.

The ministry also uses a services approach to funding, which means that an agency can contract for more than one type of service. You could have an agency that is providing a child and family intervention service, a child welfare service etc. Through the service plan, they contract for the level and volume of service that they intend to provide. Our primary budgetary contract that we have with an agency is through the service planning process.

For CASs that operate on a calendar year from January 1 to December 31, their service plans are due by the end of February. For other children's services providers, their service plans are submitted before the end of March.

The Chair: Mr Hope, do you have a follow-up?

Mr Randy R. Hope (Chatham-Kent): No, I'll just continue later on when the round of questioning comes back again. I'm just following up the work that legislative research has done.

The Chair: We'll proceed with 15-minute rounds. Ms Poole.

Ms Dianne Poole (Eglinton): I'd like to take a look at the policy framework, which I gather was distributed in April of last year, so it's been some nine or 10 months since it was widely distributed.

You have set out in the first several pages the directions for the ministry in the area of children's services. I'd like to specifically talk to you about a couple of areas. One is the equitable distribution of resources.

The ministry makes a rather telling statement in this document by saying, "Currently, funds are distributed on the basis of historical precedent rather than on assessment of need." Could you tell me what steps you have taken to reverse that traditional and historical allocation of dollars to in fact assessing the need and ensuring that the dollars are supplied on the basis of need?

Ms Proctor: Certainly. I'd be happy to, because the whole question of the distribution of resources and the issues of equity are very thorny ones from the point of view of managing the budgets in the children's services area. As the Children's Services Policy Framework points out, we do have a situation where the pattern of the distribution of budgets is really based on the history of agencies, and those organizations which have been in existence for a longer period of time, which have grown, have had a larger budget base to start with, on the one hand.

On the other hand, there's really the question of, what is equity? One of the things we're trying to address in the context of the children's policy framework is, how do you define equity and an equity basis for funding in a more meaningful sort of way?

Those conversations and that discussion really revolve around thinking about equity in relationship to the child population and the base in whatever catchment area you're talking about, for example. But it also adds other issues such as the risk factors and the nature of the population, the poverty, any number of risk factors that the children in that particular community might face. That needs to be added into any kind of equity formula.

A third set of variables that's brought into the conversation has to do with the cost of delivery of services; that is, services that are delivered in a geographic area that is very widespread can cost more on a unit basis than in a more densely populated area, for example. There may be economies or efficiencies of scale associated with larger agencies than with smaller.

The question about what is equity is not one that's really easily defined past the surface of it in the sense that it gets into a fairly complex conversation. Whenever we begin to talk about a more equitable distribution of resources, it becomes apparent that when we work towards a redistribution, there are some winners and there are some losers, so we immediately get into a conversation about who might lose as well as who might gain.

But I think we do face a really serious issue in the sense that in particular the areas around Metro that are the faster-growing suburban areas have been pointing out quite seriously for some time that in the distribution of funding, their population growth has surpassed the distribution of resources.

When the ministry had some additional new resources a few years ago, we were able to use some of those to distribute to communities or to areas that needed to have their equitable distribution of resources. So there could be some targeting of resources to areas that could be considered underfunded, especially because of the higher population growth.

At this point we are trying to address the whole question of the equity of funding in a more structural way, and we're using the children's policy framework for that kind of conversation so that we can engage the service providers and the agencies, the umbrella associations, in helping us come up with a solution that people would be able to work within.

I'd like to ask Peter to speak a little bit to the process of the work on that.

Mr Peter Gooch: The policy framework project, as I mentioned earlier, is intended to support the implementation of the policy framework. What we've done is set up six working groups, one for each one of those directions that are laid out in the policy framework. The working groups see us sit down with representatives, put on those working groups from the provincial associations like the Ontario Association of Children's Mental Health Centres and various other provincial associations.

The funding working group decided that equity was the most important issue that it dealt with, and the ministry accepted that recommendation from that working group. They have been working hard to review the literature, to review the research, to look at the ministry's current allotments and to come up with some recommendations for the ministry.

They haven't finished that discussion. The deputy alluded to the complexity and difficulties of it. One of the issues that working group is struggling with is that progress towards equity in a time when resources are expanding would be complicated enough and contentious enough, but in an environment where resources are shrinking, it becomes even more acutely problematic to start moving dollars around at a significant level in the system.


They have come up with some analysis. There's a background paper that they've done that has been sent around the province, and we are getting some very pointed reaction to that. Where our analysis shows that we may want to take resources away from communities to achieve a level of equity, of course there are very major issues raised for us.

What I can tell you is that within a very short time, within a number of weeks, probably by the end of March, the working group will have delivered to the minister a set of recommendations and a comprehensive analysis of the issue, and then it really becomes up to the minister to look at the implications and to make some decisions. I can't anticipate or predict what those decisions will be, but at least they will be a platform from which a reasonable decision can be made.

Ms Poole: When attempting to determine equity and developing this process, have you set out an action plan with specific time frames?

Mr Gooch: Not yet. The working group has not thought about this in the abstract. In the recommendations I know that what they'll be saying is that we need to take a long-term approach towards a more equitable allocation across the province. It's not something that can be done in one fiscal year or even three fiscal years.

So they'll be recommending a staged approach and they will also be recommending progress no matter what our fiscal environment. I think that one of the recommendations that will come from that group is that obviously it's best if it's possible for us to find some new resources to apply to this problem. Failing that, they will be telling us that we should be making progress even in a constraint environment if that means we have to apply constraints differentially. They will be suggesting to us some implementation principles. I don't think they'll go as far as giving us a timetable, but they will speak to that issue.

Ms Poole: The deputy mentioned some of the factors that are going to be taken into account when determining equity, such as the demographics of the child population. I think geographic reasons were another factor, the risk factor for that particular area. Would you be looking, for instance, at the waiting list for children's services in a particular area as a factor of whether they were getting an equitable share of the resources?

Ms Proctor: Peter, I'd like you to just respond in terms of specific issues. They've looked at the waiting lists, but I'd also like to address the waiting list issue in another aspect of the work that we're doing in the children's policy framework as well.

Ms Poole: Just before you do that, let me just tell you why I asked that question. Yesterday, when you were talking about the waiting list, you did confirm the auditor's observation that really you have no idea how many are actually on the waiting list, that there are duplications, there are children registered in several different jurisdictions or different agencies. When you talked about what you were doing about that, I believe in your opening remarks, Ms Proctor, you said, "What we are trying to do is to reduce the waiting list."

There was no talk about centralizing the list so that you actually had a good handle on how many children out there are in need and waiting for service. There was no talk along that line. It was all, "Our efforts are going to be in making sure that we can provide as many resources as possible." So that's the context in which I ask the question in determining equity. If you don't know what the waiting list is, how could it really be a factor?

Ms Proctor: To speak to that, the question of the waiting list is difficult to measure in terms of equity just because, as you say, the number of children who may be on waiting lists, the consciousness that people have of whether there are services available, the parents suggesting a name on more than one waiting list, all of those are issues that make it difficult to know exactly how many children are on a waiting list at any one time.

On the other hand, it isn't very comfortable to know that there are waiting lists and that kids are in need of services and may be waiting for services in situations where the family is experiencing some degree of crisis and the child is experiencing real problems.

So I think what we wanted to try to do is come at the waiting list in a number of ways. I spoke yesterday to development and trying to work with the service providers and the agencies to use some ways that have been developed in other places and tried and tested to provide more effective service, to reduce that waiting time.

For example, the whole question of doing a brief intervention, the whole question of treating the waiting list, that group of families and children who are waiting for some service, as an intervention group in itself has been shown in studies to be effective, because rather than just saying, "You're waiting until a therapist is available," you can actually spend time with that group.

The other thing that the local area offices are trying to do, as they plan with service agencies, is really to try to help people think, how can we be more conscious together of who's on the waiting list in a particular community and prioritize the need for service? It's not very effective to do that when it's this agency doing it and that agency, but rather something that needs to be dealt with in that whole question of the integration of agencies and agencies cooperating together.

You can imagine a situation where intake or assessment for services is handled more specifically by one organization or another, and people are referred to services so that they aren't having to be on several waiting lists and there's a better way of prioritizing services.

Ms Poole: Are there any plans in the offing to do that type of thing, as I said, to centralize the intakes so that you know exactly what the need is out there?

Ms Proctor: I think I would like to ask Sue to speak to one of the pieces of that work that's going on in northern Ontario where the three ministries are cooperating -- the Ministry of Education and Training, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry Community and Social Services -- on the question of assessment and referral for services. Then Heather can speak to I think the experience in the Hamilton area where agencies are also working together to try to prioritize and manage that whole business of access to services more effectively.

Ms Sue Herbert: What we've tried not to do in the ministry is assume that there's one model for coordinated access that will work across the province. Instead, through the framework, what we're saying to communities is you need to develop a way to coordinate access and waiting lists that works for your community.

Across the province there are some very formal models of coordinated access. ISNC, which is the integrated services for northern children, is an approach to service delivery in isolated communities in northern Ontario that takes the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education and Training, the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines and ourselves and puts teams of people in communities that coordinate services across all the ministries and coordinate access to those services.

In other parts of the province we may have a coordinated access project that looks quite different and in other parts of the province we have nothing yet. So there's a real attempt to try to move communities towards coordinated access in a way that works for whatever their own community needs and geographic issues are.

Ms Poole: Is that an isolated project, though? Are you doing it as a pilot project or is it just a particular strategy for dealing with isolated communities in northern Ontario?

Ms Herbert: In northern Ontario it's quite a well coordinated project and it's been in place for a number of years. We have other places in the province, Hamilton being an example, that have also been in place for a number of years. There are communities that are moving towards coordinated access and there are other examples. Peter, you would know from your travels across the province.

Mr Gooch: London is on the verge. It's beginning to implement a model very much like the Hamilton model where you have a single point of access to all residential services or most residential services for children in the London area. Many service providers have come together and pooled resources in order to make a single point of intake.

Ms Poole: What is the ministry's role in this? Are you actively encouraging this, are you promoting it, are you coordinating it? Are you doing work in every area of the province, trying to move the agencies towards this coordinated access?

Mr Gooch: One of the purposes of the policy framework is to move towards greater provincial consistency, and there are significant policy issues. Sue has raised the point that in the past the ministry has taken the position that we should be able to develop mechanisms that are responsive to local conditions and really do respond to what is in communities already and allow some flexibility.

I think that what will come out of the policy framework is, at a minimum, some very good ideas about what's happening in other places in the province that people can emulate. I think we'll see something more significant than that, though. The ministry will be laying out more particular expectations around coordinated access mechanisms and we will be monitoring area offices and monitoring communities to see what progress they've made.


Ms Poole: You mentioned the working group earlier. Was this a working group that would deal specifically with equity or did the working group actually have responsibility for the broad range of plans, or do you have a number of working groups?

Mr Gooch: We have a number of working groups, one for each direction, but there's a steering committee with the same kind of composition, from the provincial associations and OPSEU and CUPE, working with ministry staff to try to look at the project overall and raise just the kind the issue you've raised about looking at waiting lists and access and how it relates to equity and so forth. So there is a way in the project and in the ministry to put those things together.

Ms Poole: Do you have target dates for each of these working groups, when they are to report back?

Mr Gooch: Yes. There's a work plan and we're at a significant stage in the project now where the working groups have been up and running for about nine months and have delivered a significant set of recommendations and proposals to the ministry.

Ms Poole: And then as far as the various directions in which you want to go, are the time frames for completing the working groups' mandate all the same? For instance, are you saying by the end of March you want all your working groups to have reported back and be giving their recommendations or are some areas more complex than others and would take a longer time to really get the recommendations out?

Mr Gooch: It is complex. You look at the number of directions there and the implications across a large service delivery system. We can't do everything all at once on the same timetable. I think overall we are trying to move in each direction in a significant way. The more work we do the more things start to look a little different. But overall, as I mentioned, we do have a significant amount of work done to date and we are entering a stage where the minister will see the results of that and make some further decisions.

Ms Poole: The attempt to integrate these processes is through the steering committee?

Mr Gooch: Yes.

Ms Poole: I would find it difficult to believe that you could look at each of these directions in isolation because so many of them are connected and it's very important that one group be aware of what the other group is doing and be aware of the whole range of what needs to be done in children's services.

Mr Gooch: That's been a constant struggle. The working groups and the steering committee raised that issue over and over again and we have addressed it. We are aware of the interrelationships and are trying to move ahead in a way that makes sense, as you've suggested.

Ms Poole: I think I'm nearing the end of my time --

The Chair: Yes, I'm being liberal with the time.

Ms Poole: That's appropriate, Mr Chair.

Back in the early 1970s, when I was with Comsoc for those five years, I also spent part of it as a field worker travelling to children's aid societies and reporting on their work and what was happening within the children's aid societies. Paul Siemens, who I believe is still with the ministry, was my supervisor, and Paul Siemens set out a very clear plan: When we would go into children's aid societies and look at their case loads and their specific case files, we were to see if there were goals, objectives, time frames attached, deadlines, all these types of things.

That's why I'm trying to press you to see whether in fact you have this same type of plan in place, because otherwise working groups and committees could go on for ever and ever. I'm really just trying to get a fix on, when do you think that we are going to see the plan put in place and legislation enacted or policy directions, whichever may be required? When do you see this all coordinating, coming together and being finalized? Even if, as you say, some of it would phase in, when are you going to see that happening?

Ms Proctor: Could I say two things about that. Paul, whom we all liked very much working with, retired I think last fall, so we quite miss him. The second piece is that with respect to the time frames, I've been trying to push the time frames on the children's policy framework along quite emphatically. For example, we requested all of these working groups to produce their initial set of recommendations by last fall.

Since then there's been an exercise in which the staff who are working with the project have been having further discussions with area offices in the field about these recommendations from the point of view of really saying: "Does this help reflect or is this useful in respect to the work that you're doing now, locally planning? Is this sufficiently practical and doable?" We're asking ourselves some fairly tough management questions about this: Can people actually do this or is this recommendation perhaps too abstract and that sort of thing?

The intent would be then to do an assessment of where we are and to go back to the working groups and to have another iteration. I would say that by the spring, that means we would be in a position to give our field and agencies some further direction arising out of the working groups as to our expectations, and we will also see further work going on to define some of the tools more effectively.

For example, one of the pieces that's being developed out of the working groups is just that whole question of expecting agencies and organizations to do assessment of children's needs in a more consistent way rather than repeat assessments. Then what that means is you set yourself the challenge of figuring out what should be the most effective way and getting everybody to agree to it.

So we're working towards the principle that everyone should be using a similar approach to assessment, kind of reducing the number of potential approaches to assessment, and then we will be working with the organizations to be much more emphatic about the need to do that. People tend to be wedded to their particular approach and so that whole business of saying no, this is our new set of expectations in building that into contracts and doing the follow-up work, will take some further amount of time, quite honestly.

Mr Noble Villeneuve (S-D-G & East Grenville): First of all, coming from a riding close to the city of Cornwall, I want to thank your ministry for having provided some therapists and some counsellors to our school boards. The situation out our way economically was very, very depressed and we had many children who had suicidal tendencies and what have you, and it was most appreciated when you were able to come in with some funding. We've got to give credit where credit is due here.

Mr Hope: Thank you. We appreciate that.

Mr Noel Duignan (Halton North): Now comes the "however."

Mr Villeneuve: No, no. I am not an expert at community social services. I was amazed to see some 200 non-profit agencies providing services. That would be that every children's aid society would be a group? I just want to get a handle on --

Ms Proctor: On the numbers?

Mr Villeneuve: Yes. What are they? Who are they?

Ms Proctor: Who are they? In fact, this program that was audited and that we're referring to, child and family intervention, is not the same as the children's aid societies. They are counted under the child welfare programs. The child and family intervention programs are a whole range of residential and non-residential services that are provided in different communities. Heather will speak to the range of those different kinds of agencies.

Mr Villeneuve: Give me a typical non-profit agency. What is that?

Ms Heather Martin: An example would be a maternity home, a program that is providing services to teen mothers, pregnant teens and/or their children. That would be an example of a CFI agency. Another example would be a children's mental health centre which is providing a range of residential and/or non-residential services.

Residential services would be where the child is actually in the care of the agency for 24 hours a day for a specified period of time and may be getting some very specific counselling to deal with a behaviour problem that he's experiencing or a problem that he and his family are having and he needs to be out of the home.

The non-residential services could be individual counselling for a child. It could be a day treatment program where the child actually comes to the program during the day. There might be a special school program that's affiliated with that, so he gets his regular educational requirement met, but he is also getting some very specific counselling and/or therapy from a psychologist or play therapy, that sort of thing.

Mr Villeneuve: When you mention child, is there an age range here that we're dealing with?

Ms Heather Martin: Yes, there is an age range. It's the same age as children who are covered under the Child and Family Services Act, so it's children up to the age of 16, and in other instances, where the child is in the care of a CAS, it would be 18.


Mr Villeneuve: I also found interesting here the Young Offenders Act, the summary of principles. I have a little problem and maybe you could shed some light on it. It says here, "...the expectation that young offenders will bear responsibility for their actions, although not in the same manner or to the same degree as adults." What does that mean?

Ms Proctor: That is the wording in the federal Young Offenders Act.

Mr Robert V. Callahan (Brampton South): It means they get away with murder is what it means.

Ms Proctor: It sets out the expectation that the Young Offenders Act is to deal with young persons who commit offences, that they require supervision, discipline and control, but because of the state of dependency and level of maturity and development, they have special needs and require some additional guidance and supervision. Young people bear responsibility for their behaviour, but --

Mr Villeneuve: But to a lesser degree.

Ms Proctor: But not in all instances are they accountable in the same manner as an adult. The question is whether you're treating a child at the age of 12 in the same way as an adult at the age of 22 or whether you're providing a different approach. The principles of the Young Offenders Act set out an approach, that is, the accountability of the young person. At the same time, the young person is not treated under the YOA in the same way as an adult offender would be treated.

Mr Villeneuve: It's going to lead into some questions regarding student welfare. That is a major problem in my opinion, based on the feedback I get from parents, who in my opinion are pretty decent, good parents, yet the child has flown the coop, is on his own and being funded by the government. I have a problem with that, but we'll get into that later.

Again in the summary of principles: "Recognition of the rights and freedoms of young offenders, including those stated in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or in the Canadian Bill of Rights; a right to participate in the process that leads to decisions that affect them," -- I want some light shed on that -- "and a right to the least possible interference with freedom that is consistent with the protection of society." That leaves a pretty wide-open field, and I think there are some abuses.

Ms Proctor: The issue of the principles of the Young Offenders Act, again with respect to the right to participate in decision-making, to protect the rights of the individual, part of those rights are also protected with respect to access, to ensure access of the young person to a lawyer or to an advocate who can speak on their behalf, and their right to be informed about the proceedings and so forth that affect them.

The other aspect I think is that the engagement in decision-making is a question of treating or dealing with the young offender in relation to the control of behaviour, the changing of behaviour, the whole question of the consequences of behaviour. Young offenders' programs try in a different range of ways, and Dale wanted to speak to this a bit more, to engage the young offender in understanding the consequences of actions, and in the group, the consequences of actions and the responsibility they bear for their behaviour.

Mr Villeneuve: I know in many instances where student welfare is accessed, the responsibility of the student, the person who is accessing the welfare, and the parents' responsibility, the parents seem to have very little to say about some of these things. As I told you, I see some of these parents as pretty decent people, and the responsibility aspect of it to the young person I don't think is heavy enough.

Ms Proctor: I apologize. I didn't really address the question about student welfare. I need to start to separate, because the whole question of students or young people who are receiving welfare is not part of either of the programs that were under discussion.

Mr Villeneuve: I realize that.

Ms Proctor: It's not the YOA and it's not the child and family intervention.

Our policy with respect to young people receiving general welfare assistance is that young people should only be eligible for welfare if it is not safe for them to be in the family home.

I'm very conscious that there are concerns raised across the province about the issue you're alluding to in terms of access to welfare for young people. It is an area where we are asking our field offices to do a further look in terms of eligibility and so forth, just to have another review and to ensure that those cases or situations where young people are receiving welfare do fall within a tight definition of the policy, which is the safety and wellbeing of the young person, rather than more generously interpreted, if I can put it that way.

It's important that welfare in these instances can also be the responsibility of the municipality that's delivering and not necessarily of the provincial delivery system. It is an area that we've asked people to go back and have a closer look at, because of the kinds of concerns that you're raising.

Mr Villeneuve: We're told by the people who work for your ministry that the time is just not there for them to do the investigations that they would like to do.

Mr Hope: Mr Chair, are we having a discussion about general welfare or are we having a discussion about children's services and also intervention? I'm just curious about the discussion that we're going on with. We seem to be going on to a discussion of general welfare. If that's the discussion we're going to be on, then so be it, but I thought the auditor was specific in what work he had done and Anne was specific in what work she'd done, and I don't remember ever seeing anything in the briefing that was done about general welfare.

Mr Villeneuve: It's young offenders that we're talking about.

The Chair: If I may just say that in the discussion I grant a little latitude in terms of the range of questions that are being asked, but generally speaking, we're in the area that we want to be in. I think it's permitted to ask questions that are a little broader in their scope.

Mr Hope: A little broader is what your comments were and I just refer you to that.

The Chair: I'm not going to rule on it. I don't think that's out of order. I think it's within the general confines of what we're discussing and I think it's permitted. Please carry on, Mr Villeneuve.

Mr Callahan: It's called freedom of speech.

Mr Villeneuve: I will be tying this back up to 24,100 young offenders who were admitted in 1992-93. Some of that would relate back to how many of those were possibly student welfare cases, that type of thing. It's of concern and I think it's all part of a problem. Student welfare is brought to me so many times, and possibly it's an area that the auditor should look at to provide some leadership to ministry officials and to the public at large.

Mr Hope: He already did one.

The Chair: Mr Hope, Mr Villeneuve has the floor.

Mr Villeneuve: Okay, 24,100 annual admissions, 1992-93, young offenders' services. How many of those would be repeat? Have you any idea?

Ms Proctor: I'm just going to ask Dale to speak to our sense of that in terms of the numbers, and you may want to speak to the tracking system.

Ms Dale Elliott: Our ability to talk about recidivism has really only come to us recently, since April 1991. We now have the automated young offender information system, which is really the kind of system you need to track long-term repeat offenders. So we're on the way to wanting to be able to produce reports about that over a two-year period to see what that looks like.

What we can talk about are Canada-wide stats in general around recidivism for young offenders. In 1990-91, the federal government looked at recidivism among young offenders and basically noted that approximately one third of females were repeat offenders and approximately half of males. So that's a broad sense there that there are enough repeat offenders that they cause concern.

Mr Villeneuve: It's a serious problem. I see open custody here. Again, could you walk me through what open custody is? What would that young offender have done in a typical situation to be in an open custody placement, a secure custody placement, and then when we get into it, open and secure detention? Just give me an example. I must plead a great deal of ignorance here.


Ms Proctor: It's quite fair. I'll ask Dale to explain the differences and the relationship to the types of outcomes for the young offender.

Ms Elliott: In general, the dispositions range from least intrusive to most intrusive. The Young Offenders Act sets out that range of dispositional opportunities for the court to choose. The least intrusive would be alternative measures. What we talk about is an approach to proceedings other than formal court proceedings. The crown attorney would be involved in assessing the charge. There is a list of charges that the Attorney General in Ontario has identified as eligible for alternative measures.

Mr Callahan: What are they?

Ms Elliott: I would have to provide that for you at a later time. I can certainly provide that. The list is too long. They tend to be the less serious offences, so criteria provided by the Attorney General who developed a model for Ontario which we then implement.

Mr Villeneuve: Would that be shoplifting?

Ms Elliott: Shoplifting would be an example, yes, a minor theft, a theft under $1,000. So alternative measures as a least intrusive. Then you would move up to probation and community services, which are dispositions where the youth remains in the community and is under the supervision of a probation officer and/or is completing community service or a service to a particular victim or making restitution or paying a fine.

Open and secure detention, as we talked about yesterday, is custodial care, but it's where the court has not yet given a disposition. The court has deemed that the youth will be detained in residential care and not in a community, pending making its disposition. The court gives a detention order, or an example that came up yesterday, if police apprehend a youth in the middle of the night and the circumstances are of such a serious nature that they would not release the youth back to his home, that youth would go to a detention centre pending a court appearance the next day.

Then the court has available open and secure custody. These are dispositions which have a specific time length. The court sets that it's open or it's secure and puts a time length on it. That's a disposition which we then, as the service delivery ministry, implement.

Open custody: very generally, in your area, I'm not sure if you're aware of Laurencrest, which is one of these transfer-payment non-profit agencies in the community. They provide open detention and custody in your community. They have a volunteer board of directors, they have staff, they have a facility. I think they have 10 beds. I'm not completely sure.

Open custody is community-based. It would be a group home or a children's mental health centre or a wilderness camp, that kind of thing. A typical youth may get open if perhaps they've already been on probation previously or if the offence is serious and the court determines that this youth should not have access to the community.

Secure custody again would be community-based facilities, but these facilities have much more ability for physical containment. These are the facilities with locked doors, with fences, like a Syl Apps, like the list of facilities that we named yesterday. They are recognizably different in their ability to provide security. With secure custody, the Young Offenders Act again provides specific criteria for the judge in imposing a disposition of custody that must be met. Again, that relates to seriousness of offence, previous history.

The court uses all of those criteria in the Young Offenders Act, plus assessments and recommendations by probation, plus comments from parents, plus victim impact statements, plus other assessments, school board information, to basically come up with the disposition for that individual youth.

Mr Villeneuve: The involvement of parents I think is very important in those areas where the parents care. I think in many instances the parents do care, but sometimes they get left behind because we have so-called professionals -- they are professionals -- and I guess maybe parents are not easy to deal with at times when the pressure's on and their child has strayed.

Again, I come back to parents who say, "This happened to my child and I've lost control and, really, I think I know best." What's the involvement of parents? It's a very broad question.

Ms Proctor: It is. Can you speak to that, Sue?

Ms Herbert: If I start at the broadest level for the ministry, we are trying to involve parents more and more in decision-making, not only for their individual child but in policy-making. I was just talking to Peter. He was out last night meeting with a group of parents in Waterloo.

Mr Villeneuve: That should maybe be in the summary of principles because the kid is lord and master of his or her destiny and sometimes they're just a little young and it's not in their best interests.

Ms Herbert: Yes, I think you're right when you use the term "the professionals." I think sometimes professionals are intimidating without necessarily meaning to be. I think we really have to let parents feel that they have the right to put their opinion on the table, both about their own child and about policy directions the government's taking. In the policy framework we've made a really strong attempt to have parents involved. We use the bureaucratic jargon "consumers." Parents are consumers of the system. At that level we've really tried to involve parents.

When we get down to particular issues with particular children, I think the struggle for a lot of parents is they've got a 16-year-old on their hands or a 17-year-old and he has rights in law. They're at that point in their development where they have some ability to be independent, and the parents are not sure how independent they want their child to be. It's kind of that eternal struggle.

For us, in our programs, we try as much as possible to listen both to parents and to children. The older the children are, the more rights they have under law. The dilemma becomes, for people in the service systems, how do you balance both parents and kids and what the legal issues are? I don't know, Dale, if you want to talk about how we try to involve parents in decision-making in YOA.

Ms Elliott: Sure. I'd just maybe like to go back in reference to the list of principles. The Young Offenders Act principles, which is federal legislation, which is the piece in there, certainly came at trying to give parents and family their role by the principle that parents have responsibility for care and supervision. Provincially, through the CFSA, we also enshrine that in a principle that we've developed which respects family integrity and autonomy. So from both legislative bases those principles are foundations of what we do.

Certainly, with young offenders both the legislation and our policy and procedures require that at minimum parents have an opportunity in the reports we prepare to have reflected what they have to say, not our interpretation of it. So a predisposition report that may go into court has a section for the parents to at least state and reflect and be represented. That may differ from the individual worker's assessment of how it all comes together and what that means, but we certainly do try to involve them.

In plans of care that are prepared for all young offenders, and in fact all children in residential facilities, the requirements are, again, involvement of parents and involvement of youths in contributing to the content of those plans, identification of goals, who will work on what. Those are provided for people. You're right, those ups and downs and variances happen in a field of working with people and families and emotions in stressful situations.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Villeneuve. We've run out of time. Ms Haeck is next on the list.

Mr Hope: Joe, you didn't listen last time. Go ahead. Put me on after her, please.

Ms Christel Haeck (St Catharines-Brock): I'm very happy to share my time.

The issue for me is around the integration of services. In Niagara we have something called the Niagara Children's Service Committee. I have been given to understand that it is one of the first in the province to undertake planning of social services to children in particular and that it's actually still one of the few in the province.

One of the concerns that I would have is what you might be doing to encourage other regions, districts or counties to look at the integration of service or the planning of services in a way that the Niagara Children's Service Committee would do. They're looking at all kinds of child welfare issues, poverty being one of their biggest ones, but I'd be interested in your comments on that subject.


Ms Proctor: The Niagara Children's Service Committee is certainly one of the earlier formal groups in the province. I think it was established in about 1977 or 1978, or somewhere in there. There are similar groups in quite a few other communities and there are also other planning processes that most counties, areas, communities, a natural catchment area would have and that the ministry area office would work with to plan the local service.

I'd like to ask Peter to speak to the kind of structures that we have now and this whole question of how local planning unfolds. The participation of service providers and the users of services in that planning process is very critical to us as we work locally to try to integrate services and help services develop in a way that meets those legal needs.

Mr Gooch: I assume that when you were referring to the integration that you saw in Niagara, you were talking primarily about the cooperation between the services that are funded by this ministry and school boards and district health councils?

Ms Haeck: That is one, looking at the services that are out there, getting the different players to sit down and talk, to do the short-term and the long-term planning to try to deal with issues around duplication or assess what needs there might be and therefore provide maybe a mechanism to start a new service or to plug that hole, recognizing what gaps there may be in service delivery.

Mr Gooch: I want to reassure you that everywhere in the province there are planning groups. It's very unusual for them not to involve a very broad range of players at a community level. Certainly families know that they're trying to get services from their school boards and they're trying to get services from health practitioners. The planning groups that this ministry funds or works with to plan our services almost always include representatives of school boards and whatever cooperation they can get from local health practitioners and so forth.

We've seen policy coming out of the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health and this ministry. Our own policy framework, which we sent around yesterday, underlines the need for that kind of comprehensive involvement at a local level. It happens. That range of services is looked at together.

You made reference to the Niagara group. There are many other groups across the province that have a similar history. They started around that time, out of the same initiative, like the York region group. Sue made reference to the Hamilton group, which also has a very long history. We also see groups that are brought together by the area office and are given some funding for a small staff, or we see social planning councils that are funded by the United Way. There's a variety of ways that planning groups have come together and are supported through funds, but everywhere in the province we have them. As I mentioned earlier, they are working with our policy framework in a very active way.

Ms Haeck: I obviously have been under a misconception. I don't know where I got that piece of information, but it was touted as being one of the few in the province. You've disabused me of that particular notion.

Ms Herbert: Just a point of clarification: I believe the Niagara group was one of what was originally called CSCAGs: children's services coordinating and advisory groups. It is one of the few that are left that operate under that official title.

Ms Haeck: I see, okay.

Ms Herbert: But there are other planning groups across the province. I should be clear with you that yes, you're right, as a formal children's services planning council there are I think about four or five of them yet across the province.

Mr Gooch: I'm not sure of the exact number. Just to give you a sense, there is a provincial council of coordinating and advisory groups for children's services and there are at least 30 planning groups on that mailing list. I've gone out and visited planning groups that aren't on their mailing list. I think you'd be very hard pressed to find a county in the province that doesn't have a planning group with that kind of broad representation.

Ms Haeck: I know our social planning council has a somewhat different focus. I was in fact on the social planning council for a while before I was elected. Definitely we looked at a range of issues. Housing was definitely still very much a major focus. Definitely housing for youth is very much still on their agenda.

It was interesting to see the separation of concerns, not to suggest that the social planning council might not be interested in that, but the fact that there was this other group with some regional government support, and definitely participation of a lot of players would be there and had provided that sort of competent direction for some time.

I'm also interested in your discussion around the interministerial discussions. This is not something new to the various ministers of Health we've had in this province in the last three and a half years. I am very concerned around how statistics are gathered on what services are needed in the catchment area of Hamilton-Niagara, so that when you're looking at providing, say, speech therapy for a Down syndrome child, you still have a lot of slogging to do. I realize that's not part of the issue for discussion today, but we could probably have much further discussion on how some of these things are determined. But that also, I guess, gets into how you collect your statistics and how these things mesh with the different ministries, because I think that there is still a feeling by the public at large, and sometimes it's confirmed, that the left and the right hand don't necessarily know what they're doing. How you collect your statistics may be different than Health, and when you're dealing with some of the issues that the auditor has flagged, I guess my question would be, how do you collect them and how do you work with those other ministries to plan some of those services?

Ms Proctor: I'm going to ask Sue to respond to that range of issues.

Ms Herbert: That's a large range of issues.

Ms Haeck: I realize that.

Ms Herbert: I'll start by just talking a little bit at the corporate level, at the interministerial level. There is an assistant deputy ministers' committee between the ministries that meets on a regular basis. One of their responsibilities as a group is to make sure that our planning processes are consistent and that we identify and prioritize problem areas between the three ministries that affect client services. In fact, the issue that you put on the table, the speech therapy issue, is a priority area for that group. There's work being done by a staff group.

Ms Haeck: I'm glad to hear that.

Ms Herbert: It's an issue across the province, but in particular it seems to be an issue in Niagara, and so that has been a priority policy area between the three ministries, because the schools are also involved in that issue.

On one level you've got an interministerial attempt to try to do policy that is coordinated and crosses the issues across the policy fields. On the other end of the spectrum, at the local level, it's the reason why we have to have local planning groups, because the assumption that everything can be fixed by three large ministries and through three corporate policy agendas is only one piece of the puzzle. The other piece is at the local level.

Ms Haeck: If you talk to my staff, the frustration at times is absolutely extraordinary. On the speech issue, we could spend the rest of the day talking about how to get services for a five-year-old. It has been an extraordinary problem.

Ms Herbert: We could probably give you an update outside of --

Ms Haeck: Sure.

Ms Herbert: We'd be pleased to tell you just where that policy work is, because the work is being done. It's a little outside of the audit, but I'd be glad to update you.

Ms Haeck: I think it addresses some of the issues.

Ms Herbert: Yes, it does.

Ms Haeck: Do you collect your statistics or do you deal with this sort of information-gathering in the same way that, say, Health does? Do you use the Hamilton-Niagara catchment area or do you do it much more specifically, to Niagara and Hamilton being in another bailiwick, or do you put in Haldimand, Norfolk, Niagara? It gets to be quite interesting trying to see how they all overlap, and we're probably all sitting here wondering sometimes how this is done and then therefore how do you end up supplying the service delivery, because it isn't always so straightforward.

Just to bore my colleagues even further, as a result of the Hamilton-Niagara situation in Health, because Hamilton has a teaching hospital, basically Niagara, as far as I'm concerned, is an underserviced area. If you're living in Fort Erie and you're a senior, good luck. It is not an easy situation. So you begin to ask the question, how does your ministry do it?

I have some concerns on how Education is doing it. We're always sort of butting our heads on, how are you getting that information and how are you providing that service, because obviously there are anomalies in the system, and how can the system be made to provide that service?

Ms Herbert: The simple answer is the description you've just put on the table, which is that in fact the ministries at a local level have different catchment areas and different ways of collecting data.


One of the purposes of the planning framework that Peter talked about is, at least in the children's area, to bring those players all to the same table and to begin to restructure, at a local level, boundaries, information-gathering and some understanding of how all of that fits together for a child and the child's family at the local level. So that's one of the purposes of the children's framework.

It's going to take, at the same time, for us at a policy level to integrate our policy discussions as well. I think we've moved some way down that road. We're going to have to keep both a kind of formal policy agenda and the local level planning piece moving at the same time. Then we're going to have to prioritize it because the list of areas to tackle is huge. That's one of the purposes of the assistant deputy ministers' committee, to prioritize some key areas. As I said, speech is one of them.

The Chair: Mr Hope was eager to ask a question. You have the floor, Mr Hope.

Mr Hope: Some of the comments that have been made, as I was listening to some of the questioning, were talking about the waiting list for people to access children's services. I know, before being elected, serving on the Lester B. Pearson Centre in Kent county, and I've heard about the children's councils and stuff like that, most of us have been progressive in what we're trying to do.

If I heard you correctly, because I'm just continuing on with the list of questioning here, what you're hoping to do is to get different agencies which deal with children's services to have a central intake system which will allow more understanding of how many children are on a waiting list. Is that what I understood from some of the responses you were giving earlier?

Ms Proctor: I think we want to work at the waiting list question in a number of different ways. One of the issues is clearly being able to understand better the nature of the kids on the waiting list and so forth. But I think the approach that we're trying to take through the policy framework, and also through local planning exercises, to deal with the issue of children and families waiting for services is really twofold.

One of them is to work with the agencies and the organizations to try to develop the alternative range of services that they can use with respect to waiting lists so that the waiting list period isn't so long; for example, the development of brief therapies, the development of approaches where instead of saying to somebody, "You're on the waiting list to have individual treatment or therapy with a psychologist," actually working with the waiting list families as a group, which has been shown in other studies to be an effective way of helping people deal with some of the problems for which they were seeking services in the first place. So being able to do a number of things that reduce the pressure on the waiting list and provide some short-term interventions and some family preservation programs and so forth that will enable people to deal with their situations.

The other area that we're trying to work on with local communities, and this gets back to the local planning process and the question of the integration and access to services, is really to work with local agencies, work with a range of children's agencies, to talk about what are the different functions of the different agencies and how organizations can work more effectively together so that, for example, you don't have a situation where agencies X, Y and Z each have a waiting list and the same families have their names on each of those waiting lists, but you've got a situation where they're much more coordinated and where the organizations are agreeing that one agency will perhaps maintain the waiting list for all of the services. That way we'll have a better idea of what the pressure for services and the waiting list actually is and more effective ways of dealing with it.

So part of this work around the integration of agencies, the access to services, is really to work with the local organizations so that their service delivery becomes more coherent and therefore they are able to deal more effectively with this.

I think one of the groups in the children's policy framework in particular has been dealing with this question of access to services. I wonder whether you could speak, Peter, to some of the issues there and some of the work they've been doing on the access question.

Mr Gooch: As the deputy mentioned, they have been looking at waiting lists as part of their review of things. They've looked at mechanisms across the province to deal with waiting lists. Again, we'll have to see what recommendations come out of the working group and what level of support the minister will decide on. I think the deputy's done a good job of explaining the variety of ways that you can deal with this through local planning.

Another very important element from the policy framework is priority setting. The policy framework does say what the ministry's priorities are for children's services. One of the ways we'll be addressing that is asking local planning groups to ensure that this range of services really is addressed to that range of children who are the priority. Also --

The Chair: I'm sorry; we've run out of time for that, if you want to just finish off quickly in terms of your answer.

Mr Gooch: The last point I was going to make is that where we do have coordinated access mechanisms like a single point of access to residential services, it really addresses in a very dramatic way the waiting list issue, because there is only one place to get to at least a particular range of services. The framework really encourages that kind of innovation across the province.

Mr Callahan: First of all, I'd like to ask if you would provide us with a list of the Attorney General's directives as to what types of offences would be amenable to alternative services. I notice in your document, which, to your credit, was produced after the auditor's report -- I don't know whether it was in the printing stage before that or whether it was a response, but in any event, you're to be commended, having responded to many of the concerns expressed by the auditor in his report.

At page 13, item 4, you speak of, "In view of the legislative requirements of the CFSA and the policy objectives, four priority groups have been established." The first three actually are pretty standard: kids in need of protection, young offenders. I want to address "children exhibiting early signs of problems." Is there going to be an effort to attempt to identify kids with learning disabilities in some way through this policy early on?

The reason I ask is that many of these kids, particularly in the young offender situation, are kids who are probably out of school. They're not going to be assessed in school. Maybe they haven't been assessed in school; that may be part of the reason they're in the young offenders process, because they had a learning disability and gave up on themselves, dropped out, became antisocial.

That's the first question. I'll ask them all at once and then you can answer them so that Mr Murphy will know how much time he's got to ask questions.

The second question I have is, in these 200 agencies that are out there, are there any standardized qualifications that are required to be an employee of these 200 organizations?

Thirdly, there seems to be a variation in the wages of these groups. Did they have independent authority to set the wages at whatever level they wished without any override or any scrutiny by the ministries providing the funds? I mean, do they just provide you with a budget and so much for salaries and then they have the ability to give whatever they like to these people? That's tied in sort of with the qualifications of these people.

The fourth one is, in the YOA open custody situations, are there YOA kids mixed with kids who are not YOA kids? It would seem to me that if there are, that flies right in the face of the whole philosophy of the YOA legislation, which was to try and keep kids away from kids who have ideas of how to survive in society different than perhaps kids who are not in that category.

Those are basically all the questions I've got, so you can either answer them now or, if you've got anything that you can give us in writing on them, I'd be happy to hear it from that.


Ms Proctor: We'll be pleased to provide information, and there may be some follow-up information that we can provide. But just to work through the list that you've raised, I would ask Peter to speak, particularly to the question of the priority groups and those children who are showing early signs of problems, and with the particular concern that you've raised about children with learning disabilities. You can speak, Peter, to the work of the priority-setting group on that one, please.

Mr Gooch: The policy framework itself recognizes that more policy work needs to be done in this area. We can list those priorities, but we need to do some work to explain what they are and develop the ministry's policy further. The working group has been looking at just the issue you raise: What things about kids or families are strong indicators that they can benefit from early intervention? I know the working group is very interested in the learning disability issue. Part of what they will be developing is some better guidance for the ministry and its service providers about when early interventions are appropriate.

Ms Proctor: I would like to add that this is an area where it's also really important to collaborate with the education system, because most of the expertise around assessing learning disabilities and so forth is in the education system. So, locally, people need to collaborate on that sort of thing. It's also in particular an issue for young children and one of the areas where I think the education system can be in some mutual ways supportive of the preschool programs in terms of the needs of particular children.

You raised a question as well with respect to the qualifications of people who are working in this range of agencies: Are there standards around qualifications? I'm going to ask Heather to speak to that question.

Ms Heather Martin: In the Provincial Auditor's report on CFI, he noted that the agency's employees were meeting the qualifications as indicated by the staffing qualifications guidelines. In 1987, the ministry released a report --

Mr Callahan: I'm sorry, Heather. Is that the numbers, though? Is he talking about having so many staff for so many people?

Ms Heather Martin: He's talking about both. I think the legislation speaks specifically to the number of staff that are required. It is a ratio of 1:8. He is also talking on page 44 about the staffing qualifications. We're in accordance with the educational and experience criteria recommended by the advisory committee.

Mr Callahan: Okay, I misread that. That's fine.

Ms Heather Martin: We can provide you with a copy of that staffing qualifications report if you'd like it, just to get a sense of what the guidelines are.

Mr Callahan: Sure.

The Vice-Chair (Ms Dianne Poole): Mr Murphy, there's about seven minutes left for your questions.

Mr Tim Murphy (St George-St David): I want to focus a bit on the issue of the young offenders part of the auditor's report, and specifically the question of accountability of the transfer payment agencies in that system. You talked about recidivism and the development of statistics. We actually had a discussion around this issue with the corrections department when they were in as well.

One of my concerns about how we deal with this issue from the broader perspective is how good a job we're doing in assessing how good a job we're doing. In other words, I don't get a sense that we have a real handle on whether the way in which we're spending the money actually works in keeping people from coming back into the criminal justice system.

We had a debate with the Corrections people about whether recidivism was in fact really a useful indicator because of the way in which people escape from the system for measurement purposes, either by going to another jurisdiction -- they may in fact be in the system but somewhere else and you can't count that, maybe transfer to a federal penitentiary, all of those problems with controlling your comparators, I guess, to be somewhat academic in the language.

What I'm wondering is, are you intending to develop or have you developed any system that assesses? I'm just looking at the public accounts document, volume 3, and there's a whole page of transfer agencies here. Do you have a way of assessing who's doing a good job with the money for how much money they're getting, and what are the criteria you're using to assess who's doing a good job?

Ms Proctor: I'm going to ask Sue to speak to that. I think that the whole question of accountability and holding organizations and agencies accountable is an area that, as a ministry, we work on and struggle with from year to year. In some senses we set ourselves standards and we work towards achieving those standards and it's sometimes hard to achieve the standards that we set, but we see this as an area that requires a lot of attention and improvement along the way, and when you reach one milestone you keep working at that whole question.

I think we're also particularly concerned with the whole area, and I'm going to ask Sue to speak to the whole way of doing program reviews and accountability with agencies.

We're also very conscious that the social services as a whole has tended to measure inputs to service. We measure how much staff is going in. We measure the resource levels that are going into providing services. We have a much harder time of measuring the outcomes of services. I don't think that the social services are necessarily alone in facing that particular challenge.

Mr Murphy: No, absolutely not.

Ms Proctor: People can say that the education system has a hard time measuring outcomes and so on and so forth, and it isn't because people are inherently unwilling, I think, to do it; it is a real intellectual challenge. It's a real management challenge.

We have, in terms of the policy framework in our work, set ourselves that we have to be much more conscious of outcome and start to figure out how to define the outcomes better, how to measure the outcomes better. I want to say that is something that we're setting for ourselves because we think it's very important, not as something that we're going to have a magic solution or a management solution to in a very short period of time, because there's a lot of work required there.

But with respect to the whole business of agency accountability and our processes there, I would ask Sue to speak to that issue.

Ms Herbert: With reference to the young offenders area in particular, I think when we look at the principles of the Young Offenders Act as an organization that delivers the dispositions, if you like, there are probably two clear outcomes: that society's protected -- in other words, a child doesn't reoffend -- and that the same outcome is good for the child, that the kids stay out of the juvenile justice system and that they don't reoffend. So you can judge your dollars, if you like, on the basis of what happens to the child who is in the system.

Mr Murphy: Sorry to interrupt, but in female young offenders you have a 33% failure rate and for males you have a 50% failure rate. I don't mean you but I mean we, I guess. That's not a great success rate.

Ms Herbert: No. So the real question is, which is the one we have difficulty measuring, which is what the deputy was saying, are they better people? How do you measure that? Somehow, by coming into the system and being both punished and rehabilitated -- they're the two goals, if you like, that most of us hold for kids in the system -- how do you measure "are they better people"? From your question it sounds to me that that was the discussion you were having with Corrections, that they might end up in some other system.

In the young offender area we've probably got more information on what programs work, what programs actually intervene with children in the juvenile area than in other program areas. So where we're starting to concentrate on now is at the front end of the system so that the more you can do in intervening when children are coming in at the alternative measure kind of scale, the scale that Dale talked about, lesser offences, the more intervention you can do there that diverts children out of the system, and then at the other end of the scale, the more you can do for the serious offences. What our research tells us is those are both areas that are worth putting money into and putting time into. I don't know, Dale, if you want to talk a little bit about what we know from research.


Ms Elliott: The debate on the usefulness or not of recidivism stats has been going on for years and I think there will always remain two camps.

In 1990, as a ministry, we became concerned that it was at least a piece of understanding the answer rather than the answer, and we undertook a significant research project to go through the extensive literature in Canada, the States, Europe and other jurisdictions to say, what do we know about indicators that, if we assessed for them, would give us the best sense of what are the indicators in the situations that tend to be predictors of a young offender repeating?

So there are two ways to use that: on an individual case-planning intervention basis with the young offender who continues to repeat, that we can address interventions based on what are the particular issues for that youth; on a system-wide basis we are introducing a common standard risk-need assessment tool across the province that we'll assess on all of the indicators that research has identified to us at this point as being the best predictors possible.

Based on that assessment, we can then support and/or develop programs that either are already delivering interventions focused at those indicators or that would be a basis that we can use for discussion with programs around changes that may be needed to apply in a practical way some of the directions that research and literature would point us in.

Mr Murphy: Anne has collected some stuff --

The Chair: I'm sorry. Time's up.

Mr Murphy: Next time I'm going first; Callahan goes second.

Mr Callahan: You had more time than I had.

Mr Villeneuve: Back a little bit to what we were talking about when my time ran out that has to do with when a child is an offender. Before you will give that child all his or her rights as a 12-year-old -- that's what they can do to their parents or ignore their parents or what have you -- is there any sort of assessment or is this standard procedure -- again, I'm repeating what I've been told by several parents, "We had a problem with our daughter but she get into the hands of Comsoc and they gave her all of her rights and the things that she doesn't have to tell her parents and it didn't help at all." Is this being overzealous or is this what's happening?

Ms Proctor: I think that the concern you raise is certainly a concern to many parents about what are the rights of the children and what are the responsibilities of the parent. Sue talked about this one earlier as well.

From the point of view of the service provider I think we balance. We're working with service providers, we try to find a balance that I don't think is always a findable balance, if I can put it that way, or necessarily a perfect balance, between having to recognize the rights of the children and being required to ensure that the child has an advocate, being required to inform the children of their rights.

That's part of the mandate that we are given and the policy that we operate within, which is to ensure that the children do have that information, that they know they have access to an advocate and so forth and to try to balance that with working effectively with the parents, engaging the parents and so on. As Sue said, the parents' responsibility, the parents' role, the parents' concerns, the parents' advice and suggestions as to what should happen and what will be more effective in working with their particular child is also really important to making a plan of service for that child.

So what you allude to then is the fact that the front-line worker, the probation officer or the worker in a YO agency or whatever has got both of those challenges to deal with: being obliged to ensure that the child's rights are met, respected, and at the same time knowing that it's very important to involve the parent where the parent is able, willing etc to be involved. Of course, there will be instances where they're neither willing nor able to be involved or where in fact the responsible organization for the child is the children's aid society because the child has already been deemed requiring protection and is a ward of the CAS and there may be foster parents involved and so forth.

So it's very complex in that whole sense and I would not pretend that there's going to be the right answer in every individual circumstance. I think Dale has spoken to the fact that really trying to work on the whole question of the needs and the risk assessment of the young offender is an important piece for us in trying to direct the staff judgement more effectively in these kinds of situations as well.

Mr Cameron Jackson (Burlington South): Is it possible that I could get a copy of the young offenders services operational plan that's referred to in your ministry response?

Ms Proctor: We're still working on the operational plan. I haven't got a problem with providing it when it's complete, but I would call it a draft document that hasn't received all its approvals at this point.

Mr Jackson: When might that be ready?

Ms Proctor: When we've had an opportunity to go through the decision-making and so that would be --

Mr Jackson: Six months, a year?

Ms Proctor: It will continue. I would say that it'll be ready later in the spring. But I think it's also a document which, because we are moving towards planning on a more active basis --

Mr Jackson: You don't have to defend it. I'm just seeking information. So that's fine. I'm comfortable with that.

Could I get a copy of the young offenders services manual? The one I have here came from the library, and if it was possible, I'd appreciate that.

Ms Proctor: Yes, that certainly can be provided.

Mr Jackson: Part of the work of the young offenders services operational plan is to look at statistics, trends and so on. You're currently maintaining certain data which in the mind of the auditor weren't being kept or collated; is that correct?

Ms Proctor: One of the things that we have been working on very hard, and Dale alluded to this as well earlier and I think she should speak to it, is the young offenders services information system, which was one of the areas that we've prioritized in order to be able to have the case level information, to be able to do a tracking of those clients more effectively than we did, and Dale could describe that system.

Mr Jackson: At what level have you begun that process of data collection? Is your base year this year or have you gone back? I'm more interested in the specifics of it rather than a broad description of it.

Ms Elliott: Specifically, we're in transition from a system of manual data collection to an automated system. So one of the things that we introduced, I believe back in January 1990, in a recognized need that while at an area level there were full statistics to describe admissions, offences at an area level, we did not have an ability corporately to speak on a provincial basis in a number of categories. So we introduced what we called a manual data set that areas have been feeding since then so that we do have a reasonable picture of things like admissions, days of care, in all categories back to January 1990.

In transitioning to YOSIS and the automated system we've been in a period of trying to take manual data with what the automated system's bringing out and reconcile and examine those numbers. So we are not yet to the point of producing an ongoing series of regular reports that describe the system provincially, but that's where we're going.

Mr Jackson: Will those data give us a window as to the nature of the offence?

Ms Herbert: We have data, not our own data but through MAG, on offences and all offences by age and location, back to 1990-91, rather than all of us create our own database.

Mr Jackson: Very good, yes.

Ms Herbert: And we can pull those reports through MAG.

Mr Jackson: Is it possible to get those?

Ms Herbert: Yes.

Mr Jackson: The theme that I was trying to explore yesterday is anticipating demand so that you don't -- when I use the phrase "bed blockers in reverse," you know exactly what I mean. There are just no beds so everybody steps down in the process. I don't think that's appropriate to the goals of the program and certainly we should be looking at that as well.

Earlier you made reference to "address interventions" and "rehabilitation is one of our goals." I'm rather fascinated by that because I suspect I have a fairly good working knowledge of the Young Offenders Act since I turned 20 --

Mr Hope: That was a long time ago.

Mr Jackson: I had to qualify that. But I'm trying to determine where you actually have programming which is more purely defined as the purpose of which is rehabilitation. I know there is assessment. That's a whole different approach, an assessment with a battery of psychological and other services, but treatment becomes a whole other issue. I'd be anxious to learn either what you meant by that or if you can now show me where that is occurring. Maintaining a young offender's education, in my view, is not leading to their rehabilitation. It's a right in this province to get an education to your 16th birthday at least, so I don't see that as being rehabilitative. Getting three meals a day, in my view, is not rehabilitative; that's considered basically a right in society, or hopefully.


Can you help me out in that area? I just thought the young offender still has the right to reject treatment. Even the judge can't court-order a treatment. Give me a specific example. I know you won't give me a name, but give me a facility and give me a type of rehabilitative program.

Ms Herbert: I think the most obvious answer is the secured treatment program at Syl Apps, and maybe Dale can talk a little bit about that program. I just say by way of introduction, when we say rehabilitative, you're quite right, can you force a child to be rehabilitated or can you through court order? No. But I think when we talked yesterday a little bit about the YOA, the deputy in her speech, the YOA in the Ministry of Community and Social Services is also predicated with the Child and Family Services Act. That we have attempted to bring those two pieces of legislation somewhat together is what allows us to talk about more than custodial care and three meals a day. I would just say that by way of introduction. Dale, you may want to talk about a case-planning approach and then specifically perhaps the secured treatment program.

Ms Elliott: We would certainly separate, as you have done, treatment as defined legally by the YOA and the Child and Family Services Act. The locations in the province which provide that for youths ordered treatment by the court are a separate section at Syl Apps and Robert Smart Centre in Ottawa. Those are two very clear and distinct treatments as per a legislative court order.

When we talk within the ministry about rehabilitative, or some people talk about small-t treatment, it's more coming at the sense of, on what principles and assumptions do you base programming for young offenders? So when we talk about rehabilitative programming in our young offender facilities, the kinds of services that we would contract for, providing our own direct-operated services, would be that we have front-line youth workers who provide role modelling, who do life skills, who provide support and supervision, who develop relationships with youths, who provide informal talking, support counselling. When we're talking of rehabilitation, it's that combination of a decent, humane, caring approach within a residential environment within the principles of --

Mr Jackson: Yes, I get a sense of what we're talking about. That was what I suspected and before we overstated the notion of rehabilitation for the record I wanted to -- because I consider that part of our problem. When the Dupuis family pleads to have a young offender tried in adult court for the sole purpose of not revenge but so that the young offender can receive court-imposed treatment, those are compelling arguments from a mother who's already lost a child, who's trying to speak to another child who murdered her daughter. It's a serious issue and I know it's probably less in conflict with the objectives of the family services act than we tend to believe.

I want to talk about serious occurrences if I can. I understand serious occurrences to occur where too much force or violence may be used by counsellors in the disposition of their duties. Is this one of the categories of serious occurrences which we're reading about in the --

Ms Herbert: It's one.

Mr Jackson: Yes. What would be one or two other examples of serious occurrences involving staff or inmates, just so the committee gets a sense of that?

Ms Proctor: I'm going to ask Heather to speak to the sort of serious occurrences.

Mr Jackson: I just wanted one or two more examples. I'm going to run out of time here real soon.

Ms Heather Martin: All injuries to clients which are non-accidental, including self-inflicted or unexplained, and which require treatment by a medical practitioner, nurse or dentist; any death of a client which occurs while he or she is participating in a service; all allegations and accusations of abuse or mistreatment of clients --

Mr Jackson: That's just the accusation.

Ms Heather Martin: Yes.

Mr Jackson: Okay. How much access do facilities have to the child and family services advocate?

Ms Heather Martin: Quite open.

Mr Jackson: Is there one resident in each facility; that they're sitting around waiting to report? What's the story there? Do they get phoned and then they come in?

Ms Herbert: It varies across the province. All programs that serve children are required to post the advocates' poster, are required to have the telephone number published, are required to give the telephone number out when requested, so we've got a kind of a blanket approach to the advocate.

Mr Jackson: Do you have them resident in any facility?

Ms Herbert: In some of our facilities we have advocates on staff.

Mr Jackson: And which ones are they?

The Chair: Mr Jackson, time up.

Mr Hope: I'd like to go back, Peter, to some of the comments that you were indicating earlier, and you talked about the integration of services. Is it not true, though, that with the integration of services, there is the turf protection that does occur between those different agencies that are out there? I'm looking at the auditor's report and he's trying to find value, and we're talking about making sure we meet the clients' needs in our communities, making sure we're doing proper planning to provide services.

I'm sure, through all these public meetings -- and I know some comments I have made locally in my own paper have created the turf protection, I would call it, with the different boards or the different agencies, even the different funding mechanisms that are out there: money coming from Health which is providing services to children or Social Services which is providing services to children. Even though you are talking about integration -- you have a provincial liaison group. I notice you used the word "buy-in," I think, in your comments, from the broader community. Is it not true, though, that while we try to search and meet the needs of the Provincial Auditor, in local communities there could be that protectionist approach to the agencies and the services they provide? Rosemary, or I was just commenting to Peter.

Ms Proctor: Yes, that's okay, that's fine. I think there are two aspects to that and I was going to ask Sue to give a bit of a perspective on that very real issue in terms of the responsibilities of boards and the approach that they take very seriously to the operation of their programs and then to the challenges that we face, but also some successes in bringing organizations together through the integration exercises.

Ms Herbert: Randy, you used the word "turf," so I'll start from there. As you know, most of our social services in this province grew up through charitable organizations and they have long histories. They have histories that came not out of government funding but out of parental concern, out of specific issues for their children or their relatives, out of church organizations, out of different faith group affiliations. So we have a history in the province, not just in children's services, but in most of our social services, of what might be called special-interest groups which have grown up -- and I don't mean that in a pejorative sense -- for very real, tangible issues, to deliver services to kids in the province. Over time, the government has funded more and more of those services. In 1985, the Child and Family Services Act attempted to put an overall legislative base around those programs.

Mr Hope: Because you say "overall," how many agencies in the province of Ontario do we have?

Ms Herbert: In children's?

Mr Hope: I mean just in your ministry, because I've got to look at the broader --


Ms Herbert: Rosemary is just saying if we add child care centres in, it's about 5,000 organizations that provide service. When we look at children's services and we begin to ask boards of directors to begin to think about how they can integrate, how they can restructure, share tight dollars, deliver services differently, one of the first things that happens to them as a board is to think about where they've come from and who they want to serve and what about their particular client groups' needs. So it takes a little while for a board to -- not all boards, but some boards take a little bit longer to get over some of the vested interest, which is quite a positive vested interest, in order to look broader.


So when Peter talks about buy-in, it's that attempt to say to boards, "Can we expand our view of these issues a little bit and still serve the needs you've historically wanted to serve and your own interests but at the same time look at how we can improve integration, access, all those things?"

So just to give you a little bit of history about the turf issues, because they are real, but I also believe that if you can talk to boards openly about them, they're quite possible to get over.

Mr Gooch: The whole purpose of the local planning direction is to address just that range of issues that Sue has described. The goal is to have all those agencies coming together not just to talk to one another but to talk to other services from other funders, talk to parents and youth who are receiving the service, to have a much more comprehensive look at the range of services that are in the community and how they can contribute to those most meaningfully.

I want to point out that we have seen and we're seeing more and more examples across the province of boards that voluntarily, willingly, take a look at what the issues are in their communities and what the possible ways to address them are, and they come together and propose to the ministry that they amalgamate.

Perhaps the most dramatic example of that is in the Kenora and Rainy River districts now, where over the last two years the two children's aid societies in those catchments and two children's mental health centres started off asking how they can improve the range of services, how they can deal with their huge geography. They began to think about putting their services together, co-locating them. The more they talked together as boards, the more they understood the ministry's policy around integration and the more the area office encouraged them, the more it became obvious that the real solution was to become one agency and they've started that process. We see examples of that happening everywhere.

Mr Hope: I'm going to change the focus a bit, because I want to go to the young offenders issue to get some answers to some of the questions that have been posed by legislative research. But before I get into that, we had a discussion earlier about welfare and youth on welfare. You were talking about some statistics earlier. I don't want to leave the general public with the impression that kids who are on welfare are part of the gang structures that are in our communities. I know in my own community I've seen people who are in good families, still living at home, getting caught up in -- I guess "the conflicts of society" is what you might want to call it, which have created problems for good parents. I just didn't want the labelling.

I know in my own community they're being very stringent about allowing children access to social services. There have to be reasons and they make sure that they're not returning a child to a possible harmful home. That is very hard for an individual to judge. Just because you don't like the rules in the house doesn't mean you're going to collect social services. I know those are the rules that they're following in my community.

But with the information I heard earlier, and I apologize for not listening more closely, the stats that you have, the information you're collecting, is there background information about individuals, what category of society they come from? Is that part of the information that's being taken in?

Ms Proctor: I'd like to address that in two ways: first of all, to clarify that when we're talking about young offenders, because the discussion earlier was about young offenders and young people having access to welfare in specific situations, the young offender population that the ministry deals with is kids up to age 15 and not the kids ages 16 and 17. Access to welfare for young people over the age of 16 would be a different set of issues from that point of view. So I just wanted to clarify that, because kids under age 16 who would be "on welfare" would in fact be living with their families and the families would be on family benefits.

With respect to the kind of information about young offenders that would be collected and tracked through the young offenders services information system, I would refer to Dale to speak specifically to the kind of overall information that system would be able to provide.

Ms Elliott: If what you're talking about is the socioeconomic level of the family, no, there would be nothing we track in that way. In individual case notes, if the family's economic situation was a significant factor in what was going on, that might be recorded in a case officer's notes, but this is not something we track system-wide.

Mr Hope: Okay, that answers my questions. One of the questions which is in here is, "Can the ministry provide assurance that the lack of documentation to support compliance with court orders does not pose a threat to the safety of the public?" This is a general concern. We're hearing about young offenders everywhere. I know even in my own community there was a youth who was attacked by a bunch of young offenders. They put a petition together and I think something like 1,400 people signed it in our community.

In the report here I guess there was information flow, the documentation, and I just wondered if the lack of documentation to support compliance with court orders poses a threat to the safety of the general public.

Ms Proctor: Again I would ask Dale to speak to the issue, the whole question of what kind of documentation is maintained, the issue that was raised by the auditor in respect to the lack of documentation in specific instances and what we are doing about that. Could you speak to that?

Ms Elliott: I think the kinds of assurances that we would give are several. One was noted yesterday, that one of our key sources of documentation is the case notebook of the probation officer, and it was only the formal files that were reviewed by the Provincial Auditor. So there may be additional information there. If on an individual case one had a concern, one would have a secondary source of information to review to see if there was documentation there.

I think the other point about posing a threat to the safety of the public is that the auditor noted that the issues of lack of documentation of compliance were with the probation community cases rather than the custodial cases. When you've got a custody case, we know we've enforced the court order, because the youth is in custody. That sounds a little simplistic. So the youth being on the street or not, according to a court order, has been enforced and complied with.

In the non-compliance with court orders, the focus on the community conditions were again ones that we talked about yesterday, about a youth engaging in treatment or counselling or not and the whole process that goes around the youth's and family's willingness to do that.

I think the last assurance that we have is that the provision of Comsoc services for young offenders is not done in private. We are engaged in a whole host of checks and balances, which include work with the court; review at court of documents; review of orders by facilities which receive youths from us and would quickly call us on any issue of variance with a court order; provincial directors sign off reports and sentence calculation by probation officers; case audits; case supervision; our work with families and youths, with advocates of youth and with defence lawyers.

We're in a fairly open system that a lot of people have components of. So I think the scrutiny on us where we have not held up to something is that we would be very quickly checked by someone on it.

Mr Hope: Noticing the time, I'm going to ask a last, specific question. Is the ministry satisfied that the court orders are being properly enforced?

Ms Proctor: To just respond very briefly to that in Dale's comments, generally we are. The orders around custody are implemented. Some of the other orders with respect to community service are also part of the responsibility of the probation officer and the program, and those would be carried out. What we need to do is in fact ensure that the documentation around the implementation of court orders is maintained in a larger percentage. That is an issue when the documentation isn't there, and we would agree that this needs to be attended to. With respect to carrying out the orders, the staff are certainly directed to do that and they would understand that.

The Chair: I think we will break for lunch and resume our sitting at 2 o'clock this afternoon. Thank you.

The committee recessed from 1159 to 1407.

The Vice-Chair: Good afternoon. We will continue in our questioning of the Ministry of Community and Social Services. I was going through Education, Correctional Services, and then I thought, no, this is week 3, we are now with Comsoc. I apologize for that.

We'll start the questioning this afternoon with Mr Murphy of the official opposition. Shall we take 20-minute intervals?

Mr Murphy: Great. I wanted to go back to the young offenders stuff that we started this morning. What I'm wondering is, does the ministry have or is it developing, and if so by when will it have it -- that's a long preamble -- a breakdown by each of the transfer agencies? I'm looking at volume 3 of the public accounts, which just lists, for my purposes in any event, all the transfer agencies that provide young offender services, and I'm obviously interested in the homes, the various facilities that provide them, and whether you would have a sense of, for example, the recidivism rate by institution, cost breakdown per inmate/offender-day by institution and, if you have that information, whether you use that to assess how much you give them in a future year.

That's about five questions in one, and now you have an opportunity to give me a speech in response. If in the course of the answer you could answer the questions, that would be great.

Ms Proctor: Okay. I'd like to speak to several of those issues and ask Dale to speak to one of them. At one point I would like to come back and just clarify a few points with the committee about some of the information that's been requested that we have copies of and so forth.

With respect to the issue of recidivism according to facility or according to treatment program where young offenders may be in residence, I'd like Dale to speak to the overall recidivism issue. As we discussed a bit earlier on, the whole purpose of developing the young offenders service information system is to be able to provide better tracking and better analysis of the number of youth who are within that system, the disposition and such issues as recidivism. We are making some progress towards developing a better information system, but we're some way from being there.

The other issue that the ministry is working on within the context of the policy framework is to have a better look at levels of care and the per diem rates or the amount of resources required to provide a level of care, because the ministry has tended to budget agencies on the basis, and we described this earlier, of service contracts and contracts for a range of programs and services. But we're recognizing that there is a variation in terms of residential services and the amount that they cost per day, and we want to bring a greater degree of systematization and consistency to that, which requires having a better analysis of the factors that go into a particular cost and then being able to establish more consistent policies about what one pays for a particular level of care.

By way of starting, I would like, Dale, if you would speak to the recidivism issue first of all, please.

Ms Elliott: Sure. No, we don't keep recidivism by facility, and I think that ties in to some of the larger issues about measuring what contributes to recidivism. The larger focus for us is measuring, through the effectiveness of an overall program, in achieving set goals with the young offenders.

In addition to the kinds of tools that we talked about earlier for individual case assessment, one of the things in the policy framework that will also be of support to contracting for young offenders' services is the linking of specific client outcomes with the service provider. So we will also be part of that direction of the policy framework.

Mr Murphy: Sorry. Could you just repeat the last thing you said? I'm trying to think of providing an answer to my constituents in language that I can understand. I know you're familiar with this and deal with this every day and it becomes easy for you to use shorthand, but if you could explain that to a dull guy like me a bit more straightforwardly, that would be great.

Ms Elliott: One of the directions of the policy framework, the accountability direction, talks about the need, in contracting for services, rather than to contract, say, for a volume of service, to provide x days' care for young offenders, as we more specifically contract for specific outcomes to be achieved by a service in relationship to the program it's providing.

Mr Murphy: What would be an outcome?

Ms Elliott: Those haven't been defined yet. When we talked earlier today about the working groups that are each making recommendations, the accountability working group will be making recommendations around the kinds of indicators that should be looked at and applied system-wide for children and also for young offenders. We will be guided by the final approved products from that working group, one of the directions of the policy framework.

Mr Murphy: Sorry if I've asked this before -- someone asked this before -- but who's on the working group for that accountability?

Ms Proctor: Can I ask Lynne Bertolini to speak to the children's policy framework work in relation to the accountability. I'd need to introduce for the committee Lynne Bertolini, a staff person who has joined us this afternoon.

Ms Lynne Bertolini: The accountability working group is very similar to all of the other working groups working under the policy framework. There are representatives of the all the major children's provincial associations on that working group, as well as the two unions that have the most involvement with our children's agencies. So CUPE and OPSEU would both have representation, as well as the major children's associations, including young offenders.

Mr Murphy: Is there any non-process participant in it? Are there general public members on it?

Ms Bertolini: At this point, our working groups are made up of those people who are most involved with service delivery. We have, however, initiated several times throughout the project province-wide consultations that have included not only ministry staff, agencies and agency staff but families and children. As a matter of fact, we're in the process now of going around the province and talking to different organizations of families that are recipients of children's services under the CFSA.

Mr Murphy: And this is related to the accountability, how you define what's a good result.

Ms Bertolini: That's current. We've been going out to talk to these groups of families to ask them where they think the children's services should be going, and what kinds of outcomes they would like to see for their children is one of the questions that we've been asking. So they will have input into the policy development in that way.

Ms Proctor: If I could follow up on that more specifically, I think as the working groups and the staff work on this whole question of what an outcome is -- and the conversation, I know, can start to sound like a lot of bureaucratese -- it's really important to try to say that the outcomes that we're expecting of an organization are the changed behaviour for the young offender, that they are reduced conflict with the law.

It would be hard in the current situation to hold a particular program or agency accountable for 100% success with respect to recidivism, but establishing a benchmark and working to improve that benchmark would be a step in the right direction. So I think it's important that we challenge the working groups and that we continue to work to define things there that are measurable things like a reduction in the particular rate or a specific outcome in terms of changed behaviour that we would be expecting people to work towards.

Mr Murphy: One of the latest buzzwords is this "best practices" idea. We were spending some time with Education, when they were here, talking about what works in one place and how you spread the news about that. Is that going to be part of what you're doing on this accountability and saying: "Look, we have a program that's worked really well with this kind of offender group. Why don't we try it in other places? Gosh, it's cheap too"?

Ms Proctor: Yes. I was sort of reluctant to get into "best practices" language, because again it becomes easy to start saying, "We use best practices." But part of the exercise within the children's planning work really is to do two things at a provincial level. The working group that's working especially on priority services is putting that forward as a challenge, saying: "We do know some things about what works best with different sorts of kids. We need to do a better job of ensuring that other organizations provide service of that quality," rather than so much, "Leave it up to the organization itself." We need to do a better job of both spreading the word of what works among organizations and, secondly, of holding organizations and agencies more accountable.

In Metro Toronto apparently, there's a best practices group that has been established with participation from the children's aid societies and the children's mental health centres, as well as in cooperation with the Laidlaw Foundation. We're putting some work into that group, and what they're working on is really what is best practice in different fields of service.

Mr Murphy: I think this may have been asked earlier and the answer was, "We don't have a time frame yet," but do you know when you're going to get this done and when you're going to communicate it and how you're going to enforce it once you have the result?

Ms Proctor: I'm a little vague on the time frame for the next step of the policy framework. The working groups have been reporting. We're expecting the next phase to be completed in the next month or six weeks for some further discussion in the ministry, and then we'll be in a position to put back the next phase of the children's policy framework and expectations and so forth.


I don't want to make it sound as though in fact that means everything is sort of done and finished, but in terms of the next step of recommendations and directions and guidelines that would come out of the children's policy framework, I would see that start to come out this spring. But I think that there will be, for example, in a couple of areas that we've referred to, the question of the whole area of assessing kids' needs in a coherent and similar way from program to program. I see some further work over a period of time, and it's hard to estimate how long, working with organizations on what's the right method to use or test and to work on both developing an acceptance and an application of that.

Another area that we mentioned, which is determining what would be the appropriate level of funding for different levels of care for children in residential services, I think will take a bit longer than that as well.

Mr Murphy: The researcher provided us with some articles, and there was one I was reading with interest. I don't know whether you've seen it in the copy of materials. It's called "The Downside of Zero Tolerance." It's talking a bit about young offenders in the system. This may go beyond the scope of the services you provide, but it was interesting to note in here, for example, that it says, "In 1991-92, a total of 48,854 cases involving young people in Ontario aged 12 to 17 went to court, but a full 46% of them were either dismissed or withdrawn." Then it compares levels in other provinces: in BC it's 30%, in Alberta it's 27% and in Quebec it's 9%. Would you know why that is?

Then it goes on to say that we have a different way of treating alternative measures, and the article implies that we don't use it anywhere near as much or at all compared to other provinces. You look at the system as something, in theory, that's responsible to the public about the management of its money. If someone asks me, "Why does this happen?" I have no idea. I'm wondering if you can help me answer that question.

Ms Proctor: I'd like to ask Dale if she would speak to the issue of the comparisons. You might also speak to the other follow-up which he just mentioned.

Ms Elliott: Some of the Canadian stats, and I'm not sure which article you've got, need to recognize, in general, some of the different service system delivery structures in each of the provinces, recognizing which age groups were always young offenders in provinces and which were formerly adults, like Ontario. So that tends to have an impact on the statistics.

In general, talking about alternative measures, we as a ministry have been delivering alternative measures programs since 1988. We continue to work with the Ministry of the Attorney General, which has responsibility for designating those programs, to look at the impact, to look at the offence criteria.

Currently, the Ministry of the Attorney General has developed an investment strategy which looks at the kinds of things that it as a ministry can look at which impact the front end of the system. We're working with them in a number of forums about how we then link with them, given that they have responsibility for the very front end: police charging practices, crown screening practices. So Attorney General has a whole host of things that it's looking to implement, and we will work with it.

Mr Murphy: Maybe you can't answer this question, why there's such a variation. This is in one year, 1991-92. By that time everybody's in the new system and there is no one who would have been part of an old system where they've been reclassified from adult to child. There's a real difference in the percentages that seem to be dealt with in the system. It's probably more appropriately asked of the Attorney General, I guess, why there's such a difference in the number of cases that are dismissed or withdrawn. Do you know offhand? An alternative measure disposition, how does that get measured as a statistic? Is that a withdrawal of a charge, a dismissal of a charge?

Ms Elliott: It could be the formal recording of alternative measures. If a young offender completes an alternative measure sanction and returns to court, then the charge is withdrawn.

Mr Murphy: So that difference of statistics-collecting, that would be known as a withdrawn charge.

Ms Elliott: That's why you'd need to check with the Ministry of the Attorney General. I'm just not sure, but if that's included, then yes, that would in fact support that alternative measures are being used for a large number of youth. I'm just not sure on the group you've got there.

Mr Murphy: I'm not sure either. I'm glad to give you a copy of it and maybe you can explain it to me afterwards.

Ms Elliott: Sure.

Mr Murphy: How am I doing for time?

The Vice-Chair: You have all of six minutes.

Mr Pat Hayes (Essex-Kent): You don't want to change seats?

The Vice-Chair: No. He asked for the full time.

Mr Murphy: Following up, and I think you've touched on this a bit, the auditor commented in part on changing the way in which you judge the funding of transfer agencies by contracted service or a range of service versus whatever the other term was. He talked about how for example one regional office paid $2.1 million for unused contracted services because of different rates of using the services they contract for. You talk about the young offenders services operational plan being part of how you're addressing this problem. I'm wondering, have you got time frames in place for that? When are you going to change how it's funded and how are you going to deal with the transfer agencies in the course of the change?

Ms Proctor: I'd like to ask Sue to address the question of our planning on a provincial basis.

Ms Herbert: There are two states of planning. The deputy referred to it yesterday, I think. Mr Jackson asked a question about time frames around the YOA operational plan. We hope to have that in place by the spring. That will address reshifting the system a little bit, we hope to reflect some of the concerns around home placement, access to bed capacity across the province.

Then the other level of planning is the planning that takes place daily around where we place young offenders as they come into the system and how we manage bed placement once we've got a system that's more flexible in place to respond to dispositions that we can't control.

Our first step is to have this operational plan in place in the spring which will allow us to have some base services across the province spread reasonably well across the province, and then to begin to have some flexibility to move bed counts up and down, depending on what our bed situation is like.

The case you referred to, the $2.1 million, for example, reflects a number of contracted beds that were contracted in one part of the province. At 100% occupancy, there would not have been that $2.1-million formula; excess spending I think is how it's referred to. In actual fact, I think we ran at 80% among that group of agencies. So the $2.1 million is the difference between 80% occupancy and 100% occupancy. The trick for us is always to have bed capacity available and trying to balance what we think our bed count needs are going to be and have availability of those beds and look at contracting for a number that allows us that flex. In actual fact, we think that running at 90% is doing really well. There will always be a slight --

Mr Murphy: Absolutely. That's right. There's going to be some number that's a reasonable number, and I guess the argument is that 20% or 30% difference is too high a difference. Have you targeted a percentage utilization rate, to use the terminology, as one you can achieve and is the optimum level?

Ms Herbert: Our goal has always been to run between 90% and 95%. It's difficult to achieve because we don't control the intake. I think the other point for us is that in the past many of you would know that we operated to some degree on a regional basis, and we've moved to a provincial level plan to try to manage those beds differently.

Mr Murphy: Does that mean there are going to be young offenders who are transferred more often out of jurisdictions?

Ms Herbert: No. Our hope would be that the young offender plan that we talked about having ready in the spring will help us balance our patterns of bed count utilization across the province in a better way. Once that system's in place, then you can manage it.

Mr Murphy: Does that mean that by summer of this year, I can tell the voters in my riding that this extra money won't be spent when we don't need to spend it?

Mr Callahan: That's not a fair question.

Mr Murphy: Sure it's a fair question. That's what they would ask me, and I'm asking you.


Ms Proctor: I quite understand. The reason why we're trying to plan this on a provincial basis rather than a regional basis is so that you can keep just a bit closer track if there is an underutilization in one area and you need to move the resources into another area. I wouldn't suggest that we'll ever get 100% there, because things move and you get intake and charges and custody orders in one place all of a sudden more than you expected or whatever. So it isn't a science, but from the point of view of trying to maximize the use of the resources, we really concluded that we need to think about the resources across the province and try to deal with where are the beds and where are the pressures on a provincial basis. That's the direction that we're moving in.

Mr Murphy: I want to talk briefly about user fees. Am I right that they're off now? They're no longer on? The agency Oolagen, for example, is in my riding. They came and talked to me a few times about the great difficulty they could have in charging user fees, because it's emergency and they already take the federal government payment as part of it etc. So there's just no way they could take the money from parents. Am I right that that's off again, that the minister has said user fees will not be asked for from those agencies?

Ms Proctor: I'd like to ask Sue to speak to this issue.

Ms Herbert: The ministry hasn't called them user fees, but parental contributions have always been a policy of the ministry, just to start back a little bit to answer your question.

Mr Murphy: Ah, yes. Aren't euphemisms a wonderful thing.

Ms Herbert: We have parental contributions that recognize the fact that for many of the children, they're living in our agencies, they're receiving service from our agencies, and the costs that some of our agencies bear -- particularly Oolagen would be a good example. They have kids in residential services there, and parents make some contribution to the cost of their children living in Oolagen, since they're not paying for those costs while they're living in that home. So we have parental contributions and we have special allowances which you've referenced.

Where I think there was anxiety among the service provider agencies is that the ministry announced a constraint in the spring. We hoped we could look at using parental contributions and user fees towards offsetting some of those costs. That's where the agencies and where Oolagen would have come, for example, and talked to you about that concern.

Since then, the ministry, in working with the provider and the agency groups, decided that it can't meet that constraint through parental contributions and through special allowances, and said that we will still work on enhancing those policies. The parental contribution policy, though we had one, was confusing. It wasn't consistently applied across the province. So we said, "We're going to work with the service providers to clean that up," and I think that work is under way now.

Mr Murphy: So it's off for now.

Interjection: No. It's being tightened up.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Murphy has actually gone a couple of minutes over, so I think I'm going to have to cut you off there and go to Mr Jackson.

Mr Murphy: I think there was some desire, though, to finish the answer to the last question. I'm sure Mr Jackson wants to hear the answer too.

The Vice-Chair: After you interjected, you mean?

Mr Jackson: It would be fairer to say, without getting into a debate about parental contributions, that there was a wide variance between its application, between just children's aid societies, for example. That's what you found.

Ms Proctor: I think what we found was that there had been a policy in place for quite a few years, but the application of the policy was not consistent.

Mr Jackson: Okay. Follow me for a moment, please. You're in the process of identifying those who are already utilizing parental contributions within the policy, and you're identifying those who have not and saying: "This is an opportunity for you to move to a more balanced budget. If you have the authority to do that, please explain to us why you're not doing it." Is that essentially the approach?

Ms Proctor: At this point actually the ministry set up an advisory group with the representatives from a number of the provincial associations: OACMHC, OACAS, OntChild, OCODHA, OACL etc.

Mr Jackson: I'm familiar with that. Let me ask it another way then. Surely you're not telling those agencies that are currently collecting this parental contribution that it's no longer required while it's under review?

Ms Proctor: No, I don't think --

Mr Jackson: You're not. Okay.

Ms Proctor: No. We haven't told people to stop collecting, and we've also asked agencies which may not have been collecting the federal special allowance to continue to try to collect that as well because that's --

Mr Jackson: The federal special allowance is another issue. The federal allowance, we know that some are and are not collecting it, and it makes eminent sense that if a baby bonus, just for clearer language, in theory is supposed to go --

Mr Hope: Child tax credit.

Mr Jackson: I know, Randy, but we're not all as sharp as you.

Mr Hope: Don't be smart about it. All I was doing for the record was to make sure it's the proper terminology that's used today. It's the child tax credit; that's all I was saying.

Mr Jackson: Thank you for your contribution. For want of another word I'll call it the baby bonus, but this flows with the child, as I understand how it's supposed to work. But when the child is no longer the responsibility of the parent it should flow to the agency that is acting on behalf of the state as the --

Ms Proctor: In loco parentis.

Mr Jackson: Right. So now agencies that haven't been collecting are being encouraged to collect that because it's legitimate moneys that are transferred that should be going to them. Correct?

Ms Proctor: Yes.

Mr Jackson: Just to be clear, the discussion about the province treating that income in any form of offset, that is part of the discussion group. In other words, no firm decisions about how the ministry treats that income; no firm decision is made about that? Mr Murphy raised, and I'm following through with it, three related but separate issues within this whole issue of user fees or whatever you want to call it.

Ms Proctor: Just to make sure I understand what you're saying, to confirm that the whole issue of the agency collection of the children's special allowance or of parental contributions is delinked from any issue of the application of fiscal constraint in the agencies or in the children's services; so they are being treated as two separate sets of issues, and working with the organizations towards an update, a better way of managing the policy with respect to contributions and the federal special allowance on the one hand, and delinking that from the work that the area offices would do to apply a constraint on the children's services agencies, which has been reduced for the current fiscal year.

Mr Jackson: But has that been reduced in an amount --

Ms Proctor: That's going a bit beyond where you were, but I just wanted to make sure that we were talking about the same thing, which is to delink the two exercises.

Mr Jackson: Yes, and what I asked you was, in the federal transfer payment, that those moneys are not now being treated in any offset by the ministry with respect to your expenditure control plan.

Ms Proctor: That's correct.

Mr Jackson: The minister took a giant step backwards from it --

Ms Proctor: That's right, and said that --

Mr Jackson: -- and said, "That's on the table for discussion but we're not going to treat that as was first considered in the memo."

Ms Proctor: "We're not going to treat that as an offset." That's correct.

Mr Jackson: That's all I just wanted to establish. Okay. Very good.

Now if I can pursue -- Mr Murphy's still here; good. Another serious occurrence would be the confiscation of drugs or other contraband. That would be another incidence report. Are those automatically reported to the police, and what kinds of incidence reportings are we getting from any data you've looked at?

Ms Proctor: Dale, is that in terms of reporting contraband in facilities?

Ms Elliott: It depends on the definition of contraband.

Mr Jackson: I'll use drugs.

Ms Elliott: Certainly anything illegal in terms of drugs or a weapon the local police would be notified. Contraband in a facility could also be that youths just had something they're not supposed to have. So certainly the police would be involved where there's an illegal object.

Mr Jackson: I understand you don't do personal searches for drugs of young offenders. They have to actually be caught with the paraphernalia or the substance in order to have an incidence report. Is that your understanding of the operational side?

Ms Elliott: There would be several instances. When you say "do a personal search," do you mean like physically searching a person's body, as one hears in police and at borders and by Immigration and what not, as in a personal body search?

Mr Jackson: I wouldn't know how to describe it any other way.


Ms Elliott: Maybe I'll go another way. Certainly the kinds of searches that can be done in our facilities would be a checking of a youth's belongings, pockets, asking him to empty out pockets or what not. If there was any thought that there were drugs located inside the person's body, our staff do not conduct those searches but would contact a doctor and arrange for a medical professional to conduct that kind of a search.

Mr Jackson: Do you have any statistics on those occurrences, or is that an area of occurrence not reported?

Ms Elliott: It would be reported, and again, a facility level would have those in local records. That's not something that I would have a rolled-up provincial list of. But certainly every facility would log every such incident.

Mr Jackson: I think the auditor identified that there was a problem with the serious occurrences being transferred, but also that they were not all being reported. Is that not correct?

Ms Proctor: The auditor did remark on and did note that we have done a number of steps, with respect to serious occurrence reporting, to improve both our expectations of agencies and of the area offices. I'd like Sue to speak to the steps that we've taken.

Mr Jackson: I think we got an insight to that. I guess really what I'm looking at is I'm trying to familiarize myself with your operations manual and how certain things are being done. It would be extremely helpful to me if you had clarified that, as opposed to the new path that you've created. I want to get a sense of how certain aspects operate. For example, when I read about incidence reports around child abuse, I read through it carefully and I note that it makes reference to adult abuse of children. I'm trying to determine where in the manual it refers to abuse by one young offender of another young offender. What is your protocol and what are the responsibilities for reporting of a young offender? It's very clear about persons who are staff or persons who are adults.

Ms Proctor: I'll ask Heather to speak to that issue.

Ms Heather Martin: That falls within the guidelines of what is a serious occurrence. So when any client who's receiving one of our services suffers any abuse by anybody it's reportable as a serious occurrence to the area office.

Mr Jackson: So within a few months you'll be able to show statistics of -- I've seen abuse-by-staff statistics because they're shared with the union, but I've not ever seen stats of abuse between clients.

Ms Herbert: In our young offender facilities, each facility would keep a log of what we call kid-on-kid, child-on-child assaults. So we would know by facility.

Mr Jackson: So that's available for us to have a look at under certain circumstances.

Ms Herbert: We would have to probably roll that up for you. That would not necessarily be a stat we'd keep ourselves corporately.

Mr Jackson: Can I pursue the issue of serious occurrences as they relate to the use of force by members of the counselling staff in a facility such as Syl Apps? It's the facility I'm most familiar with because my fiancée worked there for two years, so I just have a fair understanding of it.

Currently I have a case, and I make no bones about it, and it just illustrates a bit of a problem that we have. I understand that when there's a case of force being used in the opinion of the young offender, the protocols follow and the child advocate enters and the children's aid society is called immediately. But parallel to that then the police are called.

We have two individuals here. We have the rights of the child that have to be protected under the ministry's regulations and laws, and the minister also is responsible for his employees, in this instance members of OPSEU.

I had a case of an individual who was cleared by the police, but the children's aid society, which is still under the jurisdiction of the minister, refused to release the individual because he didn't feel it was necessary to attend several meetings at the CAS. I'm talking about a person -- I don't want to call him a guard; I guess we call them counsellors at Syl Apps. This individual may still be sitting at home but it's been going on for eight and a half months. He's been sitting at home not getting paid because of the fact that one part of the ministry says, "We're there to protect the child," and the other part of the ministry says, "We have a job to do."

My efforts to try to free up this logjam were unsuccessful, but more importantly it sort of juxtaposed the tension within the ministry between the two responsibilities. I wonder to what extent the system is overreacting -- or underreacting, depending on whose position we're discussing here -- with respect to the whole notion of protection of the individual.

There was a child advocate on site. The police have said there was absolutely no incident. There were witnesses in the room and the individual was cleared. When near-riot, or what you call them, situations get out of control in these facilities there are take-down procedures. Young people have to be taken down in order to be restrained. This is not a pleasant experience for a young person, I suspect, but necessary for the safety of other individuals and for the persons in OPSEU.

I just wonder, to what extent can we afford a system that allows for that kind of difficulty to emerge when the evidence is compelling on one side and yet here we have -- I'm sure the children's aid society is well intended but it just won't close the file and therefore the ministry can't reinstate the counsellor. This has gone on for a long time.

Ms Herbert: I can't speak to the particulars of the situation. Certainly you've outlined the procedures that we follow as a way of trying to ensure both fairness to the staff person who's involved and to the child who may be complaining. The purpose of the procedures is just to ensure some fairness outside of the facility itself.

I don't know if you want to spend a bit of time going through that procedure, because Dale can walk you through the procedure and how it works, but the larger issue, I think, particularly in the secure custody facilities, is how we help our staff and train our staff to de-escalate before we have to move to containment or restraint. For a whole number of reasons we want to intervene before we get to that point. There's staff injury that occurs when we're restraining, there are incidents of assault being claimed on both sides, so we spend a fair amount of time both monitoring restraint usage, particularly at Syl Apps -- I think in the original Syl Apps report it was noted that restraint was used more there than seems to be used elsewhere in the system. We've invested a lot of time in training our staff around aggressive PMAB training -- again, a euphemism that I can't remember --

Ms Elliott: Prevention and management of aggressive behaviour.

Ms Herbert: As a way of trying to help our staff intervene before we have to contain or hold children.

Mr Jackson: I understand that and I believe the report was extremely helpful in providing a basis for staff to have those kinds of discussions, but I still have to come back to the notion that at some point a piece of legislation has to take primacy. I just have difficulty with any level of government that's going to hold an employee in abeyance. I was talking to senior ministry people and I just wondered if that's not something we can't resolve, in the interests of the employee -- who I felt wasn't really getting a fair shake, but that's my opinion -- and what everybody seemed to appear to have agreed, that the best interests of the young offender had been met.

Ms Herbert: Clearly the issue of time frame and OPSEU's concern for its members and our concern about having staff suspended or off duty, we have a mutual interest in solving this. At the ministry employee relations committee we've had a full discussion on this issue and are looking at putting some guidelines in place around time frames and decision points. I think part of what happens is when you involve so many players the question of when and how you reach a decision that everyone is comfortable with, who makes the decision. I understand that MERC, a euphemism for the ministry employee relations committee, has actually had a full discussion and has some draft guidelines that it wants to have approved.

Mr Jackson: How much time do I have left?

The Vice-Chair: You technically have two minutes, but because I let Mr Murphy go a couple of minutes over I'd say about four.


Mr Jackson: Oh, I see. Thank you. There've been two coroner's inquests into young offenders who've been at large -- unauthorized absence, whatever we call it -- where, within the coroner's inquest -- well, one was with absence and the other was deaths caused the day of the discharge. In both cases the coroner's inquest determined that learning how to operate a motor vehicle and the gaining of the licence thereof was secured while in custody.

Can you enlighten us as to why we're providing that level of program at no cost to young offenders when I just paid $450 for my wife to take Young Drivers of Canada training? She's in a class with seven boys all aged 16 wondering why they have to pay. Could someone help me understand why this is occurring? Are we contracting this out?

Ms Elliott: No. I would need to --

Mr Jackson: Well, when do we stop doing it?

Ms Elliott: My understanding from just an overall knowledge would be that this isn't something we would be providing as part of our programming. What may be occurring is that a young offender in a facility who is working toward reintegration into the community may be getting a series of temporary releases. During those, while he or she's at home under the supervision of his or her parents, maybe they have arranged for driving lessons. That would be my first comment, that most of that may well be while a youth is on temporary release as one of the measures for reintegration.

Mr Jackson: I've got to tell you honestly, I've been at the Tim Horton's across the street from Syl Apps. I've seen the driving instructor come and pick them all up. We know who they are. We don't have to know their names, but I know what's going on. Could you help me find out a little more information? I don't want to be tough on these kids but, by the same token, the two coroner's inquests are pretty compelling where it was identified --

Ms Herbert: Were they phase 1 kids, Cam?

Mr Jackson: Yes, they were phase 1 kids.

Ms Herbert: All right. We'll go and --

Mr Jackson: There were the four who were killed out near Kingston. They were the ones who broke release and took a car from within the neighbourhood, and then there were the four who were killed --

Ms Proctor: Did they get their driver's licence while they were in custody?

Mr Jackson: Yes. And then the four who --

Mr Callahan: Did they teach them how to drive stolen cars or what?

Mr Jackson: No, no, no. Well, one of my staff had her car stolen by a young offender who escaped three months ago, but he didn't have a licence. There's no correlation there. I just really wanted to say: The four youths who died in my riding -- he had been discharged earlier that day. He was 16, but he was fully licensed. He had achieved his licensing and his experience and everything while a young offender. Three youths were murdered that day.

Ms Herbert: We'll follow up on that. I think --

Mr Jackson: I appreciate that. I just want to learn more about it and --

Ms Herbert: That's fair.

Mr Jackson: I can't get straight answers from anybody. I'm sure I'll get them from you, Sue.

The Vice-Chair: The auditor had a comment.

Mr Erik Peters: Just a quick comment to help out. The age group, though, that you're looking after is up to 16, so you may want to get together with Correctional Services to see whether --

Mr Jackson: No, not necessarily. There are 17- and 18-year-olds at the Syl Apps detention centre; there's no denying that. The act says the commission of the crime as of that date, but if you commit the crime just shy of your 16th birthday, you're six months to a year remanded until you go before a judge, then you get your three-year sentence. You're still classified as a young offender, still accommodated in a young offender facility, and you could be 20 years old. That's not common, but it can happen if you're more than 18.

Mr Peters: I'm just raising the question in order for you to get a full answer to your question because some of the answers may not come from Comsoc; some of the answers may also come -- I think you should get a full answer to your question.

Mr Jackson: I will.

Mr Peters: And I'm not denying it.

Mr Jackson: That was all right. I just wanted to make sure the record didn't suggest that we don't have persons beyond the age of 16 in young offender facilities.

Mr Peters: Fair enough.

Mr Jackson: That's all.

Mr Hayes: Hello there.

The Vice-Chair: Hello. We're now going to the government side. I understand Mr Hayes has a question.

Mr Hayes: Yes, I'm looking at your children's services. I'd like some information on where it states on page 3 at the bottom in the left corner, "The government has signed a Statement of Political Relationship with the first nations and is committed to continue working with first nations towards self-government, the goal of which is to enable first nations and aboriginal peoples to assume control over the supports and services necessary to ensure that the needs of their children, youth and families are appropriately addressed." What I'd actually like to know is, can you bring us up to date on this initiative? Is the cooperation there?

Ms Proctor: I would be happy to start addressing that issue and then ask Sue to follow up with some specifics. In order to implement the Statement of Political Relationship and in order to address the issue of the continued and further assumption of control by first nations and aboriginal groups of services to their communities, the ministry has been working on reorganizing and refocusing our own work in this area.

We've been putting together what we're calling the aboriginal services transfer initiative, which is really intended to begin to work more directly with aboriginal communities that are interested in assuming responsibility for children's services or the whole range of social services, and putting ourselves in a position to be able to be more proactive in the transfer of responsibility, picking up from the first nations communities themselves a readiness and an interest in moving in that direction. For example, we are working with a couple of communities right now that are interested in assuming the responsibility more completely for child welfare in their area.

Our intention would be to continue to work with first nations communities, both on and off reserve, as those communities express an interest in taking on responsibility for social services so that responsibility can be transferred appropriately to those groups.

Do you want to speak to the specifics around any of the agencies we've got now and which we would continue to develop?

Ms Herbert: We have a fair number of organizations both on reserve -- tribal councils and individual reserves -- and off reserve that are providing counselling services, child and family intervention services that we've talked about in the audit today, a broad range of services across the province, primarily in the counselling prevention area, though we have had, and are moving towards, more requests from reserves to begin to take on the protection mandate that's under the CFSA. In fact, I hope later today to be talking to a group from Six Nations about their request to take on some of the services under the protection area for their own reserve.

I think our relationship has been more positive and we're moving more and more towards transferring to aboriginal communities the right to run these services.

Mr Hayes: Is the ministry training people within the Six Nations, for example?

Ms Herbert: Yes. In Six Nations the child welfare services have been provided by the branch CAS through a unit right on the reserve and almost all of those staff -- in fact, I think all of them are aboriginal people from the reserve who are employees of Brant. The idea would be to sever the formal relationship between the off-reserve CAS and to transfer the accountability to the band itself. We're just at the beginning of negotiating this, but I think it's a good sign.

Mr Hayes: All right.

Ms Proctor: I'll just add that in other communities where the community itself has -- Weechi-it-te-win, for example, which is a group of 14 or so aboriginal communities in northern Ontario, also operates its own child protection and child welfare service. That provides a way of both recruiting staff and training staff in those programs and then moving that training into other communities and making staff available. It's a bit of a slow process, but it's a way of enabling people to gain both the experience and the training in that kind of work.

Mr Hayes: Thank you. One more quick question: It's in the auditor's report on page 47 where we speak about the young offenders services, where they serve an average of 813 young offenders each day and 24,100 annual admissions and 363,125 annual days of care. Say, since 1990, is that a large increase of case load? Just go by the 813, the average there.


Ms Proctor: There certainly have been increases in admissions and in case loads over that period of time. Do you have the numbers readily available, Dale, to speak to?

Ms Elliott: We could provide from 1990. It was the manual data collection that we were talking about earlier. We could provide in all the categories for the admissions, days of care and average daily count going back to 1990.

Mr Hayes: But it has increased significantly though, right?

Ms Elliott: Yes. In all the categories, the admissions have increased and the days of care have increased.

Ms Proctor: Sue is able to provide a bit more information.

Ms Herbert: I won't read you all the numbers but I can give you some sense of the increase from 1989-90 to 1993-94. I can give you on admissions. Would it be admissions, Pat, that you're interested in?

Mr Hayes: Sure.

Ms Herbert: Just to give you a sense, from 1989-90 to 1993-94 the percentage increase was 46%; that's in custody. In residential detention the increase was 26% and in probation the increase was 30%; alternative measures 40%. That'll just give you some examples.

Mr Hayes: That's fine, thank you. Then I flip two pages back of the legislative research service here when it talks about the federal government providing $22 million under a cost-sharing agreement and of course it said this is one of the items that has been capped.

I guess what I really want to ask you is, with the federal government freezing payments, how do you cope with the extra workload? There must have been something that had to be done away with in order to keep the service and to keep up with the demand.

Ms Proctor: I think there are really two pieces of that. One is that because of the nature of the young offenders services and the other mandated children's services, and in general because of the importance of the services to communities and children, the ministry and the provincial government have sought to maintain those services.

For us, the fact that the federal government is withdrawing cost-sharing, for example, in the area of young offenders services doesn't remove our obligation under the legislation to continue to provide those services. We do continue to provide those services, albeit with a tighter constraint than may have been the case.

The picture that you get, essentially, is that the amount of cost-sharing the federal government provides to Ontario for this range of services, which at one point the general rule was that there was about 50% federal cost-sharing for these services, has come down in the areas funded under the Canada assistance plan to about 28%.

Whereas once upon a time, up until 1990, the federal government paid for half of the cost of the services, as it does in other provinces, at this point they pay Ontario 28%.

I think the impact of this is in several ways. We in Ontario have the more difficult situation of trying to deal with the pressure for continued services and the recognition of those services. We have the added pressure of the lack of fiscal flexibility that's created when there's the federal withdrawal from these services, but our laws and the federal legislation, in fact, compel us to continue to deliver the services.

In the young offenders area in particular, because of the increase that you noted in terms of admissions and case loads and so forth, the ministry continues to run somewhere in the neighbourhood of $7 or $8 million over estimates on an annual basis, just to provide the range of services that's required under the Young Offenders Act.

The amount of federal cost-sharing has withdrawn substantially in that area, as I say, and Ontario is down -- in the ministry generally, for the Canada assistance plan area, and it would bump up a little bit when you add the rest -- we're short about $1.7 billion this year in terms of federal expenditure that would be owing to Ontario and which in any other province would in fact come to the provincial government.

The Acting Chair (Mr Noble Villeneuve): Do we still have questions from government members? You still have about seven minutes.

Mr Duignan: No further questions.

The Acting Chair: We would then move to the official opposition.

Ms Poole: I'd like to go back for a moment to the article that Mr Murphy was referring to. I think, Ms Elliott, that you now have a copy of it. It was an article in the Toronto Star in December by Patricia Orwen. There was some interesting information contained within the article.

I appreciate that, first of all, when you're dealing with young offenders you're only dealing with those 15 and under, so some of those statistics are not referring to the population you deal with. I also appreciate that the courts set the sentences and you don't. But as a member, it's somewhat frustrating in that we never get a chance to ask these questions of the Attorney General because the Attorney General doesn't come before our committee until the auditor does an audit.

Mr Callahan: Which is next, isn't it?

Ms Poole: Which is next, hopefully. I'd just like to explore some of these things and ask for your advice and opinion on them.

One of the things the article stated was, "A full 82% of those 9,337 young people in custody in 1991-92 were there for non-violent offences." One of the themes in the article that they explored was whether young people who have committed non-violent offences should be in custody. They didn't say "non-violent and non-serious," so I don't know how many of those non-violent offences were also not serious ones.

But it would seem to me that we as a province should be looking at other jurisdictions and how they handle things. I think the fact that Quebec has only 9% of its cases withdrawn probably leads one to assume that it may have different criteria. We certainly were given this information in the general correctional picture, that there are a lot of offences which we in Ontario would incarcerate for while in Quebec they would levy a fine.

Has there been any discussion among your young offenders staff about the possibility of reform to our justice system and perhaps dealing with young offenders in a different way? I know it's federal legislation; I know your hands are tied.

Mr Hope: Maybe you could make a call, Dianne.

Ms Proctor: I would like to talk about that briefly in the sense that what you refer to is an issue right in the justice system that affects phase 1 young offenders, phase 2 young offenders and the work of the Attorney General. Really, we've been trying, among three ministries, to work more closely together on some of these issues because what each group does impacts on the others.

The collaboration that we've been engaged in over the last while is with the Ministry of the Attorney General and the Ministry of the Solicitor General and Correctional Services. What we're trying to do is, first of all, think about and collect and provide better information through the crown and address some of the questions of what are the patterns of crown prosecutors in Ontario vis-à-vis other provinces, vis-à-vis even within Ontario in terms of prosecuting young offenders.

What are the charging patterns in Ontario? It's very important to maintain the independence of the police in terms of charging, but what is the information about charging patterns as between one part of the province and another part of the province? What does that lead to in terms of the sentencing patterns and the duration of sentences and the sentences in relation to what sort of offences for young offenders in Ontario?

We are trying to work together because we think that the way to work on those kinds of issues so that you're targeting the resources to those young offenders who are the most serious situations or, as Sue alluded to earlier, the early intervention with young offenders in terms of a first offence so that you can use your resources more effectively, so that you're using the court time as effectively as possible and so on, is only something that we can work on in collaboration with the other parts of the justice system.


It's also part of this question of best practice and how do the two aspects of the young offenders system, our first phase and the second phase in terms of Correctional Services, make the best use of our resources, learn from good practices in one system or the other and try and inform the service providers more effectively.

I feel like I'm giving you a long-winded answer, but basically I'm trying to say that the collaboration among the different parts of the justice system to tackle this problem of what is the prosecution, what is the sentencing, what is the charging rate and all of those kinds of things is something that we need to work on together. That's what we are trying to do through a group called the justice review project, which has been an interministry group that was actually chaired by the Deputy Attorney General to work on those issues.

Ms Poole: I'm glad to hear that collaboration is occurring with the Correctional Services ministry. They in fact offered to contact Quebec and see what the differences were, because they were quite interested in this, even though, again, it may be the Attorney General who would have the ultimate jurisdiction to make the changes.

Along the same line, in this article it stated something that confused me, particularly in view of your response to Mr Murphy. The article said: "In Ontario, young people are routinely sentenced to community service, but it is the court, rather than the police, that does it. In the other nine provinces and both territories, young people can be handled through alternative measures, a program that lets them make restitution or perform community service instead of going to court."

Now, from what you said and from what I understood, I thought alternative measures was something that we did use in Ontario. Could you confirm whether in fact it would have to be done through the court or can it actually be done at the police level?

Ms Proctor: Dale can clarify that for us, please.

Ms Elliott: The model in Ontario that has been sanctioned by the Attorney General is what is called a post-charge model, and the reason for concern that there be a charge is concern for due process rights and not widening the net. When we're talking about net-widening, we mean pulling in a lot of people who maybe wouldn't even have gotten to court. Those are the kinds of issues you look at in providing alternative measures.

In Ontario, the police are the ones who advise the young persons they come into contact with of the availability of alternative measures and they prepare the documentation to meet the criteria we've brought for Mr Callahan this afternoon and could provide for everyone. The role of the police is referring this to the crown attorney. The crown attorney reviews the case for eligibility, and if the crown attorney agrees that this could be suitable case for alternative measure, it is referred to Comsoc provincial directors for admission to a program.

The model has in it usually one court appearance for the youth to come to court, to be clear of the charge and then, if the youth successfully completes alternative measures, it's put on the docket at a future date and withdrawn. When we say it's a diversion from the formal court proceedings, it is, and yet it is still linked into the process with the crown attorney, the police involvement and then withdrawal if it's a successful completion.

Ms Poole: So the proviso is that the young person would have to be charged?

Ms Elliott: A charge is laid in Ontario, yes.

Ms Poole: Okay. That is in fact where the point of difference would be with other provinces, in that in other provinces the police could basically resolve it without a charge being laid. Would that be your understanding?

Ms Elliott: I would need to read further to understand the statistics. Alternative measures in no way replace police discretion, which police have in every instance with every circumstances that they come upon. There would still be young offenders whom police come upon and may return home with a warning and a discussion with the parents and no charges laid. We wouldn't term that formal alternative measures as envisioned in the legislation and yet in a layperson's term it would be, "Well, the police took an alternative route to formal court." There's the distinction that the formal alternative measures program does not replace or take away police discretion in not even proceeding with a charge.

Mr Callahan: I'd like to follow up on that. To begin with, I was just reading a very interesting article. Something I've always believed in the years I practised law was that with the change from the Juvenile Delinquents Act to the Young Offenders Act, young people are actually punished more severely now than they were before. That's the first thing. That article seems to indicate that and that's been my observation personally.

The second thing, though, is that young offenders now are being treated more favourably than adults who are in a diversion program. For instance, if a person is charged with shoplifting and the crown chooses to use a diversion court to have them attend some sort of a seminar on shoplifting, the charge is then withdrawn, but that person's fingerprints and mug shot are kept for a year, whereas with a young offender, once the alternative measures have been completed, the charge is withdrawn and they can apply immediately to have their mug shot and fingerprints removed. That seems to me to be an inequality between the two programs. It means that adults, who probably need to have their record cleared faster, are saddled with it for a year, and that can result in people being denied jobs where a check is going to be done with the police in terms of whether they've got a record or not, and yet kids who complete the alternative measures program immediately have the right to ask the police to provide an opportunity for them to witness the destruction of their fingerprints and their mug shot. I find that rather unfair, for the reasons I've stated.

Is there any consideration with this justice committee that this might be eliminated, by having both of them have the right to require their fingerprints and mug shot to be destroyed immediately upon the charge being withdrawn? They've not been convicted. There really is no right to keep those documents.

Ms Proctor: I think with an issue like that, with respect to the Young Offenders Act, there is a federal review of the legislation ongoing. Whether this is an issue that would be treated in that review and subject to change I couldn't really say --

Mr Callahan: But it's not a federal matter.

Ms Proctor: In terms of the charging practice?

Mr Callahan: The provincial Attorney General has decided, and I think quite wisely -- it's something I certainly always advocated -- that in crimes that are sort of Mickey Mouse, if you can call a crime Mickey Mouse -- somebody steals a toothbrush or something of minor value -- instead of having them convicted or even going through the trial process, if the crown agrees to diversion, they are then sent to another court where they view some sort of a film on shoplifting and they get a talk from somebody about the evils of shoplifting. Then, if they attend that, the charge is withdrawn.

But the problem is that they have been fingerprinted and photographed, which remains in the police files and they can't apply until a year afterwards to have that removed. There's nothing in the Identification of Criminals Act, which is a piece of federal legislation, that says that the police or the Attorney General have any right to do that. What I'm saying is that it's unfair that the process would not be the same for them as it is for the young offenders.

Ms Proctor: I think I understand the issue, but it is an issue that would be of relevance to my colleagues in the Ministry of the Attorney General and in the Ministry of the Solicitor General and Correctional Services. I'd be certainly prepared to undertake to raise that issue with them in our discussions and bring it to their attention.


Mr Callahan: All right. The second thing, if I could -- do I have any more time? Can I ask another question, Dianne, or have you got some burning --

The Chair: We have the rest of the afternoon.

Mr Callahan: Just a very quick one. I know you undertook to give us a list of the items that the crown will look at in terms of alternative measures. Has there been any type of a study done in terms of determining whether or not there's been equality of justice throughout this province? What I'm saying is that certain crowns in a particular jurisdiction may be less likely to grant alternative measures to child A, whereas if they happened to be in another jurisdiction, they would have gotten the alternative measures. Are the rules that definitive?

Ms Proctor: I'm not aware of such a study, but it's the sort of issue that we've talked about in the justice review group in the sense that we need to have a better understanding of that and be able to address it from the perspective of whichever ministry is responsible for the area in the case of the crowns or whatever. I don't think we've done enough to follow those kinds of patterns and see where those kinds of issues are. So that's part of the work that I was referring to as well that needs to be done. I'm not aware of a study to that effect at this point.

The Chair: Two minutes left, Ms Poole.

Ms Poole: Concerning the expenditure control plan and the social contract, I think Mr Jackson asked some questions this afternoon about the user fees or parental contributions. Could you, either verbally at this time or in writing within the near future, tell the committee what the impact of the expenditure control plan and the social contract has been on children's services within your ministry and outline what specific areas you've had to curtail or cut or alter because of the two plans?

Ms Proctor: Sue Herbert can speak to that issue.

Ms Herbert: If I can start with the social contract area, as a result of the negotiations at the broader public sector table, which included of course more than just children's agencies, the negotiated reduction was 0.75%, so three quarters of a percentage, and that appears to have successfully been implemented without major impact on service.

In fact, the one major change which the social contract broader public sector table has negotiated is a change to an administrative rule that we had which required additional administrative costs. In eliminating that requirement, they believe that the majority of their cost saving can be achieved. So it's been through administrative change that we've achieved that three quarters of a percent.

In the area of the expenditure control plan, this year I think we removed $3.5 million out of the overall allocation to children's programs, which I think is about 0.5%.

Ms Proctor: Yes, the overall allocation is $700 million. So it's $3.5 million out of that total.

Ms Herbert: So we've removed $3.5 from $700 million, and at this point we're just beginning the assessment of the impact of that reduction. We're doing it through a community planning process, so each community planning area will be looking at how to implement that reduction. As you'll know, originally it was announced at $13.7 million and we're working with our agencies and with our provincial associations to look at how we might manage a further constraint in the children's area. So there's a provincial task force looking at that issue.

Ms Proctor: I could just follow up with two points, which is that one of three members of the steering committee for the social contract -- the steering committee is monitoring the application there and raising issues, and so far is content with the way the process has worked.

With respect to other expenditure control, we have agreed to work with the group of provincial associations to monitor the impact of restraint and to discuss issues that arise in that regard, but the amount of constraint for the current fiscal year was reduced, as Sue says, to $3.5 million. That constraint didn't start to take effect until January of this year as well, in recognition of the pressures and the serious issues that the children's services groups deal with. So we will be working with them over time to monitor that and to plan into next year as well.

Mr Jackson: Earlier, the deputy had indicated that she had brought with her for the afternoon session some of the materials that have been requested. Perhaps it might be helpful if that was circulated to the committee now and then we could have an opportunity to work with that.

Ms Proctor: I have a number of items with --

Mr Jackson: I guess I'm getting the approval of the Chair to do that because I want to disrupt my time in order that --

Mr Hayes: It's all part of your time.

The Chair: That's fine.

Mr Jackson: Probably it doesn't matter. I think it's more helpful if we get it now as opposed to at 4 o'clock, and then I can ask some questions about it.

The Chair: Certainly, if that is possible.

Ms Proctor: I have a number of the items. One of the things I want to check is that we haven't in some instances been able to provide enough copies for all the members because people were collecting this together at the end of this morning.

Mr Jackson: That's the clerk's problem, not yours.

Ms Proctor: So we can provide you with a copy or several copies, depending on the issue.

We have one copy of the young offenders services manual because we have a bit of a shortage on that. So we've got one copy of that. I have a couple of copies, too, of the young offenders statistics that were requested this morning, and I've got a copy of the material on the offences where crown attorneys would order and the staffing qualifications guidelines. So we've provided that material at this point and I have a number of outstanding items that we promised to get material on for the committee but we weren't able to provide those between noon and now. So we'll keep working on bringing that material to you.

The Chair: Can I just say, Mr Jackson, I think it would be a little difficult to get everything copied and back to you before we end this particular session today.

Mr Jackson: Mr Chairman, to be helpful, the manual was a specific request and it's a copious document. There are one or two of those items that are just a couple of pages. I'd leave that to your discretion, but at this point I'm indicating a desire to have the matters transferred to the clerk of the committee, and then the clerk and you will work out the very best method of getting it to us without burdening our deputants.

The Chair: Let me ask the clerk to endeavour to make copies as quickly as possible, and should he get them back before we end the session, then you can have them. Is that acceptable?

Mr Hope: Just speaking on the manual, because it was requested in the committee, if Mr Jackson's the only one who wants it, I don't see the relevance of photocopying the whole manual for everyone, if he's the only one who's seeking a copy of it.

The Chair: Was there a manual --

Ms Poole: Might I suggest that we make one for each caucus, just three copies?

Mr Hope: We don't want one.

Mr Jackson: Yes, you've got one.

Ms Poole: Perhaps one for the official opposition and one for the Conservative caucus, because I'd like to see it as well.

The Chair: Fine.

Mr Jackson: You could return with another one tomorrow, probably, if we only needed two.

Ms Elliott: I've taken one off my desk. Most of ours are in a distribution centre, so it's if we can get one over from them in time. This was just brought from our office, but they're all stocked and go out to service providers from the distribution centre.

The Chair: Just for my understanding, the manual is very thick?

Mr Hope: Yes.

The Chair: Okay. We're not going to photocopy that.

Mr Jackson: No, no. That was a specific request.

The Chair: So whatever materials are just available in loose leaf and can be easily copied, I'm sure the clerk will make every effort to get those back to us and we'll leave the manual to another day.

Mr Jackson, do you have any other questions? Because I have a question that I would like to pose to the deputants, but I will defer to you if you have.

Mr Jackson: I was considering this as time to help get materials for the committee.

The Chair: You still have your time.

Mr Jackson: But proceed. I just think that the end of the day is not the time to finally ask, "What did you bring us today?" That's all I was just trying to suggest, Mr Chair.

The Chair: I have a question, if you will permit me.

Mr Jackson: Proceed. I yield.

The Chair: I would like to ask, with regard to the young offenders services, the possible impact, and I'm not quite sure this will have any impact, although I believe it will, of the legislation that's being brought forward by the Ministry of Housing in respect of Bill 120. What, if any, impact do you feel this will have on the provision of services that are now provided for by agencies in the field via group homes and transitional housing acting as detention centres and acting as custodians? I'm just wondering what impact that will have.

I'm not sure if you're familiar with the terms of Bill 120, but certainly we've in that committee heard from a number of service providers that this will have an impact if it's passed as is proposed. That is to say that any of the providers who have tenants who are staying with them for less than six months will be excluded from the provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act. Those who have residents who stay longer than six months feel that their programs will be at risk and will not be able to provide the service that they now provide, the flexibility with which they do that. I'm thinking specifically of someone who as a tenant, who will have the rights of a tenant under the Landlord and Tenant Act, would say: "I don't want to leave at this point. I want to stay in this home."


Ms Proctor: I'm not sure I can give you as fulsome an answer to that, but with respect to the services we've been talking about in YOA, I don't think there would be an impact. If there were an impact of the legislation, it would be quite minimal, because the young offenders who are in a facility, who are in either secure or open custody, are there under a court order. It isn't a question of tenancy or choice; they're there by court order. I don't think the legislation would apply to those kinds of situations; it could not override a court order.

Where there might be some concern and where there is, I think, a bona fide difference of opinion is in other aspects of our services, and in particular in relation to supported housing or in relation to group homes for persons with developmental disabilities, developmental handicaps, where there are positions taken that the legislation, by treating the residents as tenants and giving them the rights of tenancy, will make it more difficult for the service provider to deal with behavioural issues and so forth.

On the other side of the discussion, people are saying, "But the whole purpose of community living is to treat the individual as any other individual in the community with rights and responsibilities," and that the service provider can use a range of techniques, a range of abilities to deal with people's behaviour and so forth. It isn't an equation to which I have the exact answer. I think that debate is going on in those services and in that community. Sue, do you want to add to that?

Ms Herbert: No, I think that's essentially it. For many of our programs where we provide support service dollars, there's a concern that the ability to ask someone to leave the program will be hampered by the changes that Bill 120 proposes. But as the deputy said, there are issues on both sides.

The Chair: In that connection, clearly the rights of the tenant will supersede any of the rights of the landlords, if you will, because they will become landlords, to remove a tenant in those situations. The real concern is that they will prolong their stay and violate really the ability of the programs, or the integrity of the programs will be called into question. I think there's no doubt about that. I think education and service providers are indicating that much. Their ability to meet the objectives of those programs will be called into question precisely because they are of a transitional nature. So if they are then converted into more permanent residences, which is the real danger, then the transitional nature of those homes will be lost and the value of those programs called into question. I think if you're funding those programs to meet certain objectives, that has to be a question that you're concerned with.

Ms Proctor: I do understand and I know that there are some discussions ongoing with service providers about these issues. As I say, I'm not sure I can comment fully on this set of issues. These discussions need to continue about the pressures or the problems that would face service providers, but also the additional steps that service providers might need to take to be in compliance with the law but to recognize that if they are providing a treatment service, it is for a specified duration.

The Chair: So if I'm hearing you correctly, your view and the ministry's view is that at the end of the day there will not be a serious problem with respect to service providers and that they will continue to be able to provide and meet the objectives that they are now meeting, given the impact of Bill 120.

Ms Proctor: By and large, I would say yes to that. I think there may be a need for different protocols that service providers would use. They're sort of looking at things in a different way. That can be worked through as they talk about what the issues are and what their concerns are and how we can provide a protocol or an approach that would enable the service providers to address their concerns about time-limited intervention and at the same time respect the intention of the legislation, which would be to protect the tenancy rights of people living in all sorts of community facilities. So that's what we described before.

The Chair: If I may, just to --

Mr Hayes: You have to share the time, by the way, Cam, and we have no time left.

The Chair: This is not Mr Jackson's time. It's the Chair's prerogative to ask a question.

Mr Hope: And it's our prerogative to ask whether you're still going on, right, I understand?

The Chair: No, if you want additional time, it was understood that your party declined to ask any further questions.

Mr Hope: I mean, you've asked for some privileges.

Mr Hayes: Just don't abuse your privileges, that's all.

Mr Hope: Now you're bringing in a discussion about Bill 120. You might be privy to information about Bill 120, the conversation that's taken place, and the rest of us are sitting here listening to you talk.

Mr Murphy: Joe, come and sit here and I'll come and sit there and rule your question in order.

The Chair: No, I don't think it's a question of that. I think it ties into what we're dealing with in terms of the auditor's report, because, quite frankly, the question that I was asking relates to the effectiveness of the programs and how they might be altered. That really ties into the next question that I would ask.

Meeting the objectives, in your opinion, will not be difficult, but I think we would have to review whether in fact service providers were meeting their objectives and doing so with the effectiveness that they're supposed to be doing it with. We'll see. Only time will tell, I suppose, once you do an audit to determine whether those service providers are meeting the stated objectives and goals that were set out. Part of their funding criteria would be called into question as a result of that, in my opinion. Obviously I'm just getting your opinion, and you don't believe that will be a problem down the road.

Ms Proctor: I still think it's an issue where there are differences of opinion with respect to different service providers and different perspectives on the issue. We do have a group that's working around the whole question of designing a tenancy agreement protocol that it would help to meet the concerns of the service providers, as well, as I say, to be in compliance with the law in a proactive way trying to mitigate the concerns of the service providers. We'll just have to keep working in that direction and see how we get on.

The Chair: Okay. Mr Jackson.

Mr Callahan: Mr Jackson has kindly allowed me just to bring to the attention of the --

Mr Hope: No, come on --

Mr Callahan: Listen, Randy, you might learn something, for God's sake. We're all members of this committee, not just you.

Mr Hayes: Bob, if you want the floor, say a few words.

The Chair: Order.

Mr Callahan: I draw to your attention the manual which --

The Chair: Mr Callahan, just for a moment, please. There was time allocated for this discussion, and I want to reiterate that the position of the government members was that they declined further questions. So with due respect, the time that remains will go to those who are interested in asking questions.

Mr Hayes: On a point of order, Mr Chair: I don't think it's necessary for you to prolong this thing. I think you heard me say that if Mr Callahan has a question, go ahead. No problem.

Mr Callahan: I was just going to draw to your attention that you've kindly agreed to give me, as corrections critic, a copy of the Young Offenders Services Manual. The reason I want to look through it is that at page 0201-07 the statement is made that "On successful completion of the alternative measures program" --

Ms Elliott: You'll have to give me one back.

Mr Callahan: Sorry. It's also the sheet you gave me about the alternative measures.

Ms Poole: Why don't you repeat the number.

Mr Callahan: Yes, I`m sorry: 0201-07. It's under the heading "Completion of Program."

Ms Elliott: Page 5?

Mr Callahan: Yes, that would have been easier, wouldn't it? I looked up top. I didn't know what that was. It could have been my age.

Ms Elliott: That's the section.

Mr Callahan: I see. In any event, under "Completion of Program," this is dead wrong. It's got, "On successful completion of the alternative measures program, the young person will be discharged from the program and the charge will be dismissed." It's not dismissed; it's withdrawn. But that's not the important part. The important part is, it says, "The young person is not required to attend court for the charges to be dismissed."

I hope nobody follows that advice, because they're going to wind up being charged with failing to appear. They're actually bound over by a court on the first appearance when the alternative measures are suggested, and they are required, by court remand, to attend in court on that next occasion. If they're not there, they will be seeking alternative measures to eliminate a charge of fail to appear. So there may be things in there that should be reviewed.

Ms Elliott: I will follow up. My understanding of it is that in the agreement in providing this program in conjunction with the Attorney General, where the paperwork from the provincial director appears in court on the remand date, signed and signifying that the sanction has been completed in a satisfactory way, the court accepts that without the youth appearing. But I will follow up on the practice.


Mr Callahan: They've got to show up anyway, because when they show up they'll find out whether or not the alternative measures have been satisfactorily completed.

Ms Elliott: Our provincial directors would have clarified that with the youth and family prior to court date. We have a series of forms that are signed off that the youth signs and the parent signs and the provincial director signs, but I'll follow up with it.

Mr Callahan: All right. Thank you very much.

Mr Murphy: Mr Jackson, can I follow up --


Mr Murphy: Seriously, just one question, if I may. The one question I have is, do you know how many people who get alternative measures successfully complete them, versus those who don't?

Ms Elliott: Again, that would be available within every program which is providing them, but I wouldn't have that at this point handy as a rolled-up provincial figure. Every alternative measures program completes a summary of discharge -- satisfactorily, not satisfactorily or whatever the status is. That's done within every program.

Mr Murphy: I don't want to create 1,000 hours worth of work to collect it, but if you have it --

Mr Jackson: Or get a supplementary out of me.

Mr Murphy: Yes, or get a supplementary. But if you could find it in your hearts to give me that information, that would be great. If you come back to me and say, "That's going to take 2,000 hours; listen, we can't do it," then that's fine.

Ms Elliott: How about if I promise a response to you in some format?

Mr Murphy: Thank you.

Ms Poole: Anything less than 2,000 hours of work, he'd like you to do it.

Mr Jackson: Anybody else? Perhaps I could ask the deputy the question directly: At any time did the Ministry of Housing officially ask you for your response to or your consideration of the impact of Bill 120?

Ms Proctor: The Ministry of Community and Social Services was part of an interministerial committee with the ministries of Housing, Health and others, I don't remember which, that were working on the policy for that legislation.

Mr Jackson: That's interesting, because when we cross-examined Health last week, they indicated they hadn't been.

Ms Proctor: Maybe I've misremembered and that ministry wasn't part of it. I know that this ministry was.

Mr Jackson: You only have about 20% participation of your designated groups, and Health has a disproportionately larger number, so that strikes me as odd. Perhaps you could let us know what were the nature of those meetings and your recommendations. These have serious implications for denial of program, which is the function of your funding. I respect that the legislation will give tenants certain rights, but one of those rights is to say, "I do not wish to comply with the terms of your program," and that program component is what you fund.

In meetings at which both the Chair and I were in attendance last week with respect to that bill, Health was very forthcoming with the fact that they had not been consulted.

Is there any reason why order paper questions around young offenders or children's services have not been able to be responded to within a reasonable length of time? Anybody can jump in. I guess there's an overall delay. It's a standard question I ask as the Chair of the standing committee on estimates, and I get interesting answers, but one of the reasons there's such a desire to request information in this forum is because it's not always forthcoming as order paper questions. I just wondered if there are problems with responding in a timely fashion.

That is separate from the minister's own correspondence. I consider an order paper question a matter of a ministry, whereas my personal letter to the minister is a matter that I would not burden you with.

Ms Proctor: I understand. I guess I'm not aware at the moment of outstanding order paper questions, so I would like to be able to follow up on that. If there are order paper questions outstanding, I'm concerned about it as well, but I didn't think there were at this point outstanding ones. So we'll check that out.

Mr Jackson: And a reason for late response? We're getting three, three and a half, four months' response time. That's not always been the norm. Your ministry actually had a very good reputation over the course of the nine years I've been a member of Parliament with respect to quick responses. Some requests were unreasonable, and you indicated that to me, but some basic questions are taking three and four months. I just wonder if there are any blockages or any problems in the system.

Ms Proctor: If there are problems, I'm not aware of them. I wasn't aware of delays. I wasn't aware there were outstanding order paper questions at this stage. So I'll take that under advisement and follow up on that.

Mr Jackson: Okay. Yesterday I raised the issue of the exceptional circumstance review funding envelope, which is of concern to me. I know the long history and the short history of that fund, and I understand to stylize it as a ministry tool to adjust areas of high demand and high growth would be a fair characterization of the purpose of that fund. It has been lessened in its effectiveness by virtue of the dollars committed to it in the last few years. I wonder if you could share with us what your plans are, since we're looking at five weeks away from this fiscal year, and where the exceptional circumstance review funding might fit. Just a general question at this point.

Ms Proctor: Heather can speak to the process.

Ms Heather Martin: First of all, you were commenting about the fact that exceptional circumstance review dollars are going down. Is that correct?

Mr Jackson: That's my understanding.

Ms Heather Martin: In fact that's not the case. Exceptional circumstance review dollars grew steadily from 1985 until about 1991-92. In 1991-92, treasury board advised the ministry that the ministry had to plan for exceptional circumstances, that it was something that was planned and the ministry had to plan for it much like the other ministries do for forest fires. So they asked us to come back with a plan indicating how we were going to control our exceptional circumstance review costs.

At that time, treasury board indicated that it would be decreasing the moneys available to the ministry. Effective in 1994, we would not be able to come back for any more requests for exceptional circumstance review dollars that would be over and above what was already in the ministry's base.

Mr Jackson: Okay, I think I understand you. You're saying that you have a fixed base that was in this year's estimates.

Ms Heather Martin: That's correct.

Mr Jackson: And how much was that?

Ms Heather Martin: In 1992 we were given $17 million.

Mr Jackson: You've got to help me out; 1992-93 makes more sense to me.

Ms Heather Martin: In 1992-93 we were given $17 million; in 1993-94 we were given $12 million; in 1994-95 we were given $5 million, so the overall pot of dollars available was $34 million. Against the $34 million, we had some base adjustments that were given out in 1991-92 that amounted to about $1.5 million, $2 million over what we were given in our exceptional circumstance review request. So the overall pot is down to about $32 million available for exceptional circumstance reviews, effective 1995.

Mr Jackson: Over three years.

Ms Heather Martin: That's correct.

Ms Herbert: But accumulated into one pot of that size.

Mr Jackson: That's sort of accounting magic.

Ms Proctor: No. I think the implication of that is that in previous years the ministry went back and got exceptional circumstance review money each year and was able to use that money to make base adjustments to agencies. In fact, the pattern across the province was that most of the children's aid societies would request an exceptional circumstance review and would receive some sort of base adjustment.

The change implies and means, and it has taken place in our guidelines and so forth as well, that the exceptional circumstances money has to be treated more specifically as exactly that and has to address on an annual basis the particular pressures or issues that one society or another is experiencing, but can't be used for base adjustments.


Mr Jackson: How are you communicating to children's aid societies, as an example, that they are experiencing less growth in their budgets, as anticipated from your transfer payment, and that this sort of funding venture at the end of the year, which is so we don't get caught saying, "That's it; we've done our 400 cases of child sexual abuse; the 401st case we can't do because we're not budgeted for that" -- exceptional circumstances review in a very simplistic way addresses the 401st sexual assault case that wasn't planned for or budgeted for or anticipated.

How are we dealing with that, given that we've seen the dollars shrink to $5 million for 1994-95? I know they do three-year budget plans, I know all that and I know what you've shared with us with respect to how you're treating it as an accounting measure. I want to look at its practical application to children's aid societies which were not able or capable or allowed simply to increase in anticipation of what they felt would be their growth. They were told by the ministry where the growth dollars could be anticipated. I think I made it clear where my concerns are here.

Ms Proctor: Yes. I'd like to clarify three points around that. One is, first of all, it is not a $5-million budget for 1994-95. As Heather explained, the total budget for exceptional circumstance on an annual basis at this point is about $32 million. For 1993-94 we're anticipating, at this point, pressures on that fund and need for exceptional circumstances review money for agencies in the neighbourhood of about $14 million of the approximately $29 million that we have this year.

Mr Jackson: Can I stop you so I understand what you're saying?

Ms Proctor: Yes.

Mr Jackson: I had thought I understood the $17 million, the $12 million and the $5 million.

Ms Proctor: Right.

Mr Jackson: Those are moneys that you've allocated to a fund which is now --

Ms Proctor: Which has accumulated.

Mr Jackson: Which has accumulated and you can draw from it.

Ms Proctor: That's correct, each year.

Mr Jackson: So the measure of what the community needs or uses is a measure of what you pull out of the fund. What you commit to your fund is different. If you're not going to spend it, then I don't care if you've got $80 million in there; I'm wanting to know what they transfer and what they budget for. That's what I'm trying to get a handle on.

Ms Proctor: That was the second piece of the answer, which is that there are guidelines that the area offices will use and do use, and they're available to the agencies to explain which services that they provide can be funded under the exceptional circumstances category.

Thirdly, with respect to the whole area of funding for children's services and the experience of the children's aid societies and, as you expressed, the 401st case, there are mandated services that children's aid societies must provide as part of their core mandate and they must follow up on accusations or incidents of abuse etc. But one of the things that we've been trying very hard to do locally and as part of this provincial work on the children's policy framework is to bring the children's services agencies together to plan more effectively, because the money that's available to serve children in the care of the children's aid society isn't necessarily just in the child welfare budget. It's also in the child and family intervention budget that we've been talking about in the audit, and one of the issues the auditor pointed out was just the accounting practice. Those resources are also there for children in the care of the children's aid societies.

The direction that we're trying to take within the funding policy is to say that the agencies that are providing services to children need to work together more effectively in a more coordinated way to ensure that the resources are being put, given a priority service on children in need of protection, especially to those services for the kids that come to the attention and are part of the CAS's mandate even if other services can't be as readily available in the community.

That takes some collaborative work among those agencies. It isn't just a CAS-to-the-ministry kind of relationship. It's something that requires sorting out with the children's mental health and the other service providers in that community, which is, in a sort of rounding-it-out way, one of the reasons why we think it's very important for the children's aid societies to be participating with the other children's services in their local planning and why they are key participants in the policy framework work, in the funding policy and so forth that we're doing there.

The Chair: Any further questions, Mr Jackson? You still have the floor.

Mr Jackson: Who wanted part of my time?

Ms Poole: Oh, everybody.

The Chair: You still have the floor. Please carry on.

Mr Jackson: I'm not familiar with how bad the weather is. Is there some consideration that we prorogue early?

The Chair: This is the last opportunity we will have to have the deputy and her staff before us.

Mr Jackson: I thought they were here on Thursday.

The Chair: Unless members request that, we obviously will not have them on Thursday, but if that's the wish of the committee, then we will have them on Thursday.

Mr Murphy: I would suggest, because the weather continues to be reasonably inclement, that we let people decide whether they can go home early, and we could ask them to come back on Thursday morning.

The Chair: I know that the deputy will have a problem attending. We might ask if her staff would be available for Thursday morning if that's still possible.

Ms Proctor: If it's the wish of the committee, staff can be available. Unfortunately, I won't be able to be here on Thursday.

The Chair: Yes. Is that acceptable to members?

Mr Jackson: As you wish.

The Chair: Okay. We will adjourn for today --


Mr Hayes: On a point of order, Mr Chairman: I have no objections if the members want to ask more questions, but is there a whole list of questions? Do we have to bring them back if we can wrap this up in 15, 20 minutes now? I don't see any harm in that.

Mr Jackson: Mr Chairman, if I may, one of the reasons I asked, staff had indicated at the outset, on returning for the afternoon session, they had the materials. It's only just after I asked for it that we got it. I think part of the process is helpful that, when ministry officials come forward with information, it gets to committee members as quickly as possible. We're still anticipating additional information so I would be hopeful that, to assist the process, the information can be given through the normal channel, which is to the clerk, as quickly as possible, who will be responsible for getting sufficient copies to us. That will help the process. In no way do I wish to cut short the efforts of the auditor as reflected through our task before us this week.

The Chair: To put some perspective on this, we did request that the ministry appear before us for this week and had scheduled Thursday for you. That was understood. I thought I heard there were no further questions, but if members desire that we carry on on Thursday we will do that and I will ask that staff be made available for Thursday morning at 10 o'clock to continue with this process. If that's agreeable to members I think we will move in that regard. Ms Poole, you have a question?

Ms Poole: Oh, no, I was just scratching my forehead. I think Mr Murphy was the one who asked for the floor.

Mr Murphy: No, that's fine.

The Chair: Thank you for your attendance.

The committee adjourned at 1558.