Proposed Regulatory Enhancements to Support Implementation of Ontario's Quality Standards Framework - Lieutenant Governor in Council Regulation
Ontario Regulation 155/18
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017
Summary of Proposal:
In July 2020, Ontario released a multi-year strategy to redesign the child welfare system, intended to shift the focus from reactionary service delivery to enhanced, community-based, prevention and early intervention-focused services to support the safety and success of children and youth. The Child Welfare Redesign (CWR) Strategy was developed with input from youth, families, caregivers, Indigenous partners, lawyers, community organizations, frontline workers and child welfare sector leaders through over 100 engagement sessions. The CWR Strategy has five pillars, including Pillar 2: Quality of Care, which aims to improve the quality of care and everyday experiences of children and young persons receiving licensed residential care in Ontario.
As part of Ontario's announcement on the CWR Strategy, MCCSS publicly released the QSF. The QSF provides an overview of what high-quality residential care looks like across all sectors and settings that make up licensed residential services for children and young persons in Ontario.
Implementation of the QSF is a cornerstone initiative under Pillar 2: Quality of Care. As the QSF is a resource document only, it does not have the force and effect of the law (i.e., the CYFSA, its associated regulations and directives). Proposed regulatory and legislative amendments to embed elements of the QSF into the CYFSA and its associated regulations to improve quality of care will occur in a three-phase, multi-year approach over the next 3-5 years. This includes:
Phase 1: Areas of focus include qualifications and pre-service training for persons delivering residential care, increased safety measures for children and young persons, and further enhancing the voices of children and young persons.
Phase 2: Areas of focus include enhanced licensing enforcement measures, needs-based placements, and in-service training for persons delivering residential care.
Phase 3: Areas of focus include operations and program delivery, enhanced reporting of serious occurrences, enhanced screening requirements and access to technology for children and young persons.
As part of Phase 1, MCCSS is proposing regulatory changes to O. Reg. 155/18 in the following key areas to help improve the quality of care that children and young persons receive in the care of a society, licensed residential settings and/or other service funded under the CYFSA:
A. Physical Restraint
B. Mechanical Restraint
C. Written Complaint Procedures
D. Other Minor Enhancements
These proposed regulatory changes have been informed, in large part, by feedback received from youth with lived experience of licensed residential services and stakeholders from sectors that deliver residential services.
These proposed changes would come into effect on a date to be determined. It is anticipated that the effective date will be no later than January 1, 2023.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
According to recent reports, and children and young persons with lived experience, children and young persons in licensed residential settings do not always receive high-quality care that meets their needs. In certain instances, failure to provide high-quality care has led to harm of children and young persons and in other cases tragically, to death.
As a mechanism to support implementation of the QSF, MCCSS is recommending to embed elements of the QSF into regulation in a three-phase, multi-year approach, beginning with Phase 1, which will:
Enhance requirements through regulation in the areas of mechanical restraint, physical restraint, complaints, plans of care, education, and other minor enhancements; and
Introduce new requirements through regulation and/or Minister's/policy directives in the areas of safety planning, case management, pre-service educational qualifications for frontline staff and their supervisors, and pre-service training for foster parents.
The objectives of the proposed regulatory changes are as follows:
Introduce new and enhanced regulatory requirements across all 3 residential licence types (i.e., children's residence, staff-model home, and foster care), including children's aid societies (societies), to strengthen the quality of care provided to children and young persons in licensed residential settings; and
Harmonize and consolidate existing regulatory requirements for different types of residential licences across all 3 licence types as they relate to the QSF.
Impacted stakeholders include those in the child protection and licensed residential services sectors, as well as other service providers funded to deliver services under the CYFSA. It also impacts a cross section of service providers under the Act, who provide non-residential services including mental health, special needs, Indigenous service providers and others. The proposed changes to regulation are expected to result in improved quality of care in licensed residential settings and reduced likelihood of serious harm or death of children and young persons in residential care.
August 20, 2021
Comments Due Date:
October 4, 2021
101 Bloor St. W, 2nd Floor, Toronto, ON, M5S 3L7