Child & Family Service Accountability in BC

The Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) is accountable for providing quality services and programs to improve and support positive outcomes for children, youth and families.

Quality Assurance is a key legislated responsibility of the “Director” under the Child, Family and Community Service Act in the Office of the Provincial Director. As part of the ministry’s public accountability, quality assurance plays a critical role to oversee, support and report out publicly on the quality of practice to support.

Reportable Circumstances

A director must receive timely notification of events of concern involving children and youth served by the ministry or an Indigenous Child and Family Service Agency (also known as a Delegated Aboriginal Agency) including fatalities, critical injuries and serious incidents. These notifications provide the ministry with the opportunity to ensure appropriate responses to these events, including providing supports and learning from them to improve services and outcomes for children, youth and families. The Representative for Children and Youth also receives and reviews fatality and critical injury reports.

Child and Family Practice Reviews

Child and Family Practice Reviews (formerly Case Review) examine and learn from the facts surrounding a child’s death or critical injury to improve policy, service delivery and practice. Child and Family Practice Reviews include a summary of the family’s involvement with the Ministry, Indigenous Child and Family Service Agency formerly Delegated Aboriginal Agency or other service provider, an analysis of the information, findings and a written report. Child and Family Practice Reviews may result in action plans to address practice issues that have been identified.

Practice Audits

Practice audits ensure that the ministry and Indigenous Child and Family Service Agency formerly Delegated Aboriginal Agencies are complying with the ministry’s standards of practice. Audits are conducted by the Provincial Director of Child welfare using standardized methodologies, procedures and tools.

Complaints

To support Quality Assurance accountability, the Complaints program is guided by the fairness principles outlined by the BC Ombudsperson. The program supports and reviews Ministry and Indigenous Child and Family Service Agency formerly Delegated Aboriginal Agencies services and programs to ensure they achieve fair process, fair decisions and fair service. There are two streams within the Complaints program, Complaints Resolution and Administrative Review.

Complaint Specialists facilitate communication and engagement between families/youth/advocates and staff to work towards the resolution of their complainant concerns. The goal of this process is to resolve concerns related to fairness and to restore relationships.

An Administrative Review can be requested by a parent, youth, advocate or Representative for Children and Youth at any time. The Reviewer examines information related to the complaint concerns, including interviews of the people involved, a review of file documentation and considers it in relation to fairness principles and legislation/policy. The Reviewer completes a report which may include recommendations and is shared with the parent/youth/advocate and staff.

For more information, please see the Complaints webpage

Accreditation

The ministry requires accreditation through Council on Accreditation or Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities for contracted service providers who receive more than $500,000 funding.