Child Welfare Practice Audits

The purpose of the Child Welfare Practice Audit Program is to support and improve practice by social workers under the Child, Family and Community Service Act and the Adoption Act.

The audit program measures compliance of practice with ministry standards to support the provision of consistently high quality services to children, youth and families. The audit methodologies and tools are designed to identify practice strengths and areas requiring improvement, inform the development of training and supervision models, and support individual and organizational learning.


Practice audits are conducted by practice analysts in the Quality Assurance Branch of the Provincial Director of Child Welfare and Aboriginal Services Division, on a three year cycle, in accordance with standardized methodologies, procedures and tools. The audit process is rigorous. The most important elements of the ministry’s standards are captured in the critical measures that comprise the audit tools. Through a review of a representative sample of records in a service delivery area (SDA) or Delegated Aboriginal Agency (DAA), the audits evaluate the level of compliance with practice standards over a specified period of time, using a rating scale. To receive a rating of achieved for a specific measure, the documentation in the record must confirm that the criteria for achievement of the standard have been met. The findings of the audit are reviewed with the SDA or DAA management team and an action plan is developed to address practice issues identified in the audit. The goals and activities in the action plan are monitored for implementation by the Quality Assurance Branch.

The audit methodologies are flexible and can be used to conduct special audits at a local service area (LSA) or office level, in exceptional circumstances. For example, when the findings of an audit or case review indicate that there are multiple practice issues or areas with low compliance in a local service area or office, a special audit can be conducted to assess the effectiveness of the actions taken to address practice issues and measure improvement in the compliance rate.

Service Delivery Area (SDA) Practice Audits