The MNO looks forward to continued conversations with the Government of Ontario on their plan to modernize the provincial child welfare system as announced on July 29, 2020. Since 2014, the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) has worked with the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, and First Nation and Inuit partners to co-develop the Ontario Indigenous Children and Youth Strategy (OICYS) as well as the legislative changes to the revised Children, Youth and Family Services Act (CYFSA), 2018.

The MNO has advocated for reform to ensure that Métis, children, youth and families are no longer separated, and when they are, to ensure that Métis children and youth in the child welfare system are able to transition safely back into their Métis communities. To achieve this reform we must continue efforts to build and expand on culturally delivered, prevention based services.

The redesign of the child welfare system will be guided by the following five pillars according to the Government of Ontario:

  1. Strengthening family well-being through community-based prevention services that keep children safe in family-based settings;
  2. Improving the quality of residential care provided to children and youth;
  3. Promoting the development of stable and lifelong connections and supports for youth, with a focus on education and employment opportunities;
  4. Improving the adoption experience and focusing on family-based options over group care where appropriate; and
  5. Creating a more efficient and effective child welfare system that is financially sustainable.

“We welcome the commitment of the Province of Ontario to work with Métis, First Nation, Inuit, and urban Indigenous partners to modernize the children and youth welfare system,” said MNO President Margaret Froh, “and the acknowledgement of the need to increase accessibility to culturally-specific care in order to help Metis families, children and youth maintain connections to their culture and communities”.

“We were supportive of the announcement earlier this month of Ontario’s plan to end the practice of birth alerts,” stated President Froh, “and while these are positive steps forward, we look to engage on a government-to-government basis with the Government of Ontario to ensure that together — through dialogue and investments — our communities and families are not only a part of the implementation but see real benefits from these reforms.”

MNO will be working to engage its regional communities in these important discussions as the health, well-being, care and support of Métis families, children and youth has always been a fundamental principle in the MNO’s Statement of Prime Purpose.

For further information:

Joanne Meyer, Chief Operating Officer
Suite 311, 75 Sherbourne Street
Toronto, ON M5A 2P9
W: 416-977-9881 x.101, C: 416-528-6152

Jennifer St. Germain, Chief Strategy Officer
1100-66 Slater Street, Ottawa, ON K1P 5H1
W: 613-798-1488 x.101, C: 613-858-2284

Published: August 5, 2020