Saskatchewan, Ontario, British Columbia, SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN, Nova Scotia, social assistance, Manitoba, Canada, Program description, British Columbia Alberta, children and youth, Alberta, federal government, employment, Ontario government, Quebec New Brunswick Nova Scotia Prince Edward Island Newfoundland, Ontario Works, New Brunswick, Quebec, special needs, special education, Saskatchewan Social Services Government of Saskatchewan, Department of Education, Heather Martin Ontario Children, integrated school services, population health, school lunches, Aboriginal children, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Physically Active Children and Youth, Healthy Schools, Saskatchewan Education, federal government funds, Regina, Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan School Trustees Association Regina, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland Penelope Rowe Executive Director Community Service Council Newfoundland, Alberta Sport, Policy Saskatchewan Social Services Government of Saskatchewan, Community Development Ontario Children, poor children, Education Consultant Toronto, Ontario, Alberta School Boards Association Edmonton, Alberta, Social Union Framework Agreement, Employment Development Department of Community Services Development, Social Solidarity, Community Services, community justice services, public legal education, youngest child, Alberta Community Employment Program, Employment Province Social Services Province Department of Family Services and Housing Provincial, Health and Social Services, Employment Insurance, assistance activities, integrated system, National Children's Agenda, Canadian School Boards Association, health care, hungry children, Child and Family Services, child poverty in Canada, youth crimes, Young Offenders, mental health, Habitual Youth Offender Comprehensive Action Program, Youth Secretariat, provincial grants, private schools
School-aged Children across Canada: A Patchwork of Public Policies Rianne Mahon, Ph.D. with policy inventories prepared by Caroline Beauvais, M.Sc. CPRN Study No. F|10
ISBN 1-896703-51-8 © Canadian Policy Research Networks Inc., 2001 Available from: Renouf Publishing Co. Ltd. 5369 Canotek Road Ottawa, ON K1J 9J3 Tel.: (613) 745-2665 Fax: (613) 745-7660 Home Page: http://www.renoufbooks.com The findings of this paper are the sole responsibility of the authors and, as such, have not been endorsed by the individuals and agencies mentioned at the end of this publication.
Public Policies for School-aged Children
1 Growing Up in a Changing World
1.1 Changes in Families and Canadian Society
1.2 Changing Economies, Changing Labour Markets
1.3 The Changing Policy Environment
2 Schools Education and More?
2.1 Schools in a Chilly Fiscal Climate
2.2 Curriculum Reform
2.3 Information Technology and the Classroom
2.4 Diversity in Its Many Forms
2.5 Special Needs, Schools and Communities
2.6 Governing Schools
3 Healthy, Safe and Secure
3.1 Freedom from Economic Insecurity
3.2 Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds
3.3 Recreation From Welfare to Citizenship to Welfare?
3.4 Child Protection
3.5 Youth Justice
4 Policies for School-aged Children Governance Issues
4.1 Breaking the Silos
4.2 Rebuilding the Nests?
4.3 Citizen Involvement and Giving "Voice" to
Children and Youth
A Public Policies for School-aged Children
B Key Informants Interviewed for this Study
C Project Advisory Committee Members (October 2000)
CPRN Funding Sources
Foreword In the course of the Family Network's major research initiatives exploring The Best Policy Mix for Canada's Young Children, CPRN became concerned that the emphasis being placed on policies for preschool children and their families might not be carried forward as children entered school. Children's needs do not end when they enter school nor do they suddenly commence again when they prepare to leave it. Among children aged 6 to 15, the younger ones still require age-appropriate, high quality child care, including before- and after-school care and holiday care. All school-aged children need a healthy social environment that includes play, structured leisure activity, and sports and cultural opportunities. As well, all children need encouragement as they learn to face situations in which they can begin their own personal engagement in their local community, where they learn to be and begin to be treated as young citizens. Moreover, their parents need supports too, as they face the new challenges that come with pre-adolescence and adolescence. It is from these concerns that the Family Network of CPRN decided to undertake a research project to examine the public policy environment in place for schoolaged children and their families across Canada. This study is the result of those efforts, and consists of two interrelated parts: the body of the paper, researched and written by Dr. Rianne Mahon, Professor in the School of Public Administration and Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University; and an inventory of public policies for school-aged children, compiled and analyzed by Family Network researcher Caroline Beauvais. The policy inventories, presented for the first time anywhere in Appendix A, provide detailed and systematic documentation of policy initiatives affecting schoolaged children across Canadian jurisdictions. This information, obtained from departmental documents and directly from staff in relevant ministries, has been compiled into 25 comparative tables for all 10 provinces and 13 boxes that show the innovative approaches to policy being undertaken by some provinces. Building on these inventories, her interviews with key informants in each jurisdiction, and a survey of the relevant literatures, Dr. Mahon presents a survey of the policy trends. She finds a number of common themes across the provinces. They are focusing more on prevention; there is much effort to integrate service delivery and break down the silos; some responsibilities are shifting to the local level; and in v
education in particular, there are efforts to create more culturally appropriate learning opportunities. But she also highlights important differences in the details of policy and in the basic principles of intervention. Some provinces have sought more central control, while others have used their influence to support local decision making. Perhaps the most important difference is the overall focus of policies for families and children. In an era, when governments have been targeting scarce resources to the greatest need, several provinces have found ways to keep a broad framework for policies, focusing on all children, and in the case of child care, two provinces are implementing a more universal approach. Dr. Mahon finds that school-aged children tend to get the most attention in provinces that have adopted broad strategies. The advice and guidance of the project Advisory Committee helped shape the report, as did a roundtable, at which 23 Canadian experts on school-aged children from the policy, academic and advocacy communities gathered to discuss the draft report. We are grateful for their thoughtful input. I would like to thank the researchers, Rianne Mahon and Caroline Beauvais, for their dedication and also the individuals who were interviewed for the project and those who provided documentary information for our benefit. Last, but certainly not least, I would like to extend my appreciation to the project funders, who are listed at the end of the study. Thanks to all these players, we have been able to learn much more about the policy environment that affects Canada's school-aged children and their families, and to share our learnings with scholars and policy analysts across the country. Judith Maxwell January 2001 vi
Executive Summary The commitment to develop a National Children's Agenda reflects a recognition that federal, provincial and territorial governments need to work together to support the families and local communities that form the primary nests in which children grow and develop. Important steps are being taken by these governments to support early childhood development, but the effort cannot stop there. The achievement of positive outcomes for all of Canada's children requires a sustained public commitment through all stages of development. This study focuses on children in the school-aged years. It finds that children of this age group are receiving public support, especially through the school system, but that more could be done to ensure that children everywhere in Canada have the chance to thrive. Most provinces are investing substantially in curriculum reform and there have been important changes in the way schools are governed and financed. All school systems are grappling with ways to meet the diverse and special needs of schoolaged children and, in some provinces, real efforts have been made to make the school the centre for delivery of a broad range of services for children and their families. Nevertheless, a decade of fiscal austerity has exacted a toll, not only on extracurricular activities but also on the pace and direction of curriculum development itself. Children's opportunities for the safe and secure development of their full potential require more than a favourable school environment, however. Accordingly, the study examined developments in economic security, health policy, recreation and culture, child protection and justice. On the whole, the specific needs of school-aged children tend to be recognized in provinces that have developed broad children's strategies, which recognize that the benefits of early intervention are easily lost if children do not continue to get the supports they need as they mature. Where such broad strategies do not exist, the research found a tendency to focus on early child development at the expense of later years, a result particularly marked in some fields and certain provinces. There has also been a move away from comprehensive policies (a judicious blend of general supports, supplemented by additional measures for those needing extra support) toward targeted programs. This is one of the features of the National Child Benefit, which invests most heavily in low-income families, and it is also a trend in recreation and culture, where diminishing funds are increasingly being aimed at those children considered most "at risk." All provinces, moreover, have vii
combined targeting with an emphasis on getting parents off social assistance and into the labour force. The existence of the complex needs of families struggling with poverty and unemployment should certainly be recognized. Yet special measures work best when they are designed to supplement strong, broad-based programs. Two prominent themes that cut across policy fields and differences in provincial strategies were an increased emphasis on prevention and the importance of increased integration in the planning and delivery of services for school-aged children. Prevention is an especially strong concern in health-related matters. Here, schools as well as recreation and cultural programs are assigned a prominent role. Prevention is also a major theme of child protection reforms, where more emphasis is being placed on fostering good parenting. There remain, however, visible differences in the degree of investment in prevention, and in understandings of the best way to avoid negative outcomes. This is nowhere more apparent than in the area of juvenile justice. In some provinces, the emphasis is on deterrence through the imposition of strict measures on offending youths (and their parents), while, in others, the emphasis is on education and community action. All the provinces are also engaged in efforts to "break down the silos," encouraging cooperation across disciplines and departmental mandates. In some provinces, these efforts remain modest in scope. Not surprisingly, integration is being most systematically pursued in provinces that have adopted a broad children's strategy. In Quebec and the western provinces, for example, such strategies focus specifically on children and youth. In Newfoundland, however, the focus has been on social development in general, but integrated programs, focused on children and youth, are being developed under this mantle. "Breaking down the silos" can also involve the development of new forms of partnership between governments and the private sector. In some provinces, government continues to provide financial support
, but, in others, government encouragement of private (corporate and personal) donations substitutes for tax-financed programs. These new partnerships often form part of a broader move to enhance citizen participation. In some provinces, these include special efforts to give youth a voice in policies and programs that concern them. For younger children, additional measures are often necessary, however. This is why a number of provinces have introduced special ombudsmen or "children's advocates." A final theme running through policies for school-aged children is the importance of providing culturally appropriate services. To some extent, this has meant developing programs suitable for an increasingly multicultural population. The main concern, however, is to provide more effective services for Aboriginal children and youth, and it is increasingly recognized that this requires the working out of new relationships with Aboriginal communities. One example of this is the National Aboriginal Youth strategy, which embraces all the policy areas we have examined, from education and culture to health, child protection and youth justice. Again, however, there are marked differences in the extent and form of commitment across governments. The policies we have examined go some of the way toward addressing these challenges, albeit in quite different ways. The patchwork of policies has yet to form a solid quilt. Thus far policies for school-aged children have only been stitched together piecemeal and cannot be said to provide children aged 6 to 15 the security they need to develop and grow to their full potential. viii
School-aged Children across Canada: A Patchwork of Public Policies
Few dispute that families are central to the lives of children and youth. Families constitute the primary social environment or "nest" in which children live their lives. Yet families do not raise children in isolation. They are supported by the wider relationships in which they are nested. In modern societies, moreover, by the time that they reach school age, children have begun to explore and learn from these other environments on their own. The "nest" metaphor developed in CPRN's What Is the Best Policy Mix for Canada's Young Children captures this well: Children are "nested" in multiple environments: the child within the family, the family within the larger community of neighbourhoods and workplaces, the community as defined by different geographic and political boundaries, the public institutions that provide community infrastructure, and the governments that provide the resources and enabling policies that allow each of these nests to function well. Taken together, these nested environments form society as a whole. Each of these distinct spatial and political environments are also social nests in which children and, in turn, families, are nurtured.1 In other words, families matter the most, but they are not alone in raising children. Neighbourhoods and schools are also important, while the television and the Internet extend the communities virtually around the globe. While in an earlier period much of the responsibility for what passed as social policy fell on the
shoulders of local governments and charities, over the course of the 20th century, national and in Canada's case, provincial governments came to recognize their role in supporting and strengthening these other nests. The resulting arrangements can themselves be understood as a set of "nested" relationships. Federal policies could provide needed support to provincial governments, which, in turn, could help municipal governments and the voluntary sector to provide services at the local level. Today, despite all the talk of how economic and technological change have inaugurated a "new era of globalization," governments local, provincial and national retain a critical role in shaping the way in which these other nests function. To be sure, rising debt levels fuelled efforts to "download" responsibility in the 1990s. Yet mounting concern about the future of all of Canada's children has contributed to a renewed interest in beginning to build a new set of supporting arrangements. The commitment of the federal, provincial and territorial governments to develop a "National Children's Agenda"2 reflects this concern. Thus far much of the attention has been focused on early childhood development. These important initiatives and investments to support the early years risk being dissipated, however, if not matched by measures to support the subsequent stages of children's development. Thus each of the goals of early child initiatives health; safety and security; readiness to learn; and social engagement and responsibility has its counterpart for children and youth.3 While programs to
INTRODUCTION | 1
promote healthy pregnancies and breastfeeding contribute to an infant's physical well-being, older children need help to be kept free from preventable injuries, violence and sexual abuse. Teens encounter new challenges again, which reflect their developing sexuality and greater independence. Similarly, whereas parenting supports and high quality child care can make important contributions to the young child's learning readiness, comprehensive and flexible school programs, supplemented and supported by appropriate recreation, health, economic and social policies, contribute to the older child's and adolescent's ability to learn. Elementary and high school children encounter age-specific opportunities to become socially engaged and responsible. Economic security, parenting and community support are crucial enabling conditions for all age groups, although obviously the particular forms of appropriate support may differ. This study focuses on federal and provincial government policies as these pertain to children aged 6 to 15.4 It looks at what governments are doing to provide a "healthy, safe and secure" environment for these age groups and examines what is being done to enable them to be "ready to learn, socially engaged and responsible." A range of different, at times divergent, policies and programs are being pursued by governments across the country. Drawing on the inventory tables and boxes provided in Appendix A, the analysis will highlight these differences in provincial approaches (see the box on page 3). Not surprisingly, schools occupy a key place in society's support for children of this age and thus we devote an entire section to schools. Investment in education is increasingly recognized as important to preparing students for eventual participation in the "knowledge-based economy." As the government of Ontario states, "the economy is demanding workers with flexible, strong life-long learning skills and an ability to work in a team environment. Jurisdictions that act now to equip their young people with these skills and abilities will have an advantage in the future."5 This concern is reflected in renewed efforts to promote literacy, as well as curriculum reforms that emphasize the incorporation of information technology and the acquisition of marketable skills.
Education also retains its broader societal or citizenship objectives, however. Although there has been a lot of talk of moving "back to basics," in most provinces schools are understood to help teach children to make wise and healthy life choices and to participate in the multicultural society in which they live. For these reasons, education, like health care, continues to be regarded as the backbone of Canada's universal social programs.6 Nonetheless, fiscal austerity has often forced schools to cut programs supporting these broader objectives and even to delay the pace of curriculum reform. Schools are being called upon to do more than educate. In part, the economic and societal changes discussed in Section 1 are eroding the conditions that enable students to learn. As the Canadian School Boards Association recognized, the spread and deepening of child poverty in the 1990s has had a marked impact on children's "readiness to learn." Yet economic insecurity is not the only factor inhibiting the ability to learn. As a Saskatchewan school administrator told the Task Force and Public Dialogue on the Role of the School, "We think of poverty only in terms of economics. But we can expand that to social, cultural, and opportunities for nurturing."7 In other words, time-pressed parents often find it difficult to provide the kind of home supports that can make such a difference to learning outcomes. Medical technology, diagnostic developments and societal demands for inclusion have also meant that there are more students with special needs in the regular school system. In the past, schools were often able to make some provision for such needs, but the budgetary cuts of the 1990s frequently eliminated their room for manoeuvre. Some provinces have recognized this and, through policies that treat schools as the "hub" of service delivery, facilitate cooperation between schools and the health, justice and social work systems. A few provincial programs go further, encouraging and enabling schools to contribute actively to the development of a safe and supportive community. Saskatchewan and British Columbia are leaders in this regard. Schools cannot do it all, however, even where they are given the resources to enable them to do their traditional job well and to provide access to
2 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
Public Policies for School-aged Children
This study includes an inventory of public policy initiatives aimed at school-aged children and their families, presented in Appendix A as a series of 25 tables. Table 1 provides an overview of federal programs for school-aged children in Canada. The remaining tables illustrate the similarities and differences in the approaches taken to many well-developed types of policy across all 10 provinces. The policy domains captured in this tabular review are:
Table 1 Table 2 Table 3 Table 4 Table 5 Table 6 Table 7 Table 8 Table 9 Table 10 Table 11 Table 12 Table 13 Table 14 Table 15 Table 16 Table 17 Table 18 Table 19 Table 20 Table 21 Table 22 Table 23 Table 24 Table 25
An Overview of Federal Programs for Children in Canada, 2000 Provincial Ministries and Councils Directly Responsible for Child and Family Issues Subsidy for Low-income Parents' Child Care Costs, Paid Directly to Service Providers Subsidies Available to Child Care Providers Special Benefits for Parents on Social Assistance Programs That Promote the Earning Capabilities of Parents Extended Health Benefits for Poor Families with Children Provincial Child Tax Benefits Provincial Working Income Supplements for Families with Earned Income Tax Reductions and Credits for Families with Dependent Children Child Advocates or Representatives Family Mediation Programs Children's Involvement in Custody Decisions Child Maintenance Enforcement Education Governance: Number and Composition of School Boards Education Governance: Funding and Negotiation School Governance: Status of School Councils Education Expenditures per Student, 1993, 1995 and 1997 Adolescent Pregnancy and Parenting Initiatives Initiatives to Prevent or Reduce Youth Tobacco Smoking Anti-violence Initiatives Initiatives to Prevent Youth Suicide Initiatives to Promote Youth Literacy Parenting Education Initiatives Policy Evaluation Processes
A number of other policy domains are not as uniformly developed across the provinces. Therefore, Appendix A also includes a series of 13 boxes, which highlight the innovative policy initiatives being undertaken in the following areas:
Box 1 Box 2 Box 3 Box 4 Box 5 Box 6 Box 7 Box 8 Box 9 Box 10 Box 11 Box 12 Box 13
Family Leave Relevant to Children Provincial Deductions for Child Care Expenses The Use of the Federal Child Support Guidelines Legal Aid for Separated and Divorcing Parents Measures to Promote Continued Relationships between Grandparents and Grandchildren Unified Family Courts Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: Preventive and Remedial Measures Measures to Promote Healthy Nutrition Initiatives to Enhance Youth Self-esteem Measures to Promote Active Living for School-aged Children Programs to Promote Arts and Culture for School-aged Children Programs to Promote Lifelong Learning for School-aged Children Sources of Research Information on School-aged Children
A majority of the tables and boxes listed above are cited in the text of this study. Those that are not are somewhat peripheral to the central analysis developed in this report. Nonetheless, they are included in Appendix A because of their relevance to schoolaged children and their families, thereby completing the picture of public policies for this cohort that are in place in Canada.
INTRODUCTION | 3
various support services. The study thus examines developments in the fields of health, recreation and culture, justice and social policy. We find that Canadians' concern to restore their health care system finds expression, inter alia, in new initiatives focused on children and youth, with particular emphasis on prevention and on age-appropriate mental health programs. At the same time, health care restructuring has placed a new burden on families, who are increasingly called upon to provide home care.8 Supports to municipalities and sports and cultural associations have often been seen as an easy item to cut by governments preoccupied with fiscal concerns. Some provinces, however, are reinvesting or encouraging reinvestment by the private sector in recreation programs
, at least for children and youth judged to be most "at risk." Child protection caseloads are up across the country, a reflection not only of the deep and persistent problem of poverty on families' ability to provide for their children but also due to heightened public awareness and stronger legislation that puts the interests of the child first.9 The proposed Youth Criminal Justice Act remains controversial,10 but that very controversy has spawned a variety of provincial initiatives. Some provinces take a punitive approach, whereas others emphasize communitybased prevention and rehabilitation programs. One key theme running through federal and provincial policies for school-aged children is the need for integration. As a study sponsored by Health Canada concluded, "In short, the emerging issue ... is not a specific issue at all. What is emerging is a
change in the ways which issues are addressed and increasingly understood, of the intersectoral efforts that will be required to effectively address the many factors that affect child and adolescent health."11 Similar conclusions are being reached in other policy areas across the country as the Social Union Framework Agreement or the burgeoning of subprovincial units across the country indicate. Nor is government, whether federal, provincial or municipal, the only player. Other policy actors parents, communities, employers and non-governmental organizations also influence the environments in which school-aged children live and develop. Accordingly, we devote a section of this study to new governance mechanisms that are being designed to deliver policies for school-aged children. To some extent, the lack of uniformity in policies toward school-aged children reflects historical differences in values and ways of doing things. Yet such interprovincial variation cannot be understood as the result of any straightforward "path dependency" the idea that what a government does today is best understood as an incremental development of what it was doing yesterday. There have been too many important changes in the environments within which children live, and even in our ways of thinking about the desirable and the possible. The policy universe itself is in a state of turbulence, giving rise to dissenting views about the way forward. We thus begin by looking at the changing social, economic and political context and the policy challenges and debates to which these changes have given rise.
4 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
1 Growing Up in a Changing World
The world in which school-aged children are growing up has changed in important ways. Thus policies and programs that worked well in the past are no longer adequate. New thinking is needed to meet these challenges, including those posed by changes in the policy universe itself. In this section, we explore some of the key developments in family and society, in labour markets and in approaches to public policy. Changes in family form and in the labour market affect the lives of school-aged children, just as they do those of their younger siblings. The world in which children live and grow is also very much shaped by the role played by governments, including ideas about what governments can and should do. Thus changes in the broader policy environment also have to be examined. 1.1 Changes in Families and Canadian Society Family Size The average Canadian family household is smaller than it used to be, in large part a reflection of falling fertility rates.12 As the Vanier Institute notes, "many of the baby-boomers who grew up with three or four brothers or sisters chose to have only one or two children."13 While at the height of the postwar baby boom Canada's fertility rate hovered near 4.0, it fell sharply in the mid-1960s, hitting a low of 1.5 in the mid-1980s. At the end of the century, it was 1.6 overall. In Newfoundland, it
was much lower, at 1.3, whereas in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, it was well above average at 1.9.14 The low fertility rate significantly below the replacement rate of 2.1 has led some to worry that children will get lost in the political shuffle as the ageing boomers assert their priorities. Yet there is no reason to assume that the boomers will fail to recognize the enhanced importance of developing policies to ensure healthy, secure and well-educated children. What small family size does underline, however, is that, while the family remains important, it constitutes but one site where children learn their social skills.15 Average fertility rates can obscure important differences across the country and among different social groups. Among Aboriginal peoples, fertility rates are closer to the postwar level. In 1996, 53 percent of all Aboriginal people were under 24 a rate similar to the general population in the 1960s and early 1970s. While Aboriginal peoples only account for 2.8 percent of Canada's population, they make up 5 percent of those under 15.16 Their uneven distribution across the country with the highest concentration in the provinces of Manitoba (11.7 percent) and Saskatchewan (11.4 percent) is reflected in the differences in interprovincial fertility rates. By 2016, one-third of Saskatchewan's population will be of Aboriginal ancestry, as will nearly one-half of the province's children between 5 and 17.17 About one-quarter of Aboriginal people live on reserves across Canada, but many now live in cities such as Winnipeg, Edmonton and Calgary.18
GROWING UP IN A CHANGING WORLD | 5
Cultural and Linguistic Diversity Fertility rates do not tell the whole story, however. Canada has long relied on immigration to maintain its population and this remains true today. In the early decades of the 20th century, immigrants accounted for over one-fifth of the population. By the end of the century, their share of the total had fallen to 17.4 percent. The sources of immigration have changed, however, from an early preponderance of European to a growing diversity, including many from Asia, Africa and Latin America. Canada's biggest cities are home to the lion's share of recent immigrants. A significant number of new immigrants speak languages other than English or French at home. As the Canadian Council on Social Development notes, "of the 5.9 million children up to age 14 in Canada in 1996, 7.5 percent lived in families speaking other than English or French up from 6.5 percent in 1991."19 Immigrants account for one-third of those living in Vancouver and 4 out of 10 Torontonians.20 Two-thirds of immigrant children and youth live in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver and 90 percent live in Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec.21 The changing faces of Canada's children thus reflect increased cultural diversity, with culture being understood not simply in the formal sense (dance, music, art) but also as the very ways in which people live. Respecting cultural diversity and recognizing Canada's Aboriginal peoples pose new policy challenges and opportunities. Necessary supports range from anti-racism measures to the search for culturally appropriate forms of service delivery. Training in English and French as second languages, as well as the chance to develop linguistic skills in heritage languages, also form part of the agenda. Changing Family Forms The kinds of families that Canadian children live in have also changed. Common-law relationships have become quite typical. Three-quarters of the children born to unmarried women (31 percent of all births in 1996) had parents living common law.22 Although heterosexual parents remain predominant, some children have same sex parents.
While the divorce rate has tapered off since the mid-1980s, many more children experience at least some part of their life in lone-parent families, usually with their mothers. In 1996, 78 percent of children up to 13 lived with their biological parents, 16 percent lived with one parent, and 9 percent lived with at least one step-parent.23 Some provinces offer legal aid for low-income couples seeking to separate or divorce (see Box 4) and many provinces have developed mediation and counselling services designed to ease the transition (see Table 12). There are federal guidelines for family maintenance (see Box 3), and the provinces are experimenting with various mechanisms to ensure payment by the non-custodial parent (see Table 14). Where Canada has done less well is in preventing a high incidence of poverty among the children of lone parents. Thus as a recent report by the United Nations showed that while roughly the same number of children are living in lone-parent families in Finland as in Canada, in Finland, only 7 percent experience poverty, versus 52 percent in Canada.24 The male breadwinner family is no longer the typical family form.25 In 1999, 71 percent of all women with children under 16 were in the labour force full time, and the age of the child had little effect on participation rates. Of those with a child under three, 68 percent were working full time.26 Women's labour force participation rates vary across the country, with all provinces east of Ontario (except Prince Edward Island) below the Canadian average, Alberta substantially above average, and the rest hovering near the average.27 While this change may seem to pose less of a challenge once children have reached school age, school hours are not set to coincide with work hours. The absence of good before- and after-school programs for children under 12 has created many "latchkey children." School holidays are longer than even the most generous employee vacation rights, necessitating some form of summer care. Nor is it only the parents of younger children who struggle to balance work and family. A recent study also found that it was parents with children over 12, or under 5, that reported the highest levels of work/family conflict.28 In other words, all families need support, even after the children have reached school age.
6 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
1.2 Changing Economies, Changing Labour Markets Lifelong Learning for the New Economy The rise in women's labour force participation rates is not the only economic development relevant to the lives of school-aged children. Contemporary academic and policy research calls attention to the wider societal impact of new technologies, sometimes called the "knowledge-based economy."29 While the precise contours of, and requirements for, the emergent economy are subject to debate, there is fairly widespread agreement that it is important to have a well-educated labour force. As change becomes the norm, moreover, tomorrow's workers cannot train for a lifetime career but rather have to develop the capacity for "lifelong learning." Those lacking an adequate educational foundation are at risk of being marginalized, but it is not only for reasons of social justice that governments have an interest in helping all young people to build a strong educational foundation. The falling birth rate means that Canada and its ageing "boomers" will depend on the labour force participation of a smaller number of young people in the future. It cannot afford to let them fall by the wayside. Economic Insecurity and Poverty The labour market has already changed significantly, as numerous studies have noted. The scenario sketched in one of the last reports of the Economic Council of Canada Good Jobs, Bad Jobs: Employment in the Service Economy30 accurately predicted the dominant trend in the 1990s. Between 1989 and 1998, total employment grew by a mere 9.5 percent and full-time employment rose by an even more meagre 2.4 percent. Part-time employment accounted for most of the job growth, rising by 16.1 percent. Young workers (aged 15 to 24) and women are over-represented among those holding part-time jobs, which enjoy substantially lower levels of benefit coverage.31 Self-employment grew by a remarkable 39.6 percent.32 There was also an increase in temporary employment, reflecting a shift toward short-term contract jobs. In 1991, only
4.9 percent of the labour force had temporary jobs, but by 1995, that figure had climbed to 11.6 percent.33 High rates of unemployment throughout most of the 1990s especially high in the eastern provinces further contributed to a lack of economic security for many families.34 Associated with these developments is the trend toward deepening income polarization. As the Canadian Council on Social Development notes, "in 1989, the poorest Canadian families brought home 17 percent of all earnings, but by 1996 their share had dropped to only 13 percent."35 Until 1993, government transfers worked to mitigate this trend, in marked contrast to the situation in the United States.36 Since then, however, cuts to social assistance and unemployment insurance benefits offset the modest increase in child benefits for low-income families.37 Nor has minimum wage legislation in most provinces done much to counteract the polarization of market wages.38 Younger men (under 35) and, to a lesser extent, younger women have been particularly adversely affected as the wage gap between them and their older counterparts continued to grow in the 1990s.39 The picture improved toward the end of the decade, with lower unemployment rates, a resurgence of full-time job growth and, by 1999, a real rise in wage levels.40 Yet this came too late, and offered too little, to allow Canada to come within sight of the goal of eliminating child poverty by the year 2000, adopted unanimously by the House of Commons in 1989. Child poverty rose with the recession and remained stubbornly high during the 1990s. But child poverty is not evenly distributed across the country nor among types of family. While in 1997, the national rate of child poverty was 19.8 percent for Canada as a whole, it was as high as 22.8 percent in Newfoundland, 22.4 percent in Nova Scotia, and 22.1 percent in Manitoba.41 Child poverty is especially high in Canada's biggest cities. Thus, in Toronto, one child in three lives below the poverty line substantially higher than the national average of one child in five.42 This is consistent with the results of a large study for Statistics Canada, which showed that over the past two decades, the gap between rich and poor neighbourhoods had widened in eight cities.43
GROWING UP IN A CHANGING WORLD | 7
Work and Family The Difficult Balancing Act It is not just families with income in the lowest deciles that have been affected by these changes. Various studies have noted that polarization has also had an impact on the middle class. According to the Vanier Institute: "During the recession of the early 90s, the proportion of families with incomes below $40,000 rose rapidly, and those with incomes above $60,000 fell. After 1995, the economy grew and unemployment fell again. This time around, however, the middle class did not recover; and the proportion of families with middle-incomes [24 percent] remained essentially unchanged."44 More specifically, between 1970 and 1995, the incomes of families in the second, third, fourth and fifth deciles declined significantly while those in the upper three income deciles were the only ones to show an increase.45 Although reductions in government transfer payments cut to the bone in low-income families, the elimination of universal programs and the concomitant emphasis on targeted programs also had an impact on all families. As the Canadian Council on Social Development notes, "Cutbacks in government spending at all levels led to increased demands on families to pay more out of their own pocket for public services such as health care, public education, housing, recreation and cultural activities."46 Moreover, while two-earner families may have fared better than others financially, this has come at the expense of increasing time stress.47 In short, an adequate societal strategy would address all of Canada's children, even while special measures are developed to assist those most in need. This has not, however, been the way in which policy has been evolving. 1.3 The Changing Policy Environment From Keynesian Economic Management to Fiscal Austerity Changes have not only occurred in the wider social and economic context: the policy environment itself has altered. In the late 1970s governments be-
gan to show an increasing concern to secure fiscal restraint. This both reflected, and contributed to, the abandonment of the Keynesian model of economic management that had inspired much of economic policy throughout the postwar years. In the 1990s, the debt-deficit problem became a central preoccupation. As Thompson et al. note, "attention to debts and deficits has encouraged people to focus on government budgets as a `policy problem,' thereby making it difficult to articulate other policy problems in terms of solutions that require more spending."48 In other words, it became very difficult to talk about any new initiatives or improvements to existing policies as long as these involved government expenditures. From Universality and Fiscal Federalism to Targeting and Downloading? These economic policy changes were matched by and contributed to equally important shifts in social policy. The social policy edifice established in the postwar years and developed in the 1960s and 1970s was not among the most generous or comprehensive of advanced economies.49 Yet it did go beyond the earlier "residual" form, establishing the principle of universal social rights in some areas. Family allowances and medicare are two important examples. Programs like these recognized that government had a positive role to play in developing the "nests" where children were nurtured to maturity, and ensuring their parents and grandparents the supports they needed. In all countries, the postwar social policy regime meant new relations between central and local governments. In Canada, given the division of powers under the British North America Act, it involved new federal-provincial arrangements as well. Programs like the Canada Assistance Plan (CAP) and federal health policies (hospitals and equalization payments in the 1950s, medicare in the 1960s) were not just about cash transfers, however. They also involved building a secure and equitable set of benefits so that Canadians would have access to equivalent programs no matter where they lived. In other words, they were designed to ensure that all provincial governments could support local actors involved in the delivery of health and social services.
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Governments began to alter this regime soon after it had been completed. Already in the late 1970s, when fiscal concerns began to take priority, the federal government shifted from conditional funding to block grant funding for health and postsecondary education (via the Established Programs Financing Act or EPF). It was in these years too that the universality of family allowances began to be questioned. In the 1980s, both universality and federal support for provincial social programs like health care were further attenuated,50 but it was in the 1990s that the biggest changes occurred. In 1993, after continual reductions in benefits, family allowances were cancelled entirely. The funds thus released were combined with two pre-existing income-related benefits to yield the Child Tax Benefit, directed primarily at low-income families.51 The shift from allowances to tax credits, begun in 1978, also placed the Department of Finance in a key position to shape social policy. The shift from universal to targeted programs occurred in a context marked by an increasing preoccupation with fiscal concerns. In Canada, the existence of targeted transfers, as well as the rise of two-earner families, helped to blunt the effects of the increased polarization of market incomes. Programs like pay and employment equity also worked to mitigate labour market inequities between the sexes and among different ethnic-racial groups. Thus there is a role for targeted measures. They are not without significant problems, however. Numerous studies by Canadian child psychiatrist David Offord and his colleagues have brought out the many disadvantages of targeted programs.52 Among these are difficulties in accurate targeting and the related "boundary problem" (due to clustering around the boundary, differences between those included and those excluded are slight). A large number of people at small risk may give rise to more cases of the problem than small numbers at high risk. This is most likely when the targeted population has more of the problem (e.g., economic insecurity) but many in the population have some of it. Targeted programs also focus on individual effects, while ignoring the social context that may give rise to the problem. Targeted programs are
also prone to stigmatization. Reliance on targeting at the expense of comprehensive programs also undermines support for social programs as those excluded come to resent paying for programs from which they and their families do not benefit. While it is important to recognize the diversity of needs, targeted programs are best when used in combination with some inclusive programs. In this period, federal transfers to the other levels of government were also cut, falling by 23 percent between 1989-90 and 1998-99.53 Federal-provincial fiscal relations reached a new low in 1996, when the federal government replaced CAP and the EPF with the Canada Health and Social Transfer fund, a block grant program, after which transfers would continue to decline. This increased the pressure on the provinces to rein in expenditures, irrespective of the ideology of the governing party. This was easier said than done, however. As Melchers notes, "legislated entitlements, legislated fiscal agreements with municipalities and scheduled agencies, collective agreements
, decentralized production and delivery of services, and the presence of organized forces for the defense of entitlements and expenditures made such an exercise of provincial-fiscal control problematic."54 In other words, the imposition of substantial cuts was no simple matter. Expenditure patterns had become deeply embedded in the institutional fabric of each provincial society. During the 1990s, most provinces explored a variety of means for asserting fiscal control. As we shall see, this had a marked effect on programs for school-aged children. Democratic Malaise The policy environment has also been marked by a growing "democratic malaise." As Phillips argues, the growing disenchantment with governments and traditional politics results from several developments.55 Since the 1960s, Canadian politics, like those in other OECD countries, have included social movements that were critical of existing democratic institutions and sought greater democracy in the community, the workplace, and the family. The neo-liberal argument, that markets are inherently more democratic than governments because they maximize individual choice
, has also contributed to
GROWING UP IN A CHANGING WORLD | 9
making "democracy" a contested concept. Does democracy mean less government or new ways for establishing popular control over supportive governments? Finally, there has been a push for greater responsibility and accountability coming from within the civil service itself. The new public service paradigm, drawing on managerial techniques developed in the private sector, stresses flattened (or flatter) hierarchies, devolution to lower levels where programs can be tailored to fit particular needs, and the development of new partnerships with a variety of public, private and voluntary sector stakeholders. Child Poverty As we shall see, all of these developments have left their mark on federal and provincial policies for school-aged children. To understand why the federal and provincial governments began to contemplate rebuilding the supporting links between the different levels of government, at least as these affect child policies, two developments are of particular importance. The first is the debate that developed around child poverty. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, signed by the Canadian government in 1991, inspired the debate. It was local actors, concerned about the erosion of Canada's "safety nets," however, who seized the opportunity to reassert the need to strengthen the social security net.56 Although in 1989 the House of Commons voted unanimously to eliminate child poverty by the end of the century, as long as the deficit remained the preoccupation of governments, the movement made little headway. By the late 1990s, however, the federal and many provincial governments managed to get the deficit under control. While some have argued for tax cuts rather than new expenditures, the child poverty activists were more in line with majority thinking, which continues to favour a positive role for governments. With the formation of the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Council on Social Policy Renewal in 1996, conditions were ripe for the launching of the "National Children's Agenda."57 Population Health If coalitions like Campaign 2000 helped focus social policy renewal on strengthening the nests in
which children live, the spread of the "population health" approach within the social policy community has shaped the way governments have thought about designing the nests. The population health approach traces its roots to the 1974 White Paper, A New Perspective on the Health of Canadians.58 The White Paper broadened the approach to health from the medical-physiological to include lifestyle choices and environmental factors. As Hay and Wachtel note, "this perspective was elaborated through the interplay among public, advocacy and academic sectors in Canada."59 Some of the founding members of Campaign 2000, such as the Canadian Council for Children and Youth, helped to disseminate this perspective, while research done for the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research contributed to its elaboration. In 1994, the population health approach was officially endorsed by the Federal-ProvincialTerritorial Ministers of Health. As we shall see, its ideas have spread well beyond the health policy field. While there are important differences in how the population health approach is understood and pursued, there are several features common to all initiatives it inspired. First, environmental factors, including the social and economic environment, are understood to shape individual health and well-being. Second, "primary prevention reducing risks to well-being in the environment is more effective in general than trying to remedy the problems once they have occurred."60 Its third feature, the data-based approach, fits well with the new public service paradigm and its emphasis on "measured" accountability. Fourth, its emphasis on the interconnectedness of phenomena stresses the need for a "holistic approach
," which, in turn, supports the notion of integrated service delivery. Finally, and again in line with the new public service paradigm, the population health approach looks to the development of new partnerships between governments and other actors who share responsibility for securing well-being. As we shall see, in some provinces, this approach has been interpreted more narrowly than in others. Thus some would focus only on those "in need" or "at risk," assuming that the majority of children and youth can rely on families and markets to meet their needs. This emphasis represents a return to the
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kind of residualist welfare regime that existed before the Second World War. Others see the need for a continuum of policies. For instance, in its second report, the Saskatchewan Council on Children noted the need to develop a range of policies from "universal policies and programs that promote and enhance development of all children and youth; targeted services to support children and youth at risk due to medical, social and environmental factors; and specialized programs to assist children and youth with serious chronic health, developmental and/or mental difficulties."61 The comprehensive approach represents a way of revitalizing social policy thinking by offering a layer of programs, from inclusive ones to others targeted at people with special needs. Those favouring this approach also tend to recognize the importance of all the nests in which children develop and thus offer a broader range of programs. The population health approach has also incorporated a view of the different stages of child development. Some of the studies it has spawned put considerable emphasis on "early intervention" from birth to age six. The federal-provincial commitment to improve and expand early child development programs and services reflects this line of thought. Thus the communiquй issued by the First Ministers in September 2000 reasoned: The early years of life are critical in the development and future well-being of the child, establishing the foundation for competence and coping skills that will affect learning, behaviour and health.... New evidence has shown that development from the prenatal period to age six is rapid and dramatic and shapes long-term outcomes. Intervening early to promote child development during this critical period can have long-term benefits that can extend throughout children's lives.62
The federal government already has a number of programs in this area63 and all of the provinces have programs that target this age group. The key areas of investment are: 1. The promotion of healthy pregnancy, birth and infancy 2. Improvement of parenting and family supports (see Table 24 for a list of provincial initiatives) 3. Strengthening early childhood learning and care (via child care, preschools and family resource centres), and 4. Strengthening community supports (e.g., community-based planning and service integration). Programs and services in support of early childhood development are important. The problem arises when this interpretation of the stages of childhood is taken to imply that all efforts should be focused on the early years. There are different "stages" which school-aged children go through, and these differences are recognized in school curricula, recreational programming and health concerns. Moreover, scholarly research has shown that the whole notion of "developmental stages" is complex indeed.64 In other words, the "window" for supportive intervention has not slammed shut by age six. As the National Council of Welfare succinctly put it, "without comprehensive social policies that support children as they grow up, good results from early interventions fade out when children go on to poor quality elementary schools and continue to live in high risk situations."65 While the "early years" are important, it is just as important to support children and youth and their families throughout the later stages of development.
GROWING UP IN A CHANGING WORLD | 11
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2 Schools Education and More?
Schools play a critical role in the lives of all children and youth as they move through these later stages of development. Elementary schools move children from less-structured, play-based learning that has a lot in common with early childhood education, to a more structured and formal curriculum.66 In addition to basic language arts, science and numeracy skills, the curriculum frequently includes health education, fine arts and physical education, in recognition of the contribution that schools can make to the development of healthy and well-rounded adults. As they enter their teen years, children develop more abstract ways of thinking, learn to handle increased independence, and enter into more complex relationships.67 These changes are generally reflected in a curriculum that includes more theoretical material and more choices, as well as courses dealing with the new life challenges that teenagers face. Over the last decade, schools have faced new and pressing demands. Curriculum reform and the incorporation of information technology into the classroom are two areas that have received considerable attention across the country, and they will be examined below. "Diversity" religious, linguistic, and cultural has long been an important question for education policy in Canada, but changes in the school population, as well as the more recent emphasis on "choice," have given it a new urgency. "De-institutionalization" in the health sector,68 increasing poverty, as well as new theories pertaining to the diversity of student learning needs and styles has made special education
an area of growing in-
vestment. Schools are also being asked to become more than a locale for the delivery of formal education. As the place where children spend many of their waking hours, schools can provide a convenient site for the delivery of other services children may need. Through well-developed "after hours" programs, they can also constitute the hub of community life. Schools are struggling to meet these new or more intense demands in a climate marked by increased fiscal austerity and related efforts by the provinces to establish greater control over an area that has long enjoyed considerable local autonomy. This section examines the range of provincial policies directed at the school system. We begin with a discussion of the impact of fiscal restraint on the school system because this sets the context within which all the other changes are being made. We then explore these other dimensions, ending with a discussion of the changing relations of governance in schools. As in the other policy areas we will examine, we find that provincial education policies do not follow a uniform path. While the patterns of choice are complex, it may be useful to contrast two different routes. In some provinces, curriculum reform strongly emphasizes a "back to basics" approach and the role of schools in preparing students for the labour market, whereas in others, the need to educate the whole child is being reasserted. Virtually all provinces agree on the need for special efforts to help those facing the most difficulties but, in
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some provinces, the focus is on "early intervention" (which may include the first two to three years of elementary school) or a narrowly defined group of special needs students. Others clearly recognize the value of ongoing interventions and include a much broader range of students and services. Some take a discipline-focused approach to "safe schools," whereas others emphasize education and community building. In introducing changes, some provinces have tried to isolate "special interests," whereas others have sought the involvement of all actors teachers, education administrators
, trustees, Band councils, communities and parents. 2.1 Schools in a Chilly Fiscal Climate Between 1971 and 1996, expenditures on elementary and secondary schools increased sevenfold, such that education formed a major item in provincial budgets, often second only to health. As Table 18 shows, in the mid-1990s, Quebec was spending the most per student on kindergarten to Grade 12 (K-12) education, with British Columbia second, Ontario third, and Alberta sixth. As Dunning notes, however, most of the expansion occurred in the 1970s and 1980s.69 During the 1990s, education budgets often were adversely affected by the broader effort to rein in expenditures. As the Canadian Council on Social Development notes, "for the first time ever, school boards reported a decrease in their expenditures between 1995 and 1996 ... although this varied by region. Budgets were cut in Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic regions, but increased by about 3 percent in the western provinces."70 Most recently, the Nova Scotia budget cut $10 million from the budget allocated to school boards. Cuts in federal transfers exacerbated the problem of tightening provincial fiscal constraint. Cutting Extra- and Co-curricular Activities Curbs to education expenditure have affected schools in many ways. Whereas during the 1970s and 1980s many boards had introduced school lunch or breakfast programs, hired social workers, and conducted vision and hearing screening programs in schools, in the 1990s, they have been
forced to abandon many of these services.71 Links with the broader community have been attenuated as schools have been forced to charge higher fees for the use of school premises.72 Cuts to school transportation budgets have reduced co-curricular activities.73 Schools are finding it harder to maintain outdoor recreation facilities,74 let alone build new classrooms. The extended use of portable classrooms is creating a health hazard in schools across the country. In Ontario alone, "4,000 of the approximately 10,000 portables in use have surpassed their 15-year life span. And while new portables are designed to resist mould and provide better ventilation, cash-strapped school boards often cannot afford them."75 Impact of the Cuts on School Curriculum Fiscal restraint is also affecting school curriculum. Fine arts and physical education offerings have been cut back at both the elementary and secondary levels. To some extent this reflects (or has been justified in terms of) the "back to basics" trend visible across the country. Yet even "core" subjects like social studies have been affected. The 1996 Provincial Learning Assessment of social studies in British Columbia launched a scathing critique of the system for insufficiently preparing students to become citizens: "Looking at the assessment levels holistically, we believe that ... there may be a substantial number of students leaving the British Columbian school system with only marginal abilities in such important citizenship skills as detecting bias, distinguishing fact and opinion and developing a reasoned argument."76 The pace of curriculum reform has also been affected. Thus the recent report of Newfoundland's Ministerial Panel on the Delivery of Education in the Classroom noted that in some areas (e.g., K-12 physical education, and mathematics for Grades 1 to 6) the curriculum guides are severely dated, while the implementation of the new language arts program for secondary students has been delayed by inadequate resources. The process of new curriculum development has also been affected as fewer boards are involved in pilot projects.77 Curriculum reform was one of the items sacrificed in Nova Scotia's recent effort to cut the Ministry of
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Education's budget by one-third. As the Minister of Finance put it, "The Department of Education will slow the development of the ever-expanding school curriculum, which detracts from the essentials and results in new cost pressures on school boards. It simply makes no sense that, at a time when too many students are trying to learn the existing curriculum from photocopied textbooks, government continues to introduce new programs that demand costly teacher upgrades and expensive new resources."78 The "User pay" Principle in Schools Perhaps the most immediate way in which fiscal restraint is felt is in the increased reliance on fees and fundraising for what have long been regarded as basic supplies.79 Thus the President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers' Association noted that "It is increasingly clear that fundraising is taking place for school supplies and basic needs within the school environment and for the regular school program."80 The extent of the problem is poignantly reflected in the background information to New Brunswick's new Top-Up Fund for Supplies.81 The department's note indicated that parents would not be asked to fundraise or pay for basic instruction or education resource materials and equipment and "free school privileges."82 Parents may be asked to contribute to the cost of coand extra-curricular activities and are expected to provide materials for the students' personal use. The memo goes on to note that children from kindergarten to Grade 5 are not permitted to participate in door-to-door fundraising and that schools are encouraged to find alternatives to such activities and other public solicitation. Other provinces seem to recognize that things have gone too far. Alberta's education partners recently felt the need to include in their vision paper "ongoing public funding to guarantee the mission of educating all children well, thus eliminating the need for school fees, fundraising or corporate donations."83 Nova Scotia's April 2000 budget allocated $1.6 million to assist social assistance recipients in purchasing back-to-school supplies. Schools continue to grapple with the effects of provincial restraint measures. Nevertheless there
are signs of renewal across the country, albeit as provinces follow diverse paths to renewal. 2.2 Curriculum Reform Virtually all jurisdictions have been affected by the "back to basics" movement. The latter involves not only more emphasis on "core" subjects such as reading, mathematics and science but also greater emphasis on objective criteria and expectations, and more traditional "teacher-centred" teaching methods. As a recent study of the Canadian School Boards Association notes, "new core curriculum in most provinces are specifying outcomes for age and grade levels and incorporating regular evaluation of those outcomes into the school program."84 The new Ontario curriculum provides a good example, with its strong emphasis on language, mathematics and science; province-wide testing of the mathematics and language skills of Grade 3 and 6 students (as well as mathematics in Grade 9 and literacy in Grade 10); and the new provincial report cards. The shift has not been accidental. The Council of Ministers of Education of Canada has played its part. In 1989, it produced the School Achievement Indicators Program (SAIP) to measure educational performance. It is also through the Council that the provinces have agreed to test 13- and 16-year-olds across the country in mathematics, reading, writing, and now science.85 Nine provinces and the territories are developing a pan-Canadian science framework. Curriculum development is also coordinated at the regional level in the west (the Western Canada protocol on mathematics and language arts curriculum) and in Atlantic Canada (for the K-12 curriculum in language arts, mathematics, science and social studies). The "back to basics" move is tempered by the inclusion of broader considerations, at least in some provinces.86 For instance, British Columbia's new curriculum incorporates a strong "healthy lifestyles" component. In the early years, the emphasis is on healthy lifestyles and nutrition; older students deal with issues of drug and alcohol use, eating disorders, and healthy sexuality. A number of provinces are also reinvesting in physical education and
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culture. For example, the Alberta government increased the hours for physical education and health in the curriculum for Grades 7 to 9 in the late 1980s. In 1997, the K-12 physical education program was revised to put a greater emphasis on active living and funds were put aside for improved training for physical education teachers. Alberta also has an "Artists in Schools" residency program. The most recent Manitoba budget restored physical education to the core curriculum. In Quebec, the Ministry of Culture and Communications works with the Ministry of Education to provide opportunities for enhanced cultural education.87 Similarly, Kino-Quebec works with the schools to promote physical activity among children and youth. In motivating its recommendations for ensuring the availability of a fine arts curriculum to all students in the province, Newfoundland's Ministerial Panel wrote: Many of the submissions to the Panel noted the inclusion of fine arts in the provincial curriculum is essential to the realization of a well-rounded education. As well as its inherent value, it is argued that education in music and the arts has been shown to be a positive influence on academic and personal development. Increasingly, employers seek out individuals whose skills and interests reflect the initiative and diversity promoted by a balanced education.... The Panel also recognizes the importance of music and art to the development and sustenance of the culture of Newfoundland and Labrador. Moreover, the cultural industry in Newfoundland and Labrador is growing and currently estimated to employ more than 2,800 people and contribute $200 million annually to the provincial economy. In this regard, the presence of fine arts curriculum in schools contributes to the broader social and economic goals of the province.88 For similar reasons, the government of New Brunswick recently announced it would encourage the addition of music, art and physical education as part of the curriculum. 2.3 Information Technology and the Classroom Information and communication technology (ICT) is changing both what is taught and how
students learn. As the Alberta government put it, "the future of Alberta and Albertans lies in taking a leadership role in knowledge-based industries and in the global economy. Alberta's education system is moving in this new direction by helping our students master technology."89 Getting ready for the knowledge-based economy requires a substantial investment in hardware and networks, software and curriculum, and teacher training. As we shall see, the provinces are trying to cope with these demands by developing partnerships among government departments, among governments, and between governments and the private sector (both commercial and nonprofit). While the integration of information technology makes it easier to achieve "place-based" equity (i.e., the provision of an equal education, irrespective of where the students live), it also raises questions of social, or class, equality. Investing in Hardware The provinces have been investing heavily in computer access through the school system. Thus, for instance, between 1995 and 1999, Quebec invested $39 per student in ICT, of which $16 was targeted at computer purchases. At the outset, there was 1 computer for every 21 students; now there is 1 for every 9. Alberta has committed $45 million over three years to upgrade computers in public classrooms. Initially, school boards were expected to match that amount but that requirement has been dropped as of 1999-2000, presumably because the matching requirement made it more difficult for the poorer districts to participate. The federal government has provided some assistance in the form of Industry Canada's "computers in schools" program. The Nova Scotia government has entered into a partnership with Boston-based GeoWorks software to bring older computers up to standard.90 One of the more controversial partnerships is between several Manitoba school districts and Athena Education partners. In exchange for free televisions, wiring and some computers, the schools are to require students to watch Youth Network News and associated advertising.91 With the support of the federal government, in 1997, Canada was one of the first countries to link all schools to the internet via SchoolNet. While
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Newfoundland was the first to be connected, other provinces have also been investing. Thus British Columbia has established the Provincial Learning Network, a telecommunications link connecting British Columbia elementary, secondary and postsecondary schools to the Internet. In Saskatchewan, a partnership of Saskatchewan Education, SaskTel, the Boards of Health, and the province will establish high level broadband access for schools (and other public services) across the province. New Brunswick has entered into a partnership with Apple and IBM for local area networking in education.92 In a pattern that has become typical in Ontario, in 1998, the Department of Education established a $130 million dollar fund to improve Internet access, requiring matching funds from the private sector. Incorporating ICT into the Curriculum The curriculum is also being revised to prepare students for participation in the "knowledge-based economy." Thus Ontario's new K-12 curriculum teaches science and technology. Alberta's new Information and Communication Technology program of studies is structured as a "curriculum within a curriculum, using the core subjects of English Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies as a base."93 British Columbia and Alberta have developed "technology outcomes" expected of their students, which make it clear that the skills to be acquired are those expected of citizens as well as workers.94 In this area, too, various forms of partnership are being used. Thus the Office of Learning Technology in Human Resources Development Canada funds innovative learning opportunities using new technologies, while the federal government and the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Newfoundland and New Brunswick are cooperating on the development of an information technology module. The four western provinces and the territories are collaborating on the development of nine high school mathematics courses in CD-ROM format. British Columbia Education is working with provincially sponsored organizations such as the Royal British Columbia Museum and the Vancouver Aquarium to develop materials and to expand outreach. Alberta
Education has a contract with Learning and Skills Television to develop materials in mathematics, biology and physics (videotaped "telecourses" that can also form part of other multimedia products). Incorporating ICT into the curriculum also means investing in teacher training. For instance, British Columbia's first five-year plan budgeted $11 million for teacher training. In Alberta, teacher certification requirements are being revised to include technology competencies, while regional consortia are being used to help teachers develop technology skills. But it is more than a question of acquiring a better understanding of ICT. The incorporation of ICT also intervenes in and potentially shatters the parameters of the classic debate about two pedagogies: child-centred (favoured in the 1960s and 1970s) versus teacher-centred (traditional, and part of the "back to basics" move). In other words, teachers of the future may be less "instructors" than they will be "critical guides," as students make full use of ICT virtually to expand the classroom.95 One example might be Quebec's new curriculum that focuses on project-based teaching by multidisciplinary teams. Another example was suggested by Newfoundland's ministerial panel, which envisaged a combination of "e-teachers" and classroombased teacher-mentors.96 Internet access has also raised concerns about the kind of information that children and youth are able to freely obtain.97 The response of Saskatchewan students, consulted by the Task Force and Public Dialogue on the Role of Schools, is interesting in this regard: "Students suggest they need to be taught how to evaluate what they hear and see and that teachers and parents need to become more aware, and more accepting, of what students are hearing and watching."98 Equity Considerations The incorporation of ICT also has certain implications from the standpoint of equity. First, as Newfoundland's Ministerial Panel recognized, ICT holds real potential in advancing the goal of placebased equity in education. It seems that the western provinces have a well-developed system for distance education and thus are well poised to use ICT to offer a full curriculum across their provinces, but
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other provinces are exploring these possibilities as well.99 At the same time, there are also social equity considerations. As the Canadian Council on Social Development notes, "Canadian school children aged 12 to 17 who have access to computers and the Internet in their homes spend at least two hours per week doing homework on their computers one-third of the total time they spend doing homework."100 At the same time, children in highincome households were four times as likely to have such access as children in low-income families.101 One example of the kind of provincial program that might go some way toward addressing this aspect of the equity question is Newfoundland's "community access centres." There are 121 of these located in 109 communities around the province. They provide public access to the Internet and guidance to its use.102 There is also a gender gap in computer and Internet use that needs to be addressed. Among younger children (aged 4 to 7), girls spend more time on computers than boys do, but the latter catch up and then surpass the girls by the time they are adolescents. At the level of post-secondary education, males clearly predominate in computer science and related areas.103 2.4 Diversity in Its Many Forms Diversity questions arise in the education field in two ways cultural diversity and the diversity of options from which to choose. Canada has been made up of a diversity of peoples since the outset but, for the most part, this has only come to be recognized in policy, including education policy, in recent decades.104 The greater preparedness to embrace cultural diversity in the education system reflects the struggle of Aboriginal peoples and minority groups for recognition, a struggle aided by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as Canada's self-understanding as a bilingual, multicultural country with several founding peoples. The trend to greater diversity is also consistent with a broader trend within government to treat citizens as consumers, whose diverse wants and
needs are to be satisfied. While in many respects, this trend is to be welcomed, it does raise the question of how far the public (or publicly-funded) school system can go while remaining a vehicle for equality of opportunity and for fostering social cohesion. Religious Diversity The first difference to be recognized was, of course, religion. The British North America Act guaranteed protection of existing religious minorities such that Quebec, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland have historically operated denominational elementary and secondary schools.105 In a move in line with the intensifying trend toward separation of church and state, both Quebec and Newfoundland abolished their denominational systems in the 1990s, which required federal enabling legislation. Yet the question of religious education remains very much alive. In the 1980s, Ontario gave in to a longstanding demand to extend funding for Catholic schools to the high school level. The province, like other governments,106 is under pressure to extend public funding to other faith-based schools. Although it has not been prepared to accede to these claims, in its budget for 2000, funding was made available for the medical requirements of special needs children attending denominational schools outside the public system. The government argued that this was necessary to "eliminate unfair barriers to special needs children seeking a faithbased education." In the new Quebec system, the controversy is being addressed by allowing parents to choose between religious or "moral" education classes for their children. The Minister of Education has, however, indicated that the regulations are likely to be changed, reducing the number of hours devoted to this area. In addition, for the first two years of high school, a board can ask for an ethics or "cultural religious" program, rather than one based on the Christian tradition.107 Linguistic Diversity In 1969, the federal government adopted its "official languages in education" program, designed
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to support the recognition of French and English as Canada's official languages. Although elementary and secondary education is a provincial responsibility, Heritage Canada transfers funds to the provinces to support minority language rights and English or French immersion programs.108 Provincial governments also are responsible for guaranteeing minority language rights in education.109 In many instances, this is subject to a "where numbers warrant" rule, but, in 1984, Ontario required all boards in the province to provide education to Francophone minorities, no matter how small the numbers. English and French second language training have also expanded, especially in the large cities where the majority of recent immigrants live. Some provinces also fund courses in heritage languages. For example, Manitoba funds courses in Ukrainian. Aboriginal Children Aboriginal children and Canada's Aboriginal peoples in general are receiving greater recognition in some provinces. As Dunning notes, this represents a major change: The history of education
of the Native peoples of Canada is sadly lacking in respect for their Native languages, cultures, and world-views. In fact, those languages and cultures were suppressed in the name of assimilation as a generation of Native children was sent off to residential schools to learn the English or French language and Canadian culture. More than sixty percent of these schools were still in operation as recently as the 1960s.110 The federal government is responsible for the education of First Nations and Inuit children, a responsibility that it often met in the past by financing residential schools run by religious denominations. These have been strongly criticized for physical and sexual abuse as well as the suppression of native language and culture. The federal Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development currently operates nine schools; all others are run by the Bands themselves, with federal funding. In a number of cases, the children attend provincial schools off-reserve, but the federal government covers the costs.
Where numbers are sufficient, the curriculum can be modified to include Aboriginal culture and languages. In some provinces, this is being done. Thus Aboriginal languages are taught in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, while Ontario's Ministry of Education has supported the standardization of written Anishinabe (Ojibwa) and Mohawk. The 1999 New Brunswick Task Force on Aboriginal Issues, however, lamented that there were few instances in that province where Aboriginal children in the public system are taught their heritage language.111 Nova Scotia earlier approved the introduction of courses about the Mi'kmaq (as well as Afro-Canadians), while the four western provinces and the Territories are revising their social studies curriculum to more adequately to reflect the role of Aboriginal peoples as well as French Canadians. The most impressive steps, however, have been taken by Saskatchewan and British Columbia, two provinces where Aboriginal peoples constitute a substantial part of the population. There are a number of interesting initiatives in Saskatchewan, but perhaps the key one is the "community schools" program. When the program began, it was targeted at low-income inner-city areas. Yet as Indian and Mйtis children constituted significant numbers at these schools, the program developed a strong emphasis on Aboriginal heritage languages, cultural celebrations, and culturally appropriate curricula. The program has now been expanded to include northern schools as well. There are a variety of "Elders programs," to counsel and teach Aboriginal traditions and values, and "heritage clubs," where students in Grades 4 to 8 can participate in weekly sessions to learn about Aboriginal and other cultures. Fine arts curricula include drumming, powwow, and Aboriginal dances and singing. All community schools have a nutrition program, which can include community kitchens and purchases of fresh fruit and vegetables at wholesale prices. Extra teaching resources are provided to keep class sizes small and to offer cross-cultural and anti-racism training for staff and students. The community schools also link a range of health, social, counselling, justice, personal support, and recreation services to the school. These include "talking circles" to resolve conflict.
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In British Columbia, there is a special fund to provide cultural and other support programs for all Aboriginal children. The content can vary including special arts programs, counselling, academic support and Aboriginal languages but the funds have to be used for extra programming for these children. There is also an Aboriginal Education coordinator in each district, while in communities where Aboriginal peoples constitute a large enough group, there can be a whole department focused on meeting their needs. A section of the Ministry of Education is devoted to Aboriginal education and there is a Council, bringing together Aboriginal trustees and teachers, that reports to the Deputy Minister. In 1999, the partners declared that not enough Aboriginal children and youth are succeeding and that new initiatives were needed, including increasing the number of Aboriginal teachers in the province. The British Columbia Teachers' Federation (BCTF) has established a task force on Aboriginal education. Among other things, the task force noted that "the most important changes in the school for Aboriginal students will come about with greater understanding by teachers." The BCTF Aboriginal Education Teacher Awareness and Commitment principles are intended to be "a beginning point for an extended dialogue that includes teachers and Aboriginal communities, and to identify the basis for research, development and communication on how to change teaching practice in ways that will assist the learning and success of Aboriginal students."112 The report also acknowledged that collective agreements sometimes conflict with the Local Education Agreements negotiated between First Nations and school districts (in which the federal government participates) and enjoined union locals "to attempt to make these agreements serve the needs of the students without producing conflict among the various parties."113 At the district or board level, there are also important initiatives in other provinces, especially Manitoba, where Aboriginal education is one of the priority areas in the current consultation involving education stakeholders. Alberta is awaiting the report of its task force on Aboriginal education. All of these efforts are beginning to make a difference.
While in 1985, only 31 percent of Aboriginal children remained in school to complete senior matriculation, by 1995, 73 percent did.114 Diversity as Consumer Choice There are other forms of diversity, based on the "consumer" model of education: "Trends toward specialization and increased choices have been reinforced by shifts in values that embrace a consumeroriented approach to education by the better-off elements of society, or those with special interests, such as religious education. Specialization will be further pushed by the desire for education that is specific to particular ideologies, religions or ethnicity, or for education that can maximize high achievement in particular fields, such as in the arts or athletics, or can overcome particular learning difficulties."115 To some extent this is reflected in the (still modest) growth of private schools from 3.4 percent in 1977 to 5.25 percent in 1998.116 Enrolment in private schools is on the increase in British Columbia, Alberta and Nova Scotia.117 In Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta, the province contributes to the costs of these private schools.118 School boards have also responded to the demand for increased choice within the public system. Thus, for example, in Edmonton, there are high schools focusing on elite athletics or performing arts as well as on more traditional concerns such as high academic performance. On the whole, the inclusion of diversity within the public system reflects the growing recognition that the "one size fits all" method for achieving equity failed adequately to address underlying inequalities. There is also a sense that the older model is inadequate for developing social cohesion in an increasingly complex, democratic society. Yet there is the question of how to do this, while at the same time preventing the institutionalization of a two- or multi-tiered school system.119 "Universality" can be interpreted as encompassing rather than trying to assimilate the differences within the Canadian myth of the "mosaic," in contrast to the American myth of the "melting pot." Yet the challenge is to find ways of holding the pieces of the mosaic together, even while respecting the specificity of each piece.
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2.5 Special Needs, Schools and Communities How Can You Learn When You're Hungry? Student diversity extends well beyond language, culture, religion or consumer preference. Some children have special needs because they are poor. Thus the traditional question of "class" equity schools as a medium of providing working class and poor children an opportunity to catch up with those who are better off is being posed again with new urgency. As we saw above, unemployment, labour market polarization and fiscal restraint have all contributed to the rise of child poverty in Canada and the increased depth of that poverty. As a result, schools have had to grapple with how to educate hungry children. As a member of Campaign 2000, the Canadian School Boards Association has taken an active part, encouraging its members to develop programs, such as school lunches, to put children in a situation where they can concentrate on learning. While cuts to board funding in the name of cutting "administrative fat" have forced boards to cut or scale down their efforts, the attention focused on child poverty has prompted a number of provinces to fund community agencies that provide school meals. Thus, since September 1996, the government of Ontario has supported the work of the Canadian Living Foundation, which provides at least one nutritious school meal a day in poor areas. Similarly, the government of Newfoundland works with private agencies to deliver a non-stigmatizing lunch program in low-income areas. The government of New Brunswick has extended the "healthy minds" breakfast project, which was started as a pilot project in two districts, to all children from kindergarten to Grade 3. British Columbia's Social Equity Fund includes a component that funds lunch programs for all children attending schools in lowincome areas. A recent report prepared for the federal government, however, raised questions about the adequacy of school-based feeding programs and recommended that the federal government focus instead on strengthening income and food security policies.120
Literacy In the knowledge-based economy, those who are functionally illiterate are very likely to be poor. Accordingly, the federal government has encouraged the provinces to develop literacy programs121 (see Table 23 for a summary of provincial literacy initiatives). Several of these clearly include extra efforts to help those who are having difficulty reading while they are still in school. These tend to focus on the early years, from kindergarten to Grades 2 or 3.122 The British Columbia government has entered into a partnership with Orca Bay Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Vancouver Canucks hockey team and the Vancouver Grizzlies basketball team. Its "Champions Stay in School" program focuses on children in Grades 1 to 4. There is, however, also some recognition that it is not too late to help those who are struggling in higher grades. Thus, in March 2000, the Ontario government announced $25 million in funding to help students in Grades 7 to 10 who are struggling with mathematics or reading, while the Newfoundland high school curriculum includes a special course for those who need extra help. Special Education The development of special education originated as part of the broader trend to "de-institutionalization." It aimed to include those who had previously been educated in special institutions (i.e., those with severe hearing, vision or cognitive impairments) as full participants in the regular school system. Special education has grown, however, to encompass a much broader set of learning challenges. It now encompasses children with emotional impairment, learning disabilities like dyslexia and attention deficit disorder, communication disorders, and various health-related problems, as well as those who are exceptionally gifted. Meaningful inclusion requires appropriate supports, however. As a 1997 Alberta task force noted, "without these supports, inclusion becomes no more than warehousing."123 This may mean hiring special teaching assistants for support in the regular classroom; special education teachers for extra work with the students in small classes; and occasionally the establishment and staffing of segregated settings.
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This is an area that has grown substantially right across the country, albeit unevenly across and within provinces. The demand for equity has prompted the move to develop provincial standards. Unfortunately, this has been happening in an era of sharp fiscal restraint and accompanied by debates about who should be included among the exceptional, how their integration is to be supported, and the extent of the efforts that the public system can reasonably be expected to make. As part of its broader move to assert control over the provincial system, the Ontario government has instituted a new funding formula. This includes two funds: a general "special education" fund for those with relatively common problems and a second fund tied directly to the child, for those with more severe problems.124 The recent British Columbia task force recommends, inter alia, a similar approach.125 This sort of distinction is understandable, but it is also important to bear in mind the Newfoundland Ministerial panel's caveat: "There is a great deal of concern about real or perceived restrictions on the utilization of special education teachers in schools. Remedial help for students requiring such support was once provided by special education teachers. There will always be some students who will need extra support and it is incumbent upon schools and school districts to respond to that need through the creative use of their resources free from the restraints of paper definitions."126 Integrated School Services Many students have special needs that require access to other services. In a number of provinces, there are attempts to bring these services to where the children usually are the schools. In Prince Edward Island, the Departments of Health and Child and Family Services are cooperating with the school districts. For example, in the Eastern District, they will provide a youth worker for the district's "A+ Alternative School;"127 parenting workshops for various intermediate and alternative schools; community outreach to address issues of chronic absenteeism; as well as interagency school support teams at the elementary and intermediate levels. In Alberta, the Ministry of Learning is working with Children's Services and Health and Wellness on a
student health initiative through which students will receive services such as speech therapy and counselling. Child and Family Services, Health, and Education in New Brunswick are working to develop the protocols necessary to improve onsite access to key professional services such as social workers, nurses and psychiatrists,128 while Manitoba's 2000 budget made special provision for financing public health nurses associated with schools. The leader in the development of "integrated school services" as a matter of provincial policy, however, is Saskatchewan. A component of that province's Action Plan for Children, the program reflects a "population health" perspective. Because its philosophy so clearly expresses an important line of thinking in this area and others relevant to school-aged children, it is worth quoting at length. The program is based on the following premises: · High numbers (30 to 40 percent) of children and families face poverty, family breakdown, violence, child neglect and abuse, and sexual or substance abuse ... [which] make it hard for children to learn and develop into caring, competent, and contributing adults; · Factors placing children and their families at risk of failure are interrelated. Often several factors affect one child or family.... No single group or individual can address all the needs of any one family or child; · The demand for human services is increasing and today's resources are limited.... Services providers must work together; · Part of the job of school is to prepare children for life. Actions taken early ... will help to reduce the risks and disadvantages experienced later in life. Every dollar spent on prevention has been shown to save six to seven dollars later on, in areas like social assistance, remedial education and losses to crime.129 The programs themselves vary, reflecting the needs of the particular communities and schools in which they are located. The Saskatchewan version of school-linked services, like its "community schools" program discussed above, takes a broad, community development approach. Unfortunately, both programs currently apply only to elementary schools.
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It is not only in Saskatchewan that provincial policies exist to strengthen links between schools and communities, however. For example, as part of its recently announced program to help students in difficulty, the Quebec government is encouraging municipalities to work with schools to develop after-school recreation programs, using school facilities. British Columbia's Social Equity Fund includes a component for children and youth at risk that can be used for counselling, enrichment (e.g., museum trips, swimming lessons), or coordinators for a parent room to organize clothing exchanges, cooking programs, and book buying cooperatives. British Columbia also has a "community schools" program that allows designated schools to hire a coordinator whose task it is to develop partnerships with the community. Computer courses, evening sports programs, and ethnic community newsletters are just a few of the activities that such partnerships support. For the most part, these programs target schools located in low-income communities although the Saskatchewan and British Columbia programs are universal in the sense that they include all children attending the schools receiving such extra support. The assumption is that middle- and upper-income communities have the "social capital" to organize their own activities or can afford to pay for them. It is interesting to note the conclusions that the Saskatchewan task force drew from its consultation with the public, however. While recognizing that the province cannot finance "community schools" programs to the full extent in all schools,130 it recommended that the community school philosophy be extended throughout the system. The rationale was that it is not only low-income neighbourhoods that lack the resources time as well as money needed to enable children to learn. After-school Care Schools occupy an important part of the child's day, but by no means all of it, and there is often a significant gap between official school hours and parents' work hours that has given rise to concerns about "latch-key" children. An early study found that about one-fifth of Canadian children had to rely on such arrangements. The majority of these (71 percent) were aged 10 to 12 years and the con-
centration in this age group appears to have persisted into the 1990s.131 While teenagers are considered mature enough to provide self-care, there are concerns that those aged 10 to 12 are more vulnerable to peer pressure when left completely without adult supervision. In some provinces, there are special programs designed to attract this age group in Ontario, "Ten Plus" and, in Quebec, "Club 6-12." Such programs put more emphasis on independence and provide space and time to complete homework. Jacobs et al. report on the diverse set of arrangements, including provincial licensing and regulation, that may be available for after-school care from informal arrangements with neighbours, through regulated family child care, to municipal programs or child care centres, with the latter often located in schools. One of the factors determining access to good quality child care arrangements for school-age children is cost. The federal government's Child Care Expense Deduction allows parents to deduct child care expenses up to a maximum of $4,000 per year for children between the ages of 7 and 13. Most provincial programs target low-income families or those with special needs (see Tables 3 and 4). Quebec schools, however, provide before- and after-school care programs for all children at $5 a day. British Columbia's new child care program, which specifically targets school-aged children, looks as if it also aims to be encompassing. British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Quebec also have family leave programs giving employees the right to unpaid leave to care for children too sick to go to school (see Box 1). 2.6 Governing Schools School governance has three aspects. The first involves governance in the sense of efforts to establish order and self-discipline at the school level. Here we will look at contrasting approaches to securing "safe schools." The second involves the relationship between the province and the schools, which is normally mediated by elected boards responsible for a wider district.132 As we shall see, changing provincial-local relations illustrate the point that effective provincial fiscal control involves more than decisions by ministers of finance. Legislated entitlements and administrative arrangements
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also have to be considered. Finally, governance has to do with who is involved in and who is excluded from making changes to the school system. Here again we will look at contrasting approaches. Safe Schools As we shall see below in the discussion of the nexus between social and justice policy for schoolaged children, there has been considerable attention paid to youth violence (for a summary of provincial anti-violence initiatives, see Table 21). The latter is often linked to debates about child prostitution, youth gangs and the abuse of drugs and alcohol as well as crime against property or persons. Opinion generally is divided between those who feel it is necessary to "crack down" on the perpetrators of such behaviour and those who stress prevention through education and rehabilitation. The recently introduced program in Ontario provides a clear example of the first. In many respects, the task force set up after the fatal shooting at the high school in Taber, Alberta, argues for the second approach,133 but it is British Columbia's program that has already begun to implement it. In British Columbia, the Ministry of Education has worked with the Attorney General (also responsible for immigration and multiculturalism), the Ministry of Women's Equality and the Ministry of Children and Families to develop a broad approach. At the core is the Safe Schools Centre, whose role it is to act as a comprehensive source of information, training, resource materials and examples of best practices. It produces Safe Schools kits for all schools in the province. Each district has a Safe Schools contact to link with others across the province working on this set of issues and there are regional Safe Schools training sessions. The program stresses age-appropriate education. For elementary students, the emphasis is on reducing bullying, for example. In areas where there are community schools, there are programs like "Nights Alive," which provide alternative recreational and cultural activities for local youth. There is also a strong effort to combat racism and homophobia. The new "Safe Schools" legislation of the Ontario government stands in marked contrast to British
Columbia's approach. The core is a new provincial code of conduct that is to be observed in all schools. Mandatory consequences are spelled out for each level of infraction. Police may be involved and the student will proceed to expulsion for a variety of infractions. While these include potentially serious acts, the degree of seriousness (e.g., sexual assault) is not spelled out.134 Immediate suspension is stated as the minimum penalty for the possession of illegal drugs and acts of vandalism, while a student is to be immediately suspended for swearing at a teacher or for being in possession or under the influence of alcohol. The legislation gives teachers the authority to suspend students for one day and principals the authority to expel students for up to one year. Expelled students must attend "a strict discipline or equivalent program" in order to reenter the regular system. In addition, the opening or closing exercises in schools must include the singing of O Canada and may include recitation of a pledge of citizenship. Dress codes and uniforms may also be imposed if the majority of parents so decide. British Columbia's and Ontario's programs clearly represent contrasting attitudes toward youth, understandings of the root causes of violent or threatening behaviour,135 and the methods chosen to address these issues. These approaches also differ in their stance toward local boards. In the first instance, the province's role is that of facilitator providing core resource materials and organizing a network of "safe schools" specialists, which stretches across the province. In the second, the province imposes a code of conduct and set of penalties, which local boards are directed to implement.136 This takes us to our second governance issue provinciallocal relations. Provincial Departments of Education and Local School Boards: The Changing Balance In the 1990s, the dominant trend was the assertion of greater provincial control over local entities,137 prompted in no small part by the desire to control one of the provincial governments' largest expenditure areas. As late as 1992, the typical financial arrangement saw the province covering
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60 percent of local expenditures with local property taxes covering the rest (see Table 16 for more on funding). In Saskatchewan and, to a lesser extent, Manitoba local boards continue to account for a significant share of revenue, while local taxes account for 10 to 20 percent of revenues in Quebec and Nova Scotia.138 Everywhere else, the province has gained complete control of school financing.139 Except for Saskatchewan and Manitoba, where boards retain substantial fiscal capacity, virtually every province has engineered board mergers, in the name of fiscal restraint and administrative efficiency.140 In New Brunswick, local boards were abolished entirely in 1996, and replaced by tiers of parent councils; Nova Scotia seems to be headed in the same direction.141 See Table 15 for a description of these trends and for current board numbers. School Councils These moves to consolidate boards have often been accompanied by the establishment of local school councils, made up of principals, teachers, parents and possibly community members, with parents in the majority142 (see Table 17). There is some suggestion that such boards are effective instruments of community (or parent) democracy only in upper-middle-class schools.143 Questions can also be raised about the democratic character of their electoral base, as the current New Brunswick government's promise to re-institute "locally and publicly elected" councils suggests.144 The intention was to give parents a greater say in the governance of the schools attended by their children. As the New Brunswick experience suggests, however, a system built on school councils is not an adequate substitute for locally elected bodies that are able to place the concerns of particular schools in a wider community context. Most jurisdictions have sought to address this problem by limiting the powers of school councils to advising the principal and locally elected boards. This has entailed its own frustrations for those involved, however. Quebec's system offers insights into how a new system might be devised. There, the school coun-
cils have significant powers. They can modify the balance in the curriculum, in line with the aim of introducing greater diversity, as discussed above. Thus they can decide to put greater emphasis on certain parts of the curriculum (arts or science, for instance) or to develop special programs for the gifted. The board continues to have the power to name school principals, but the school councils can determine the selection criteria. The boards also have to consult councils on school closures and transportation, as well as the school calendar year. At the same time, the boards retain ultimate responsibility for the overall process and are empowered to develop board-wide measures of achievement, including areas not assessed by the ministry. Moreover, the board is responsible for ensuring an equitable distribution of resources among schools, taking into account the socio-economic status of the communities they serve. The criteria they use in meeting this requirement have to be publicly stated. Reform from Above or Participation by All Stakeholders? This discussion of changes in governing structures raises the wider question of who decides what changes are necessary and how they will be implemented. Here, there is an important contrast between provincial governments that have viewed teachers' associations, school board trustees and dissenting parent and citizen groups as "special interests" whose "particularistic" views stand in the way of change, and governments who have sought to involve all stakeholders. Manitoba's curriculum changes of the mid-1990s and the series of reforms launched by the Ontario government constitute examples of the first; the reform processes in British Columbia and Quebec, the second. Both of the latter provinces have developed consultative processes that permitted the involvement of all actors in the process of change. The difference cannot be reduced to party label. The Conservative government of Alberta is involving all stakeholders in the development of its vision statement and agenda for public education, while the Liberal government of Newfoundland has exhibited a similar concern.
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3 Healthy, Safe and Secure
Clearly, schools are very important for children between the ages of 6 and 15, and education expenditures account for the greater part of public support for the development of children of this age group. Yet there are other areas of public policy whose contribution is just as vital. Economic security, normally to be found within the folds of a family, constitutes a crucial enabling condition for positive outcomes in school and beyond. As Stroick and Jenson note, "adequate family income is needed to meet the physical needs of children for food, shelter and clothing. Beyond these basic needs, however, adequate income is needed to promote the social development of children by including them in community life, nurturing their talents, and ensuring they can participate with their peers in healthy and stimulating activities."145 It was during the 19th century that the provinces began to develop programs for assisting families living in poverty, often inspired, albeit in quite different ways, by the British Poor Law. During the Second World War and in its aftermath, Canada developed a number of important mechanisms for attenuating the economic insecurity that derived from the ups and downs of the market as well as that due to illness or injury sustained by breadwinners. In recent years, that social security network has been weakened, and important changes have been introduced to the social assistance regime, even while the labour market has generated increasing income polarization and widening employment insecurity.
Children also have distinctive health needs. Children are particularly vulnerable to environmental hazards, due to their smaller size, their developmental needs and their behaviour. Children living in poverty are more likely than others to be exposed to environmental hazards, but all children are vulnerable. Thus there has been a fourfold increase in childhood asthma over the last 20 years. As a Canadian Institute of Child Health study suggests, "while there is a debate over the role of overdiagnosis in this increase, there are a number of international studies which suggest that changes in the environment may be contributing to this increase."146 In part because of their greater independence, older children and youth are also vulnerable to distinct forms of preventable injury. Finally, school-aged children also encounter age-specific mental health risks. Thus "the rates of behavioural and emotional problems for children aged 4 to 11 years are disturbingly high. Approximately one child in ten exhibited behaviour consistent with a hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder or an emotional disorder."147 Adolescents are more prone to depression, low self-esteem and, in the most severe cases, suicide. Schools can contribute to a child's healthy development by teaching healthy ways of living and by serving as a venue for certain health services, but even here, their ability to do so is a function less of school policy per se than of health policy. Many children also need after-school and holiday care in the form of access to quality recreation and cultural programs. Moreover, recreation and
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cultural programs have an importance for children beyond this. As various studies have shown, quality recreational and cultural activities can make a substantial contribution to physical and mental wellbeing. Children can acquire new skills including leadership abilities, learn better time use, and develop the self-esteem needed to handle other challenges that they do and will face. Yet the majority of Canadian children aged 6 to 11 report that they almost never participate in arts and cultural programs and over one-third almost never participate in supervised sports.148 Lack of money for fees or equipment, lack of parental time, or simply lack of access to suitable programs constitute barriers to participation, which public policy can help to ameliorate. Among the oldest components of the social policy system as it pertains to children and youth are child protection policies and special judicial arrangements for young people involved in criminal activity. Contemporary developments in these fields will determine whether the National Children's Agenda objective of protecting children from abuse, neglect, exploitation, and dangerous environments will indeed be met. This section looks at developments in all of these policy fields. As we shall see, all have been affected by over a decade of fiscal restraint. At the same time, however, the campaign against child poverty and the understanding of children's needs embedded in the population health perspective have encouraged governments to take new initiatives. 3.1 Freedom from Economic Insecurity The first social policies were those which targeted children living in poor families. Boychuk's important study, Patchworks of Purpose: The Development of Provincial Social Assistance Regimes in Canada, traces the divergent approaches developed in the early decades of the 20th century, based on a variety of assumptions about the respective roles of families, markets and states.149 Such differences persist to this day. From 1918, when the universal tax deduction was introduced, to the mid-
1980s, however, Canadian policies recognized that all families bore extra expenses while they were raising children and thus warranted some assistance. Over the years, a continuum of policies were developed, from universal family allowances to the Canada Assistance Plan, targeted at those most in need. This system of public support took time to develop and there were important setbacks along the way. The universal family allowance envisaged in the wartime Marsh report advocated the addition of a family allowance sufficient to cover all the extra costs linked to parenting, but Canada's Family Allowance program never came close to providing the level of support advocated by Marsh.150 Nonetheless, the family allowance program did acknowledge that all families warranted support while they raised children. In the 1960s, the Canada Assistance Plan (CAP) added federal support to the mothers' pension schemes adopted by the provinces and provided a number of other measures designed to supplement the resources of low-income families.151 In the 1970s, CAP was almost replaced by a new act that would have allowed a range of options, including federal contributions to programs that were universal in scope. Had this reform been implemented, child care subsidies could have been available to all.152 Since then, however, the federal government has gradually abandoned the principle of universal income supports for families with children. CAP was replaced by the Canada Health and Social Transfer, a block grant forcing child care to compete with high profile and expensive programs like health care. All provinces have maintained child care subsidies for low-income parents, as Table 3 shows, but in at least one province (Alberta), these subsidies do not apply to school-aged children. In the 1990s, both levels of government increased economic and other pressures on social assistance recipients to require them to find employment, in the name of "increased self-reliance" and employability. Tables 6, 7 and 9 provide a good overview of the range of measures that have been adopted. As we saw in Section 1, this policy shift occurred at a time when labour market developments were making it harder for both low- and
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middle-income families to make ends meet. High rates of unemployment, a significant increase in the share of temporary and self-employment, and changes to unemployment insurance regulations all contributed to heightened economic insecurity. Cuts to government transfers also contributed to deepening income inequality. Social Policy Renewal and the NCB The 1990s did not mark "the end of social policy" per se. There are certainly signs of social policy renewal, but the "renewal agenda" has distinct features. Not surprisingly, given the sustained campaign to end child poverty, the renewal process has focused on children, especially young children.153 The National Child Benefit (NCB), launched by the federal government in cooperation with the provinces and territories in 1998, can be considered the first component of the National Children's Agenda.154 The NCB also reflects certain broader themes of the renewal agenda. Thus its goals include efforts to move adults off social assistance through the provision of incentives to accept jobs, even if they are low paid. The National Child Benefit also aims to improve public sector efficiency by reducing overlap and duplication among different levels of government and by fostering interprovincial cooperation. The NCB is comprised of several elements, all of which reflect the trend toward increased targeting. The first is a tax credit (the Child Tax Benefit) for those with children under 18.155 More than 80 percent of Canadian families with children benefit, although the amounts are scaled back for those with family incomes over $30,004. The point where benefits begin to be reduced has been raised since 1998, but even the full benefit falls well short of the actual costs of child rearing. There is an additional supplement for low-income families but the full amount is only paid to those earning less than $21,214. The two together comprise the Canada Child Tax Benefit. A key development here is that the provinces are allowed to claw back from social assistance recipients an amount equivalent to the supplement and reinvest it in other child supports. The philosophy underlying this provision is to allow the provinces
to shift resources from "passive" social assistance to "active" measures. The latter can include preventive programs (e.g., early childhood intervention) as well as enriched incentives for leaving social assistance rolls. It is up to each province to decide how to use the fiscal room thus created. An important development here is that First Nations are granted the same control as the provinces and territories over the reinvestment component. Newfoundland and New Brunswick were the only provinces that initially decided not to exercise the clawback right. While the government of Manitoba recently moved to partially follow suit, Newfoundland has decided to claw back part of the supplement. Some provinces have added extra funds to the programs whereas others have simply reinvested the amount saved by not covering the cost of the full benefit for social assistance recipients. For instance, Saskatchewan and Ontario have invested about the same amount in programs for children, even though Ontario's population is roughly 10 times that of Saskatchewan's.156 Table 8 provides an overview of provincial child tax benefits for families with school-aged children; four provinces do not have such programs (Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Prince Edward Island). It should be noted that the NCB was adopted at a time when a number of provinces had cut or frozen social assistance levels. Ontario's Spring 2000
budget marked the fifth year in a row with no increase in social assistance benefit levels. In its spring 2000 budget, Nova Scotia reduced all social assistance rates to one level, although current recipients will be redcircled for one year. In their reinvestment strategies, moreover, most provinces have focused on younger children through early intervention and child care, and on special supplements to the lowest income families. Some provinces' reinvestments target parents who are making the transition to work and others include social assistance recipients as beneficiaries. Newfoundland, however, devoted some of its funds to regional networks for youth at risk,157 while Manitoba put some funds into a program for teen mothers. On the whole, however, pre-adolescent school-aged children seem to have been largely ignored, except to the extent that they benefit from the general family income supplements.
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Although Quebec chose not to participate in the NCB, it has its own set of programs. Like the other provinces, Quebec's policy includes a marked emphasis on getting parents off social assistance and into the labour force. Its family allowance scheme is also targeted to low-income families. The level of assistance provided comes closer to meeting basic needs, although it still falls below the level established for this by the Caledon Institute. In addition, in an effort to combat poverty among loneparent families, the amount provided varies with the number of adults in the home. Lone-parent families thus get more per child than two-parent families. Finally, Quebec's new "$5 a day" child care program not only combines "active" proemployment measures and "preventive" pro-child development approaches, a trend visible elsewhere, but it also marks an important reassertion of the principle of universality.158 Lone Parents As noted in Section 1, children living with one parent are especially vulnerable to child poverty in Canada. In a sense, this was earlier recognized by most provinces, which instituted "mothers' pensions" as a form of social assistance for lone mothers in the prewar era. With the Canada Assistance Plan, the federal government began to contribute directly to the support of lone mothers. In line with the current emphasis on self-reliance and employability, however, there are renewed efforts in all provinces to get lone mothers off social assistance and propel them into the labour market. In Alberta and Nova Scotia, lone parents on social assistance must begin seeking work when the child is six months old, whereas in British Columbia, Manitoba and Ontario, the requirement begins when the child reaches school age. The provinces are also going after "dead beat dads." All have "instituted machinery to enforce the financial contributions that non-custodial parents
make towards family income as part of the effort to reduce social assistance costs. Punishment for payment default has become increasingly more severe, with several provinces confiscating drivers' licenses."159 Table 14 provides an overview of these provincial programs. Social assistance payments
are reduced in proportion to the amount received from the non-custodial parent. Shelter Too? Another dimension of economic security is housing. As the Canadian Council on Social Development notes, "between 1991 and 1996, the percentage of renters in `core housing need' increased in all provinces but two. Overall the number of renters in core need increased by close to one-third ... over this period."160 The federal government has substantially reduced its involvement in social housing and provinces like Ontario have downloaded responsibility onto municipalities. The effects of the cuts are already apparent. Waiting lists for subsidized housing are several years in most provinces. In the Ottawa-Carleton area, for example, they range from five to seven years.161 Some provinces have, however, made housing part of their children's agenda. Thus Saskatchewan's Action Plan for Children sees adequate housing as fundamental to all families and communities. Accordingly, it has invested in improved housing in northern communities while its "Homes Now" program provides funds to renovate existing social housing. Through the Neighbourhood Home Ownership program, the province works with municipalities and community groups to provide financial assistance to help low-income families acquire and modify existing homes in selected inner-city neighbourhoods. There is also a neighbourhood development component that aims to help revitalize low-income neighbourhoods. Manitoba also has programs to revitalize older neighbourhoods, while the Winnipeg Development Agreement brings the federal, provincial and municipal governments together to repair and restore community facilities. Housing, and other measures to improve the environment in which families live, also formed an important component of Quebec's third Family Relations Action Plan. For the most part, however, the situation portrayed by Alberta's Task Force on Children at Risk holds for the rest of the country: "With a growing population, particularly in the major urban centres, there is a growing problem with availability of affordable housing....
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This is an issue that must be addressed in collaboration with municipalities and as part of their community planning processes."162 3.2 Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds Canadians have come to take special pride in their health care system. The latter was not developed overnight, however, nor is it immune to erosion. In 1942, the Heagerty Commission recommended compulsory government health insurance to be administered by the provinces, with federal contributions through grants-in-aid. Like a number of other important ideas in that era, however, the notion of universal health insurance was dropped in 1944 as the federal and provincial governments could not come to agreement. The elements of what we think of as Canada's health care policy were to come together more slowly. As federal-provincial relations improved in the late 1950s, a cost-sharing arrangement was worked out, first for hospital insurance. Then in the 1960s, circumstances proved ripe for the introduction of broader medical insurance.163 By the 1990s, this system seemed in increasing jeopardy. As fiscal restraint became a growing concern in the late 1970s, the federal government began to reduce its share of financing. In the 1980s, the federal government was careful to preserve enough leverage to ensure provincial compliance with the five principles of the Canada Health Act: universality, comprehensiveness, access to uniform terms and conditions, portability, and public administration. This leverage disappeared with the introduction of the Canada Health and Social Transfer fund in 1996, however. At that time, it looked as if federal funds would continue to decline, removing the federal government's fiscal lever. In turn, tightening financial constraints and rising demand unleashed provincial efforts to restructure their health care systems. Restructuring strategies include "a shift from institutionally-based care to community-based care, a reallocation of functions among health care personnel, a decentralization of decision-making to regional councils representing a variety of interests in the health field, and a broadening of focus to develop policies based on an understanding of
determinants of health beyond the health care delivery system."164 The financing agreement reached between the federal and provincial governments in the fall of 2000 is clearly in line with these principles.165 Health Care Restructuring and Services for Children and Youth These changes have clearly affected children and youth. Thus the turn to community- and familybased care, without providing adequate resources to support it, has made it difficult for families with disabled, sick or injured children to provide necessary home care without threatening family incomes. At the same time, however, many child-focused programs are being implemented through the new regional structures, often working with regional offices of other ministries and with non-governmental organizations. The reorganization of primary care is bringing physicians, public health nurses and other community services together, creating networks to serve primary care needs, including preventive care. In British Columbia, the Ministry for Children and Families is working with the Ministry of Health, providing public health and family support services through new regional health authorities. Services include education and referral services related to growth and development, communicable disease management, including immunization and health education, as well as counselling support for parents. Programs are accessible at health units, homes, schools, and child care centres. In Manitoba, neighbourhood health resource networks have been established to link community-based services. The 2000 federal-provincial agreement also stressed the importance of accelerating the incorporation of information technology into health care delivery. Provincial programs for children and youth clearly include this element. For instance, in Ontario, $4 million over two years is targeted at the development of an electronic child health network, or "eCHN." In partnership with IBM, the Hospital for Sick Children will develop a network linking hospitals, doctors, home care providers, and the like to provide children's health services. It is in the field of health policy, however, where the confluence of population health studies and the
HEALTHY, SAFE AND SECURE | 31
high profile of child poverty have meant a strong tendency within "healthy child" initiatives to focus on infants and very young children. Thus the only program in New Brunswick's 1991 children's agenda to be implemented was a program focused on early childhood intervention. A similar program constitutes one of the main initiatives launched under Nova Scotia's children's initiative. Prince Edward Island, Ontario and Manitoba also focus on healthy development in early childhood. Parenting programs focus on the early years, with little evidence of supports for the later years, even though parents of older children, especially teenagers, encounter new and important parenting challenges.166 The special problems of youth (aged 13 to 18) tend to receive more attention than their younger schoolage siblings, however, as a survey of health programs in Atlantic Canada found.167 Children with special needs and their families are also singled out for a certain amount of attention. In British Columbia, there are developmental services such as summer programs for deaf or blind children to help them maintain skills gained during the school year. The Ontario government has announced an additional $275,000 for respite care for families caring for sick children or those with major disabilities. It is also exploring the provision of comprehensive, integrated services for severely disabled children and youth through four pilot projects. In addition to respite services, "trained families" are available to work with birth families to provide care in the home. The Canada-Manitoba Awasis Agency was established to enable First Nations' children with complex, lifelong needs to return home and continue to receive appropriate care. Supports, however, fall well below needs. The Canadian Institute of Child Health underlines the message coming out of studies of families with children with special needs: "the proportion of parents with children with special needs reporting moderate and high tension (93%) as a consequence of juggling work, family and child care responsibilities is a matter of immediate concern."168 An area that is receiving growing attention is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAS/FAE).169 The three prairie provinces have taken the lead here, working to develop a common strategy to address FAS prevention and support.
Alberta has established FAS coordinating committees in each of its regional health authorities. Alberta Children's Services is also coordinating several projects including training child welfare professionals and foster parents on working with FAS children. The Ministry of Learning has developed an in-service teaching package for teachers working with children who exhibit FAS. In Manitoba, FAS preventive training is provided to health care workers, pediatricians, psychologists, social workers, and physicians in rural areas. In Winnipeg School Division 1, there is a specialized classroom for young children with FAS/FAE and there is a clinic for FAS in the northern city of Thompson. See Box 7 for more detail on preventive and remedial measures to deal with FAS. Measures to Contain Childhood Disease and Injury Even while the larger part of the health budget continues to go to financing curative services, there is also an increased emphasis on prevention. Respiratory problems like asthma are one of the major reasons for the hospitalization of younger school-aged children.170 The federal government, through the Laboratory Centre for Disease Control, launched its National Asthma Task Force in 1995, which took children as a population of special concern. Among other things, it has conducted a survey of asthma management practices and, based on the results, is disseminating asthma management guidelines. In its spring 2000 budget, the Ontario government included $4 million per annum to develop strategic directions addressing asthma prevention, education, clinical guidelines, treatment and control. Manitoba is another province that has targeted asthma for special attention, as well as diabetes, another disease that affects a significant number of children. These initiatives, however, need to be placed in relation to data showing a dramatic increase in childhood asthma over the last 20 years. There are also programs designed to prevent injury among children and youth. Through the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (CHIRPP), the federal government funds the collection and analysis of data on injuries and poisonings from the emergency departments of 6 general
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and 10 pediatric hospitals across Canada. The Childhood and Youth Division of Health Canada contributes to "safe and supportive environments" for children through the development of resources such as the "Safe Seasons" calendar, designed for broad dissemination, as well as through its product safety program. Six provinces have adopted graduated licensing systems for new drivers. Motor vehicle accident rates, a leading cause of injury-related death for youth, have dropped significantly in Ontario and Nova Scotia, where graduated licenses were first introduced.171 British Columbia has developed a comprehensive "injury prevention plan" for children and youth that involves cooperation across departmental lines and between government and non-governmental agencies at the provincial and community level.172 The prevention of health-related problems that adolescents are likely to encounter is another area where the provinces are active. Health Canada's "Quit 4 Life" antismoking kit, directed toward 13to 19-year-olds, has been widely distributed, and the new Web site version offers an opportunity for interactive engagement. British Columbia has been innovative too with its "Teen Tobacco Team" approach for helping adolescents "kick the nic" (see Table 20 for more detail on provincial anti-smoking initiatives). Drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders, and teen pregnancy are other issues receiving considerable attention from both levels of government.173 Health Canada produces the Canada Food Guide to Healthy Eating for 6- to 12-year-olds and, in cooperation with Quebec, it is updating current data on the food and nutrient intake of Canadian youth. Health Canada's Food Directorate has also worked with the Canadian School Boards Association to produce Anaphylaxis: A Handbook for School Boards. Box 8 provides a summary of provincial measures to promote healthy nutrition for school-aged children. The provinces have also developed a range of adolescent pregnancy prevention and support programs (see Table 19). Support is available in some provinces for teen parents though, in some cases, this comes with a compulsory element. In Ontario, for example, participation in the Learning, Earning and Parenting program is obligatory for 16- to 17year-old parents on social assistance who have not
finished secondary school.174 In New Brunswick, single parents under 18 who are on social assistance are required to take parenting courses. Schools remain the paramount means for disseminating information to youth through "lifestyles" classes and special campaigns. Yet there is some recognition that teenagers might prefer to protect their privacy by seeking counsel outside the school system. Thus Saskatchewan has established "Teen Wellness Centres" that provide "one-stop shopping" for access to resources on a broad range of health and lifestyle issues. Ontario's 55 community health centres provide counselling on body image, peer relationships, and healthy sexuality as well as programs for street youth and teen mothers. Unfortunately, these grant-supported nonprofit organizations are severely under-funded. Mental Health One of the key areas of contemporary concern is improved mental health services for children. The need for new investment in this area has been highlighted by numerous reports dating back to the 1980s. In 1986, Health and Welfare Canada published a landmark study, Achieving Health for All, the same year that the important Ontario Child Health Study appeared. In 1990, a federal working group on child and youth mental health services was established.175 There are child and youth mental health initiatives across the country. Much of this attention is focused on youth. Table 22 provides an overview of provincial initiatives focused on the prevention of youth suicide, while Box 9 indicates the kind of activities being undertaken to support the development of self-esteem. Alberta and British Columbia are using their regional health structures to deliver mental health programs, and health professionals are working with specialists from other agencies as well as nongovernmental organizations. In Prince Edward Island, a similar initiative grew from the work of a group in the one region that had a specialized child team. Prince Edward Island now has a special outreach team, supported by a multi-agency coordinating committee including Health, Education, and Justice as well as regional and community non-governmental
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organizations. In 1997, Manitoba's' Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) was established. It includes rural and northern community mental health workers for children and adolescents, working under the regional health authorities. There is also a Youth Suicide Information Centre. CAMHS is also involved in Youth Emergency Crisis Stabilization Services, an interdepartmental plan to deal with children and youth in crisis. The latter brings together Family Services, Health, Education and Training, Justice and non-governmental organizations to provide after-hours emergency and crisis services. Ontario's mental health reforms focus on community-based care. The recently announced injection of $8 million targeted at children and youth will, however, go to the opening of 30 new child and adolescent beds in 5 Toronto area hospitals. To provide new services for children and youth, some provinces have resorted to endowment mechanisms, using government funds to attract private sector money. Thus, to support the regional action plans being developed by the interdepartmental committees that are the progeny of Nova Scotia's "CAYAC" (Children and Youth Action Committee), the government established a $1 million Children's Futures Foundation to support its new child and adolescent mental health initiative. The aim here is to attract funding to support community-based mental health initiatives from the federal government, foundations and the private sector.176 Despite the new investment, there is a shortfall of financial and human resources for children's mental health. As the Alberta Task Force on Children at Risk observed: A Children's Mental Health Initiative is underway across government. However, this work is just beginning. The Task Force repeatedly heard concerns about children's mental health problems, high suicide rates, and the lack of effective community mental health programs for children and youth. This concern was echoed in the Children's Forum Report. The need for expanded community programs is a particular concern in smaller communities. There also is a serious shortage of trained professionals who are able to provide mental health programs and services to children and youth. These issues need to be addressed as an important priority for government.177
Nor is Alberta alone in recognizing the need for substantial investment in this area. The British Columbia Children's Commissioner has documented the inadequacy of children's mental health services in that province. In short, this is an area that is likely to remain on the agenda across the country. 3.3 Recreation From Welfare to Citizenship to Welfare? From Welfare to Citizenship In the decades prior to the Second World War, recreation played an important supplementary part in what was then a residualist welfare regime. Parks and recreation programs were mechanisms of social reform, often intended for poor and frequently immigrant children and youth who might otherwise "come to no good."178 Voluntary organizations, like the National Council of Women, were a crucial force behind the "reform park movement," but they increasingly looked to municipal governments to finance and run the programs. The role of public recreation policy began to change with the development of social citizenship rights in the postwar period. With this came the involvement of other levels of government. During the 1940s, the key reports that began to lay out a new understanding of citizenship rights notably the Marsh and Heagerty reports emphasized the importance of physical fitness as a component of these rights. In 1943, the National Physical Fitness Act was passed. While the latter never became fully operational, its passage stimulated provincial governments to act. For example, to get access to federal money on a cost-sharing basis, the Ontario government passed the Physical Fitness and Recreation Act in 1945. In 1948, the new Community Programs Branch assumed responsibility for training and financial assistance to sports associations, as well as for providing direct grants to municipalities. Provincial funding grew substantially, tripling between 1947 and 1956, and it tripled again over the next decade. With this, recreational policy assumed a new profile: "The `social welfare' view of recreational activities became less important in the post-war period where
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the basic model became one of providing services to a rapidly expanding population. Citizens were seen as having the right to recreational services."179 Federal support for the provinces and for sport and recreation associations began to increase with the passage of the 1961 Act to Encourage Fitness and Amateur Sport. Federal funding for both elite and amateur sport and recreation more than tripled between 1970 and 1976.180 This stemmed, in part, from the first attempt to incorporate a population health perspective into Canadian health policy the Lalonde reforms of the 1970s that included the "ParticipACTION" program designed to increase the physical activity levels of all Canadians. Funding continued to grow into the early 1980s, in response to the push for equity that saw the development of programs designed to increase the role of women and persons with disabilities in sport and other physical activities.181 In the mid-1980s, however, funding for amateur sport and recreation levelled off and then began to drop.182 In 1990, subsidies to 19 recreation organizations were halved and pressures to seek funding from other sources continued throughout the decade from both federal and provincial governments.183 The ParticipACTION program ended in 2000. As in other policy areas, the cuts have been felt unevenly. For instance, a recent survey of recreational opportunities for children and youth in Ontario shows that over 35 percent of younger children (aged 6 to 9) attended a summer day camp. There were, however, important class differences only 10 percent of children in households with incomes of less than $20,000 participated.184 The same class pattern holds for organized sports activities and non-physical group recreation. This is consistent with other research that shows a marked class bias in terms of access to both sport and arts activities.185 Thus a major study using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth found that "among children 5 to 15 years of age, living in a publicly-supported housing complex, the rates of participation in the arts and sports were much less than the rates of their middle-class peers. The differences were more marked if coached or supervised activities were considered."186 An earlier federal survey, which included focus groups of recreational administrators, parents and youth,
found that the cost of equipment, fees, transportation, and attitude work to reinforce a class (and racial) barrier.187 Back to Welfare Again? Cuts to social assistance, low minimum wage levels, and the like all make it harder for lowerincome children to purchase the equipment or arrange the transportation needed to participate in sports and other recreational activities.188 Cuts in federal and provincial support for recreation programs affect the fees that municipalities and sports and recreation associations have to charge. There are signs, however, that governments are prepared to make it easier for low-income children or children and youth "at risk" to participate in such activities. In other words, provincial recreation policy could be returning to the older residualist pattern: special programs for poor children, leaving other families to do what their market incomes and free time permit. Sometimes these projects mark a return to an earlier pattern in another way: they are partly financed by corporate and individual charitable contributions. There are numerous examples of programs targeted at children and youth at risk across the country. British Columbia's "Nights Alive" program promotes social and recreational activities in more than 60 communities as part of its community crime prevention effort. Under the guidance of police and community members, youth get involved in various activities and receive training in conflict resolution, peer mediation and life skills. As part of its social assistance plan, British Columbia pays camp fees for children from families receiving income support or disability benefits. Saskatchewan's Action Plan for Children includes a sport and recreation program targeted at youth at risk. The Department of Municipal Government works with various sport, cultural and recreation organizations to jointly fund 12 projects targeted to youth at risk. The aim is to provide "a place to develop self-esteem and an alternative to unhealthy behaviour."189 Both Saskatchewan and Manitoba have special programs in northern regions focused on Aboriginal youth. Local governments are also recognizing the potential of such programs. For example, the Toronto
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Task Force on Community Safety recently recommended that City Council "recognize the provision of high-quality accessible recreation for children, youth and families at risk of being victims and/or offenders as the top priority for programming at recreation centres."190 A recent survey of arts and heritage participation prepared for Heritage Canada showed that a strong majority over three-quarters of Canadians feel that learning about the arts and culture is important for all children.191 Clearly the schools remain one of the main sources of universal exposure. While cutbacks have had an adverse affect on arts programs in particular, in Quebec, Alberta, British Columbia and, most recently, New Brunswick, there are provincial programs designed to ensure that all children learn about the arts and their cultural heritage (see Box 11). As in sports, however, many of the innovative arts programs focus on disadvantaged inner-city youth. Thus Manitoba's "Children First" plan included funding for innovative cultural programs targeted at youth at risk. DepARTures, a partnership of Winnipeg School Division 1 and the St. Norberts Arts and Culture Centre engages inner-city youth in various art practices, while the Royal Winnipeg Ballet is working with the Magnus Eliason Recreation Centre to offer a weekly recreational jazz program for children aged 7 to 12. Programs like these are important. The difficulty arises when they (along with programs targeted at elite athletes and artists) become the main focus of government spending in this area. As Offord et al. argue, "enriched universal programs are needed where all children are offered the activities.... In addition, targetted programs are required to reach subgroups of children with particularly low participation rates, for example, poor children."192 Moreover, this emphasis on a continuum of programs, consistent with the postwar conception of access to quality recreation as a citizen right, is consistent with a population health perspective. The latter still glimmers through federal and provincial policies on "Active Living," which aim to improve the population's activity level by 10 percent193 (see Box 10 for information on provincial "active living" programs). It is not difficult to envisage what is needed. Thus a Nova Scotia roundtable found that raising activity
levels required building more and better environmental supports, like bike lanes and green space, involvement of youth in planning activities, as well as making community and school programs cheaper to remove economic barriers to participation.194 Yet it is precisely this part of the sports and recreation budget that has been hardest hit by government cuts.195 The renewed interest in the therapeutic value of sport and recreation goes hand in hand with the introduction of forms of financing that hark back to the earlier era. In fact, since the 1980s, the federal and several provincial governments have sought to compensate for reduced government funding by inducing voluntary organizations to raise money from private sources, much as they had to in the prewar era.196 A recent example is the $5 million Endowment for Youth and Children in Recreation announced as part of Ontario's 1999 budget.197 The latter is viewed as a partnership with community organizations whereby the government will match, on a dollar for dollar basis, private donations raised by the foundations between 1999 and March 2002. Projects might include assisting youth from lowincome families to participate in a hockey league, helping to develop ways to subsidize participation in a community arts program, or integration of children with special needs into a community day camp. Perhaps the most striking gap is in programs to support parent-teen communication in families. There has been a lot of public interest expressed in parenting programs for very young children, but there is no parallel for the older years. According to one recent survey, youth tend to turn as much to peers as to family to help them cope with problems.198 This reflects in part the increasing autonomy that is part of growing up. Yet the process of learning to be autonomous is not always a smooth one. It is also at this time that youth face a number of new challenges including their developing sexual identities and are also most likely to experience self-doubt, even depression. As the Canadian Institute for Child Health concludes, "given the importance of parenting and family life to the mental health and well-being of children and youth, appropriate social supports, services and resources must be widely available."199
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3.4 Child Protection Domestic abuse, an important factor inhibiting the healthy development of children and youth, appears to be a significant, even growing, problem in Canada.200 The Family Violence Prevention Unit of Health Canada coordinates the federal family antiviolence initiative and Health Canada also operates the National Clearinghouse on Family Violence. Child protection, however, has long been an area of provincial responsibility. One of the first acts directed at protecting children from domestic abuse and neglect was Ontario's Child Protection Act of 1893, which gave the government the authority to remove children from abusive situations.201 In many respects, the system established then prevails today. The Children's Aid Society was given the authority "to apprehend children, supervise them in the children's shelter, and carry the prerogatives of legal guardians for the children committed to their care by the court. There were provisions for Children's Visiting Committees to select foster homes, visit children in the foster home placements, remove children from one home and place them in another if it was found necessary."202 Interaction of courts, social workers and foster parents remain a core feature of the child protection system. Saskatchewan, Manitoba, British Columbia and Alberta have all established Children's Advocates, whose role it is to represent the rights, interests and viewpoints of children involved in the child protection system (see Table 11 for a complete list of provincial measures along these lines). Current policies put more emphasis on prevention through the acquisition of positive parenting skills. Nevertheless, the 1990s saw a marked growth in the number of children taken into protective custody. There have also been initiatives to counter the sexual abuse of children and youth. Developments in Child Protection Legislation: The Saskatchewan Case Developments in Saskatchewan exemplify the kind of changes that have been taking place.203 In 1988, a review led to: (1) the development of a new training package for foster care providers; (2) introduction of a skill development fee to recognize
completion of training; (3) a new classification of foster homes linked to training and skills required; and (4) the development of a child abuse protocol, providing provincial guidelines for conducting joint investigations into child abuse by social services, justice, health and the schools. In the 1990s, support was increased through the introduction of a policy of respite and counselling for foster families, and two new positions with the Saskatchewan Foster Families Association were funded to strengthen the working relationship between the department and foster families. A new training plan introduced in 2000 included specific skills, such as working with FAS/FAE children. Important steps were taken to recognizing the special status of Aboriginal peoples. In 1990, the Child and Family Services Act was proclaimed, recognizing the importance of connecting Aboriginal children with their culture. This was followed in 1993 by the development of First Nations Child and Family Service Agencies. Agreement was reached such that First Nations children are not placed for adoption without the agreement of the child's Band. In 1998, a new modular training program was produced, aimed particularly at staff from Indian Child and Family Services (ICFS). That same year, a case transfer protocol was signed between the department and ICFS, which became the agency responsible for case management. There were also important steps toward a more preventive and restorative approach. The concept of "time limited services" was introduced with the new act in 1990. In 1993, a "family connections" program was developed to reconnect permanent wards of the state with family. A new "family centred case management" approach is aimed at producing assessments that achieve a better balance between the strengths and risks found in families. It was also in 1993 that Saskatchewan adopted its Action Plan for Children, which sets out a coordinated, multi-pronged approach to child welfare in the broadest sense, reflecting ideas underlying a population health perspective. In 1999, an interdepartmental committee on "integrated case management" was established to facilitate the development of a multidisciplinary approach. Finally, in 1994, the Office of the Children's Advocate was established.
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Similar developments can be found in other provinces. As we shall see in Section 4, in different ways and to differing degrees, most provinces have moved toward an integrated approach to child services. At the micro level, this is reflected in the adoption of new techniques for developing individual case plans, such as the British pioneered "Looking After Children" method currently being tried in British Columbia.204 The special status of Canada's Aboriginal peoples is also increasingly being recognized across Canada. Thus in 1995 in New Brunswick, Native Child and Family Services was created to ensure that Aboriginal children have access to culturally sensitive services. In 1996, British Columbia revamped its old children's services legislation to recognize the importance of an Aboriginal child's cultural identity and, in 1999, it began to implement its new strategic plan for Aboriginal services. Manitoba has similarly moved to acknowledge the special position of Aboriginal communities, both on and off reserve. There is also an effort to try to strengthen families so that taking the child into custody is not necessary and to make it possible to return the child to the family. Yet the number of children in custody rose throughout the 1990s. As the Canadian Council on Social Development notes, this reflects "heightened public awareness about the seriousness of child abuse and neglect, stronger legislation, and worsening conditions among the poor."205 Child Prostitution While taking children into custody to protect them from abusive situations within families is a longstanding area of Canadian social policy, increased concern about the sexual abuse of children outside the family has led to new initiatives. One area is the sexual or other abuse of children involved in recreational and other activities outside the home. For example, the government of Manitoba has established a registry of child abusers, which all organizations involved with children can access. An important area of intervention, however, is around child and teen prostitution. Here the approach taken by the Alberta (and now British Columbia) govern-
ment might be contrasted with the original approach taken by the British Columbia government. Alberta has moved to treating child prostitution as a form of sexual abuse. Accordingly, authorities are allowed to take child prostitutes into protective custody and hold them for up to 72 hours. In other words, just as children may be taken into custody in order to protect them from abuse in the family, so too may children and youth engaged in prostitution be taken from the streets and placed in custody. When the courts struck down the legislation in July 2000, however, the judge cited the fact that children had no chance to answer the allegations. They were apprehended in searches without warrants, which were not subject to judicial review, and they were detained without being able to have the action judicially reviewed.206 British Columbia had taken quite a different, more preventive and educational approach. Its provincial prostitution unit developed Taking Care of Ourselves and Others, an educational tool aimed at preventing youth from considering life on the street, and Being Aware, Taking Care, a guide for parents, counsellors and others working with youth that emphasizes the dangers of street life. The unit also worked with community action teams that brought together service providers (policymakers, youth agencies, provincial and municipal government representatives, health units and school districts) to create prevention, education and social intervention strategies. Then, just before Alberta's law was struck down, British Columbia implemented its own version that went even further than Alberta's. In British Columbia, youth can be picked up and held not only for prostitution but also for drug abuse. Street Kids There are also visible differences in provincial attitudes toward "street kids." For example, in 1999, the Ontario government passed its "squeegee kids" legislation (the Safe Streets Act), giving police the power to arrest people "involved in aggressive panhandling and other kinds of aggressive solicitation, as well as squeegeeing." The disposal of objects like hypodermic syringes and needles in parks,
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schoolyards and other public spaces is also banned. The courts are able to impose fines up to a maximum of $1,000 for such activities or imprisonment for repeated offences. This approach is in marked contrast to that taken by the Quebec government. In Quebec, the emphasis is on: (1) helping families so that children are not forced to flee; (2) social housing, run by nonprofit organizations, with the support of the Ministry of Health and Social Services; (3) improved access to education and training for dropouts, located "where the kids are"; and (4) improved social and health services on the street, including a coordinated approach to combat addiction.207 In Newfoundland, too, a similar approach is being adopted by at least one of the newly formed Health and Community Service Boards. After consultation with local youth, the St. John's board has worked to develop residential programs in partnership with community groups. These consist of a constellation of apartments and youth-friendly boarding homes, offering life skills and other supports. A new youth services centre is also being developed.208 The recently released report of the Alberta Task Force on Children at Risk noted the need for a similar approach there, stating there are "housing problems for youth who, for whatever reason, are not able to remain with their families. Emergency shelter spaces are available, but no transitional housing. This often results in young people having to return to the street when they leave emergency shelters."209 3.5 Youth Justice Special judicial arrangements for "juvenile delinquents" are a longstanding feature of Canadian youth justice. J. J. Kelso, a founding father of the Ontario Children's Aid Society, was one of the main protagonists in establishing the principles of juvenile justice in Canada. The two key principles were separate procedures for youth and "a probation system which would supervise them in the community as opposed to dealing with them through institutions."210 In 1892, the federal Criminal Code was amended to indicate that judicial procedures for persons under 16 should take place separately from adult offenders. In 1894, the Dominion Youthful
Offenders Act was passed in an attempt to give that directive greater force. It was only with the passage of the Juvenile Delinquents Act of 1908, however, that these principles were really put into effect. From Juvenile Delinquents to Young Offenders While these two principles continue to inform the legislation that replaced the Juvenile Delinquents Act, that is, the Young Offenders Act of 1984 as well as the Youth Criminal Justice Act that was developed (although not passed) to replace it, there is an important difference in philosophy. For the former, "each child was to be treated not as a criminal, but as a misdirected and misguided child, and one needing aid, encouragement, help and assistance."211 In the subsequent legislation, this philosophy has been uneasily combined with two quite different ones: the "due process" model and the "crime control" model. The due process model assumes that youth are rational individuals who engage in crime of their own free will. To reduce crime, it must become less attractive. The crime control model is more concerned with the safety and well-being of the rest of the population than with treating the offender. The emphasis here is on longer sentences, aiming to reduce youth violence by keeping potential offenders off the street.212 The Juvenile Delinquents Act had come under criticism from law and order advocates and civil libertarians alike. For the former, the law was too soft to deter criminal activity. For the latter, the notion of the "child's best interest" too frequently meant that "getting into a correctional institution was often considered easier than getting out; once there, offenders were only released when probation officers and other prison officials judged that they had been rehabilitated."213 In addition "status offences," which might include "inappropriate" sexual relations or simply unruly behaviour, penalized youth for actions considered legal for adults. The Young Offenders Act attempted to respond to both sets of criticisms while retaining elements of the earlier welfare model. Thus a uniform maximum age (17) and minimum age (12, up from 7) for young offenders were established. Young offenders
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had the right to a lawyer and more stringent rules of evidence were introduced. Status offences were abolished and indeterminate sentences were replaced by a three-year maximum (later extended to five years). Publication or broadcasting of the names of those charged was prohibited. The Young Offenders Act has led to a higher rate of youth incarceration in Canada than in the United States214 but "law and order" lobbyists like the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime, which has close links to the Canadian Police Association, still wanted the law tightened.215 The change in the nature of partisan debate has also fuelled a broader change in the way youth are represented in public debate. As Alberta's Children's Advocate noted, "unfortunately we see evidence of a public attitude that seeks to get tough with young people. [The view is that] if they require help, they should receive it from their parents; if they break the law, they should be severely punished; if youth receive help, they must be polite and grateful."216 Youth Criminal Justice In 1999, the government introduced the Youth Criminal Justice Act to replace the Young Offenders Act. Although the new legislation died on the order books when the 2000 election was called, it is worth examining the kind of changes it sought to introduce. The Youth Criminal Justice Act clearly leaned more to the "due process" and "crime control" models. Custody was explicitly listed as a possible sentence where the young person failed to comply with previous non-custodial requirements such as the imposition of a curfew or the requirement to live at a particular address. Whereas the Young Offenders Act specified custody for offences involving serious personal injury, under the new act this was to be broadened to include situations involving substantial risk of causing bodily harm, although the degree of bodily harm was not specified. The age at which mandatory adult sentences are imposed was also to be lowered from 16 to 14. Finally, the Youth Criminal Justice Act sought to enlarge the group of "presumptive" offences by including any "serious violent offence" for which an adult could receive more than two years, if the young person has already been found guilty of two
previous violent offences.217 Publication of the name of the offender would have been permitted if adult sentencing were imposed for a presumptive offence or if the youth were considered dangerous and at large. At the same time, the Youth Criminal Justice Act included opportunities to use measures outside the court process and enabled the involvement of partners in providing support to the police. The latter could include family members, other professionals, the victim or other community agencies. Alternative Measures of Differing Kinds The federal Ministry of Justice and the Solicitor General's Office fund the National Strategy on Community Safety and Crime Prevention, run through the National Crime Prevention Centre. The latter takes a proactive, community-development approach.218 One of its strategic priorities is to target children and youth. Here it is recognized that child abuse and poor parenting contribute to youth crime and thus the programs include ways of supporting children and their families. It also aims to complement the recommendations of the Royal Commission
on Canada's Aboriginal Peoples by contributing to improvements in health, economic development and public safety. The Young Offenders Act, and the Youth Criminal Justice Act that was to succeed it, permitted variation in the kinds of measures adopted by the provinces to implement the law. Thus some provinces emphasize and strengthen the more punitive approaches sanctioned by the Act. For example, Ontario is extending Project Turnaround a strict discipline, secure custody facility that emphasizes work and study habits, and minimizes free or recreational time in order to facilitate behavioural change for young offenders to all youth centres and detention facilities operated by the province. It has expanded the number of Youth Justice Committees, which aim to hold young people accountable for their behaviour and to give the community and victims a voice in the justice system. In the spring of 2000, it introduced a Parental Responsibility Act to make it easier for those whose property is intentionally damaged, destroyed or stolen by a minor to recover a maximum of $6,000 from the parents through small claims court.
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In contrast, Quebec has developed "the most integrated system for dealing with the Young Offenders Act (YOA) of all the provinces. This involves multidisciplinary assessment and intervention teams operating in integrated social service centres [with] a common purpose rehabilitation. Where many provinces fail to deal with the sometimes contradictory goals of the YOA, Quebec has administratively ... applied a clear and concerted policy involving external diversion and a multidisciplinary treatment focus."219 In British Columbia, provincial grants have supported the establishment of "community accountability" programs in 46 communities. The latter emphasize restorative justice, by bringing young offenders together with those affected by their acts. The Gitksan and Wet'suwet'en people use "shame feasts" that draw on their traditions to reintegrate offenders. Saskatchewan's approach combines elements found in Quebec and British Columbia with the "get tough" approach favoured by Ontario and Alberta. Examples of the former are the special "community justice" workshops for First Nations communities. Jointly funded by the federal and provincial government, the options for community
justice services include public legal education, healing and sentencing circles, diversion, mediation, family group conferences and alternate dispute resolution. Saskatchewan's "get tough" approach focuses on the small proportion of young offenders who apparently commit the majority of youth crimes. Its Serious and Habitual Youth Offender Comprehensive Action Program includes the maintenance of comprehensive files and "enhanced, intensive, coordinated supervision and monitoring of chronic young offenders.220 The Young Offenders Act has thus clearly allowed for a range of approaches. The communityoriented approach taken by British Columbia and Quebec is the approach favoured by scholarly research. Yet in considering what is to be done, the words of the Mayor of Toronto's Task Force on Young Offenders bear repeating: "Unless governments recognize that there is a direct relationship between cuts to programs and services to young people and the rise in family stress and crime rates
among young people, we will continue to have problems. If we do not reinvest in the lives of our young people by providing the necessary supports, then we are doing a disservice to these young people, who are our future leaders."221
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4 Policies for School-aged Children Governance Issues
Governance has to do with ways of organizing the entire policy process. It thus involves more than simply governments: it includes a panoply of relationships among governments and other policy actors as well as between different levels of government. In times like these, when major changes are taking place in what governments do, modes of governance themselves become an issue. How governments do what they do, how they decide what to do (and what not to do), and their relationships with other policy actors become contested issues. Debates about and changes in modes of governance are important not only to policy wonks: they profoundly affect the quality of programs and services for children and youth. Three dimensions of changing modes of governance will be explored here. First, during the 1980s and 1990s, tightening fiscal constraints reverberated through the structure of intergovernmental relations, straining the complex system linking federal to provincial governments, and provincial to local governments. The conclusion of the Social Union Framework Agreement and the introduction of the National Children's Agenda offered an opportunity to reconstruct these arrangements, albeit one in which Quebec has chosen not to participate.222 Second, resource constraints have combined with the spread of the population health approach to place a new emphasis on policy integration and techniques of horizontal management.223 We shall thus examine the varied efforts to "break down the silos" of specialization. Finally, an increasingly visible democratic malaise and the new public administration paradigm's emphasis on
partnerships have prompted intensified efforts to consult the public and various stakeholders. There have also been experiments with new systems of advocacy for children too young to fully represent themselves, while many youth policy advocates have emphasized the importance of adolescents' participation in the formation of future citizens. 4.1 Breaking the Silos Many of the policy initiatives discussed in the previous sections have been part of broader plans focused on children, youth and families. All of the western provinces have developed child-centred agendas of varying breadth while Quebec has a welldeveloped family policy and an action plan for youth. In the summer of 2000, New Brunswick released a major report, Children Come First.224 One of its principal recommendations is for a broader, more proactive and integrated approach to the mistreatment of children and youth. Ontario, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island have more modest children's initiatives, but even these have required ongoing coordination of effort across departmental lines. Newfoundland did not adopt the plan for children and youth recommended by the Select Committee on Children's Interests.225 Nonetheless, under the aegis of the Strategic Social Plan of 1996, an important set of initiatives for school-aged and other children has been launched. All of these plans and visions are closely associated with still ongoing experiments with forms of
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governance that aim to break down departmental silos. The findings of a study of one American city's attempt at such integration nicely puts its finger on both why such efforts are necessary and the formidable barriers they encounter: The city provides an excellent array of services to youth that do much to meet the specific needs of youth (e.g., recreation, job training, education about risk factors). However, when viewed in light of current theoretical perspectives about risk factors facing youth, city programs and services are not organized in a fashion most likely to prove successful in mitigating these factors. Institutions tend to link problems with services. For example, they equate juvenile crime with the justice system (police and courts); teen pregnancy with welfare and health care; dropouts with alternative education programs; and unoccupied free time with the need for recreation. The problems of youth, however, are interrelated ... but the solutions proffered by bureaucrats ... are compartmentalized. The budgeting process which is based on competitive bidding among departments and compartmentalization of services best exemplifies the inherent contradiction between the interconnected nature of the problems of youth and the segregated organization for the delivery of services.226 In other words, the development of public administration in Canada, as elsewhere, has followed the now classic model of breaking problems up and "hiving" them off to specialized branches and departments. Professionalization in areas like health care, social work, education and justice further helped to seal these units off from one another. Although professional confidentiality rules address important citizen privacy concerns, they can constitute an important barrier in themselves. Budgetary and accountability processes further reinforce the silos. Now, however, policy approaches like population health, which make it clear that adequate solutions cannot be found within the silos, are combining with efforts to trim "administrative fat" to produce a growing interest in mechanisms to promote the effective coordination of policy development and service delivery. There is a range of techniques that the provinces have been experimenting with toward this end. The techniques vary in the degree of integration, ranging from more informal working
arrangements, through genuine collaboration involving joint planning and implementation, to full integration.227 Table 2 provides an overview of the current structures in place for integrating children's programs and services in all the provinces. Interdepartmental Committees at the Senior Executive Level Nova Scotia provides an example of a semiformal coordinating committee at the senior executive level, "CAYAC" (Child and Youth Action Committee). Formed in 1996, CAYAC brings together the Executive Directors (the equivalent of assistant deputy ministers) of Health, Justice, Community Services, Education and Culture, Sport and Recreation, and the Youth Secretariat. CAYAC grew out of the conviction that a more coordinated approach was necessary. Meeting weekly, CAYAC developed protocols for inter-service coordination at the delivery level and worked on a common mission statement. It has also been given responsibility for two initiatives mental health services for children and youth and Nova Scotia's early childhood intervention program.228 The latter provided money for hiring a coordinator in 1999 and CAYAC has secured further funding for regional coordinators. The strategy for managing the funds for the mental health program funnelling them through the lead ministry, Health reflects the understanding that such incentives are important to give key departments a sense of ownership. The participating units also take turns chairing CAYAC. Children and Youth Secretariats A second form is that of a small "children and youth" secretariat, often headed by a junior minister. New Brunswick experimented with two versions of this in the early 1990s. In 1989, a Minister of State for Childhood Services was established, with a small Office for Childhood Services located within the Department of Health and Community Services. An interdepartmental committee at the deputy minister level was established to facilitate greater coordination. The Minister and her team had developed a policy framework, Playing for Keeps! Improving our Children's Quality of Life in
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1991 and worked out the details of an early childhood intervention program when the Minister was promoted and the ministry abandoned. Then, in preparation for the United Nations' international year in 1994, a new Minister of State for the Family with a separate Family Policy Secretariat was established. The Minister chaired a Cabinet committee, which included Health and Community Services, Justice, Education, the Secretariat for Youth, Advanced Education and Labour, Municipalities, Culture and Housing, Human Resources Development, Status of Women, and the Solicitor General. The Minister and her Secretariat managed to produce a broad family policy framework, including measures to enhance economic security and to balance work and family, before the Minister was moved and the Secretariat disbanded.229 Manitoba's Child and Youth Secretariat exhibited greater durability. Established in 1994, the Secretariat aimed to coordinate children's services provided by Health, Education and Training, Family Services, Justice, Cultural Heritage and Citizenship, Native and Northern Affairs, Urban Affairs, and Housing. It had no budget or program responsibilities until the introduction of the National Child Benefit. Its Children First Plan, developed in 1997, remained modest in scale with a focus on early childhood intervention, FAS and adolescent pregnancy. The Secretariat was abolished by the government elected in 1999 and its programs were taken over by the Department of Family Services and Housing, which launched its "healthy child initiative" in 2000. The latter will be the joint responsibility of a new Cabinet committee, bringing together five ministries. Like CAYAC, but operating at the level of Cabinet as well as senior officials, the committee will attempt to secure the commitment of the participating departments by placing each in charge of the joint initiatives that fall especially within its area of jurisdiction. There were several attempts to improve coordination for children's services in Ontario. The Premier's Council on Health Strategy had a children and youth subcommittee that produced a framework for the healthy development of children and youth in 1994. Its report was released at a point when deficit control had become the government's number one priority, however. Within the bureaucracy, an Office
of Integrated Services for Children was created that reported to the Minister of Health and Community Services. In 1997, a junior Minister of Children was appointed, followed by the establishment of a small Children's Secretariat. The latter's main responsibility to date has been the implementation of Ontario's early childhood intervention strategy and the compilation of a directory of children's services. The Minister was also responsible for developing a coordinated approach to healthy child development. For the most part, however, lacking bargaining chips within the bureaucracy, the Minister's successes a mental health initiative and funds for the creation of a "Youth Reference Board" to advise the Minister have stemmed from the organization of public consultations, the results of which could then be used in Cabinet struggles. The re-establishment of the Cabinet policy committee system, which gives the Minister a seat on the health and education policy committees, may provide another avenue. Integration by Cabinet Committee The creation of an interdepartmental Cabinet committee jointly responsible for children and youth represents a third, more collaborative form. As we have seen, Manitoba has moved in this direction but it is Saskatchewan that pioneered this strategy. The first push for service coordination came in the late 1980s, from the previous government's Family Foundation. The NDP government disbanded the Foundation, but the 1991 Child Welfare League of Canada conference provided new impetus for a children's strategy. In 1993, the Interdepartmental Steering Committee
proposed its multi-focus Action Plan for Children.230 The Interdepartmental Steering Committee, which meets on a monthly basis, creates more focused working groups as needed. Its collaborative work is supported "from the outside" by the Saskatchewan Council, which we will hear more about below. Internally, it is supported by the Human Resources Integration Forum of Associate Deputy Ministers. Among other things, the Forum has developed an important "human services handbook" series to support service integration.231 The Steering Committee has secured $67.2 million to fund new initiatives since the Action Plan was first launched.
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Creation of a Ministry Responsible for Children, Youth and Families The fourth integrated form is that of a broad ministry responsible for many of the province's programs for children and youth. Quebec's Ministиre de la Famille et de l'Enfance, created in 1997, falls between this and the form chosen by Ontario (and earlier by Manitoba). It has more program responsibilities than the latter. It is in charge of the new province-wide network of child care services and the system of family allowances. Working with other key ministries, it developed the 1998-2001 Action Plan for Youth. It does not, however, have responsibility for health, education or justice. Alberta has experimented with a variety of forms from the Premier's Council in Support of Alberta's Families, to a Minister without Portfolio Responsible for Children's Services, to a Ministry of Children's Services, established in 1999. The latter combines the earlier ministerial responsibility with certain programs previously under the aegis of Family and Social Services. Its work is supported externally by the annual Children's Forum,232 while internally, the ministry shares responsibility for Alberta's children's plan with five other departments.233 British Columbia has taken this solution furthest to complete integration. Again it began by experimenting with other forms. Thus the Secretariat for Children and Youth, formed in 1991, worked with a committee of deputy ministers from eight ministries. It was responsible for supporting and implementing a series of pilot projects to test an integrated approach to service delivery. In 1996, however, all children's services except education and acute health care were merged to form the Ministry of Children and Families. The new ministry thus has direct responsibility for the provision of a broad range of services and disposes of a sizeable budget. It also works with other ministries on issues like anti-violence. In its 1998 report, the British Columbia Office of the Child, Youth and Family Advocate was able to conclude that the new ministry had established a solid legislative and policy foundation. It had yet, however, to provide the kind of financial and training supports needed at the local level.234 The report of the British Columbia
Children's Commission a year later, however, was more critical. It cautioned, moreover, that "the Ministry for Children and Families is not the entire child-serving system; having a ministry for children does not eliminate the need for ongoing integration and coordination. More efforts are needed by all ministries and agencies that provide services for children to coordinate their services with those of others, particularly at the local level, but also at the provincial level."235 In other words, no province has yet found the Holy Grail. 4.2 Rebuilding the Nests? As noted at the beginning of this study, children are "nested" in multiple environments the family, neighbourhood and workplace, school, and wider locality. Local spaces are in turn nested within larger provincial/territorial and federal jurisdictions. Social policy development has played an important part in constructing the links among these nests. Thus, in the 1950s, the federal government began to make equalization payments to enable the weaker provinces to provide comparable levels of public services at equitable levels of taxation. Similarly, concern to support the equitable development of social services provided one impetus behind the Canada Assistance Plan (CAP) of 1966. Those who framed CAP were aware of provincial inquiries that were redefining the relationship between provincial governments and municipalities, in recognition of the latter's inability to meet the growing demand for community services.236 One of these was New Brunswick's Byrne Commission. As a recent report notes: When this commission began its work in 1962, there was a tangle of federal-provincial-county council administration and payment for education, welfare, health care and justice. As demand for such services grew, so did the concern that some county councils could not finance them. According to the commission, the solution was for the Province to be responsible for general services, primarily services to people. These services included health, hospitals, welfare, education, municipal affairs and parts of the justice system (i.e., the courts). At the same time, these agencies would be administered through school and hospital boards in order to continue to have local input.
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Specific or local services ... would be operated by city, town and village councils with the assistance of local taxes on real property.237 While the province developed its grant system to ensure equitable service delivery, the federal government played its part through CAP and the equalization payment system. In Alberta, the Preventive Social Services Act of 1966 similarly established the basis for provincially funded but municipally delivered social services.238 The precise mix of public and private service provision has varied across the country and at different times, but Canada's nesting arrangements for children's policy have long included public support for services delivered by private providers, both nonprofit and commercial. Quebec's system provides an interesting example of this. Prior to the 1960s, Quebec's social services system was primarily organized by religious charities. The Boucher commission of the early 1960s was very critical of this system and strongly recommended the "reorganization of the social services through state planning and guidance."239 The government moved to implement this new relationship for schools in the 1960s and for the social service system in the 1970s, but it did so in a manner that included the burgeoning community groups, critical of both old fashioned charities and professionals. This blend is nicely reflected in the system of local centres for community services established in the 1970s, the "CLSCs" (Centres locaux de services communautaires). As Jenson argues, the CLSCs offer "an institutionalized expression of the communitarian progressive approach to health and social services, one that was suspicious of `medical' solutions, professionals, centralization and commercialization. Employing social animators as well as social workers and health care professionals, the CLCS has official responsibility for liaison with the voluntary sector and the community."240 Crisis and Renewal in Federal-Provincial Relations? The threads connecting the nests supporting children came under increasing strain as fiscal restraint acquired greater priority in the late 1970s. When CAP and the Established Payments Financing
Act were replaced with the Canada Health and Social Transfer, outright rupture seemed likely. The launching of the social policy renewal process and the associated National Children's Agenda hold the potential for rebuilding these nests. The National Child Benefit built on the earlier Child Tax Benefit, which marked the end of the old family allowance system. Yet the National Children's Agenda (NCA) holds the promise of restoring the principle of broadly based programs. As Phillips and Echenberg argue, "the goal of the NCA, which is to create a strategy that enhances the well-being of all Canadian children and their families, not simply the poorest, is somewhat at odds with these trends [toward increased targeting] because it presupposes both targeted and more broadly available programs and services."241 The federal government seems even more prepared than under the earlier system of social policy arrangements to allow the provinces to interpret the NCA in light of provincial priorities. Nevertheless, the Social Union Framework Agreement, signed in 1999, entails the commitment to services of comparable quality for all Canadians, irrespective of where they live. The Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ministers Council on Social Policy Renewal is the key forum for federal-provincial negotiation over the NCA. Within each government, structures have been developed for working out their strategies. In the federal government, the interdepartmental Assistant Deputy Minister's Working Group on Investing in Children plays a critical role.242 We have already looked at the quite varied mechanisms that the provinces have developed, and there is an equally wide array of new provincial-local arrangements. Changing Provincial-Local Relations In part, these new arrangements have been fuelled by a sense that earlier initiatives had resulted in too much centralization and standardization. In other words, there is a reaction against the "cookie cutter" or "one size fits all" model of social services. Accompanying this is an argument favouring devolution to the community as the level best placed to know its particular configuration of needs. At the same time, new provincial-local relations have also
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been motivated by the provinces' attempts to gain fiscal control. While this is understandable, at times these efforts have given rise to the concern that, under the guise of empowering communities, the provinces are simply offloading responsibility without an adequate transfer of resources to back these devolved responsibilities. In Ontario, provincial-municipal relations have undergone a major reorganization. The new relationship between the province and the school boards was discussed in Section 2. With regard to municipalities, the province initially planned to assume full provincial funding for child protection and women's shelters, while increasing the municipalities' share of social assistance from 20 to 50 percent. The municipalities were also to assume full responsibility for social housing and public health.243 Its administrative reforms involved the merger of 191 municipal social service departments and local municipal public health units to yield 47 new "consolidated municipal service managers." The latter will play a major role in organizing local children's services, including those contracted to third parties.244 The Children's Secretariat has acquired funds to hire community coordinators across the province whose role it will be to identify local services and gaps. It is unclear what their relationship will be to the municipal service managers. As we have seen, the province of Nova Scotia has moved to gain greater control over local school boards. At the same time that it moved to curtail the boards' autonomy, it allocated a place for AfroCanadian representatives, elected by Afro-Canadian electors, in each district. The government has also launched another round of reorganization of health governance. The earlier move to regionalization had come in for growing criticism. Citizens felt they had less input since the community hospitals were placed under the new Regional Health Boards, and there was a strong sense that regionalization was simply a way to make cuts. The Hamm government is creating a new system of District Health Authorities and Community Health Boards. Two-thirds of the members of the new District Health Authorities will be nominated by the Minister of Health based on nominations put forward by the Community Health Boards, and
one-third will be nominated by the Minister. If the District Health Authority does not implement a particular recommendation made by its Community Health Board, it will now need to explain why. To work with local health and other authorities, CAYAC is also developing a regional structure to promote the integration of children's services. The Cape Breton committee, which has substantial community involvement, has gone the furthest, but two of the other three regions are getting coordinators to help in developing local plans.245 Quebec established its system of CLCSs in the 1970s. Operating under Regional Coordinating Bodies, they continue to provide the main forum for coordinating local services for children and youth in Quebec. Parallel to its Regional Health Authorities, Alberta has developed a system of regional Child and Family Services Authority boards that now report to the Minister of Children's Services. The boards are entirely dependent on provincial funding and their members are appointed by the province. Appointees include Aboriginal co-chairs for each board. Concerns have been voiced over the appointment process and criticisms have also been levelled at funding and monitoring arrangements.246 The 1999 Alberta Children's Forum underlined the need to accelerate the integration of children's services, noting that "this has been a recurring issue in a number of consultations over the last few years; yet Forum participants felt that integration has a long way to go to make a difference."247 Newfoundland provides another example of regionalization. In addition to the newly streamlined system of non-denominational school boards, responsibility has been devolved to new Economic Development Boards, Health Institutes, and Health and Community Service Boards. Although Newfoundland does not have a formal "children's plan" as such, it has a strategic social plan that aims, inter alia, at local planning and delivery of services for children and youth. The Health and Community Service Boards will have the lead role here. Like Alberta, board members are appointed by the provincial government. This does not appear to have inhibited the move to client- and communitycentred service provision, however.248 Each board organized a consultative process, producing a local plan for spending funds allocated by the province.249
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The new structure facilitates local integration within the public health and social policy envelope. The question is whether the Health and Community Service Boards will work with the other local units to achieve the broad coordination required to really make a difference. Saskatchewan's school system remains relatively decentralized, but the province's new system of regional health bodies do not have revenue-raising capacity and are dependent on global budgets allocated by the province. Nevertheless, two-thirds of the regional council members are directly elected, which makes the new bodies a hybrid between central and local control. Social services remain relatively centralized. At the ground level, however, there are nine "RICs" (Regional Intersectoral Coordinating Committees). Funded by the six largest departments, the RICs initially brought together only local representatives of the provincial departments involved in the Children's Action Plan. Now, however, they include school districts, police, tribal councils and municipal representatives. Coordination among the RICs is achieved through biannual meetings where the regional co-chairs meet with the six assistant deputy ministers. The Interim Report of the Task Force and Public Dialogue on the Role of the School noted that substantial progress toward a more integrated model had been made but that further progress required a "paradigm shift" in strategy and resources. The report argued, "although there are project monies specifically targeted for the RICs to adjudicate, and although some cooperation has been achieved through their creation, over and above serving as a forum for communication, there is not a great deal of what could be termed `real collaboration' taking place. The RICs have made an excellent start; what is needed now is the impetus of resources and the mandate to propel the current structure into new levels of cooperation."250 The Saskatchewan example points to a connection or perhaps tension between efforts to break down departmental silos at the provincial or federal level and moves toward decentralization. This tension was noted by Gandy and Delaney in their now classic essay on challenges in moving toward human service integration.251 While pleading for genuine decentralization of responsibility for integrated service planning to the regional level, they
suggest that there is an inherent conflict between the two principles: "Decentralization implies the `flattening out' of organizational structure
s with an emphasis on greater sharing by more staff in the decision making process," whereas integration involves "the purposive assignment of power to a designated body commissioned to make a fundamental inquiry into the etiology of social problems, with the specific objective of reconceptualizing and aligning services and overcoming problems."252 In other words, one of the key issues is how to combine strong provincial support political, administrative, and financial for human service integration, while leaving locally elected bodies constructed along similar cross-departmental lines to decide local priorities and ways of realizing the new vision. New Relations with Aboriginal Peoples In addition to new federal-provincial and provincial-local government relations, important changes in relations with Aboriginal peoples are emerging after their decades of struggle for recognition. The 1996 report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples helped to frame the response.253 The Social Union Framework Agreement included a commitment on the part of the federal, provincial and territorial governments, to work with Aboriginal peoples whenever the implementation of the Agreement has implications for them. This was affirmed in December 1999, when the leaders of five national Aboriginal organizations met with the FederalProvincial-Territorial Ministerial Council on Social Policy Renewal and the ministers responsible for Aboriginal Affairs. The needs of Aboriginal children have also been recognized as a priority issue for the National Children's Agenda and their representatives are to be involved in developing the Agenda as it applies to Aboriginal children.254 The December 1999 meeting also endorsed the National Aboriginal Youth Strategy.255 4.3 Citizen Involvement and Giving "Voice" to Children and Youth A number of developments have fuelled efforts to work out new relationships between governments
POLICIES FOR SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN | 49
and the public, on the one hand, and, on the other, government service providers and the clients they serve. Here we will briefly examine several of the ways that governments have sought to involve the public and a broad range of stakeholders in setting priorities. Considerable attention has been paid recently to the development of new forms of "partnership" between governmental and nongovernmental actors. This is clearly an area of particular importance in the delivery and financing of services for children and thus will be addressed below. Second, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child played an important role in calling attention to the need for policies supportive of the full development of children's potential. The right to be heard also forms an important part of citizenship rights. For youth, this means providing opportunities to educate them about their rights. While programs like Heritage Canada's "Credo" on-line workshop on human rights are important, they are no substitute for participation in decision making, especially in areas of direct importance to them. Younger children have long been viewed as not mature enough to speak for themselves. Increased concern to protect their distinct interests has prompted the development of new mechanisms. Both forms of representation, designed to give children and youth a say in the system that is to serve them, will be discussed below. Youth Participation A number of provinces have, or have had, youth secretariats, which in a sense indirectly represent the interests of youth in government. Yet as the Saskatchewan Council argued, "youth at sixteen can drive; youth at eighteen can vote; many work part-time. Yet there are few opportunities for them to participate in important decisions that affect them, their families and communities."256 It is important to involve youth to foster their development as citizens. In Atlantic Canada, a recent study of government and community priorities for children and adolescents also identified youth empowerment as a key concern in all provinces.257 Youth participation is being addressed in a variety of ways. Youth are consulted by governments on issues as diverse as active living, teen smoking,
and anti-racism. There are also programs to develop youth leadership skills. For example, the federal government supports Canadian cadet organizations, Junior Canadian Rangers, and Open House Canada.258 British Columbia's anti-violence campaign has a "social justice leadership" project. The development of leadership skills is often an important component of recreation programs, not to mention student councils within schools. Certain provinces have set up regular vehicles for consulting youth. For instance, Ontario's Minister for Children recently persuaded Cabinet to fund a Youth Reference Board to advise her. The British Columbia Minister of Education has established a Teen Advisory Team to allow student leaders to advise the minister on issues important to teenagers. Team members will also be introduced to resources for youth in British Columbia communities and encouraged to share that knowledge in their schools. The representative character of such bodies is important. Networking Youth Nationally is an interesting project in this regard. Sponsored by Health Canada, this program provides a national forum for youth voices to be heard on mental health issues. In developing its board, Health Canada worked not only to get representatives from all provinces, territories and Aboriginal peoples, but also to ensure that new Canadians, street youth, and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered youth were represented.259 More is needed, however, than participation on boards. As the British Columbia Children's Commission noted, a consistent message from youth was "treat us with respect, ask our opinion, show us you care and it will make a world of difference to our future."260 Children and youth who are the target of various measures need to have an effective say about the way they are treated. Without this, even the best programs suffer from an inappropriate paternalism. In recognition of the fact that young people are forming the capacity to judge their own needs and interests, Section 9 of the British Columbia's Child and Family Services Act now requires the ministry to develop agreements with youth clients about their needs and how to meet them.261 Table 13 provides an overview of provincial practices regarding the rights of children to be heard
50 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
in custody cases. The Saskatchewan Council would like to see governments go further, setting an example by creating opportunities for participation in government programs, notably the variety of boards operating at the community, municipal and provincial levels that deal with questions of interest to youth. Many school advisory councils at the high school level do make provisions for student representation, but these remain isolated examples in the broader web of institutions dealing with youth. Representation of the Interests of the Child Provincial provisions for ensuring that the interests of the child are respected are summarized in Table 11. Nova Scotia relies on the office of the Ombudsman to deal with child advocacy issues. Ontario has both an Office of Child and Family Service Advocacy and a "children's lawyer" whose office delivers programs in the administration of justice on behalf of children with regard to their personal and property rights. Quebec's Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission (Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse) is responsible for protecting the interests of children and youth. A number of provinces have decided that stronger measures are needed. British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Manitoba have established official "children's advocates," independent officers whose task it is to promote the rights and voices of children. British Columbia also has the Children's Commission, operating out of the Attorney General's office.262 A good part of the advocates' job is to review the treatment of children in care, with the authority to speak on the child's behalf when important decisions are being made. Yet the advocates can also serve a broader "systemic" purpose. As the Alberta Children's Advocate put it, "it has been said that advocacy should bite the hand that feeds it or at least growl occasionally. While it is laudable that government, through the establishment and funding of a Children's Advocate Office, endorses the need for a voice for vulnerable people within the child welfare system, it also needs to take action to address identified problems."263 One of the instruments that the Advocate has is the publication of a frank annual report, which goes beyond a case re-
view to take up issues of the quality of services provided. Such reports provide the basis for critical public debate. Key questions here are the scope of the advocate's mandate and degree of autonomy, not only from departments responsible for child welfare services but also from the government of the day. Autonomy can be facilitated by having the advocate report directly to the legislature rather than through a ministry. Only the Saskatchewan Children's Advocate, however, reports directly to the Legislative Assembly. Evaluation and Responsible Governance This takes us to the broader question of "responsible governance." Over the last decade, government accountability has received increasing attention, in response both to fiscal austerity and broader democratic malaise. Accountability can be interpreted in a quite technical sense, somewhat akin to corporate annual reports to shareholders, replete with tables and charts measuring corporate performance. A concern to develop and utilize appropriate performance measures has formed part of the National Children's Agenda and the Early Childhood Development initiative. Thus, for instance, the First Ministers' communiquй on early childhood development promised "regular reports on outcome indicators of child well-being using an agreed upon set of common indicators." The communiquй went on to note, however, that "the purpose of performance measurement is for all governments to be accountable to their publics, not to each other."264 Performance measurement, in other words, forms part of the broader system of responsible governance and performance indicators are thus valuable to the extent that they contribute to informed public debate. Table 25 provides an overview of provincial policy evaluation processes. There is a clear link between a province's evaluation process and the institutions of governance discussed above. Thus we see the ministries for children and families playing a critical role in British Columbia and Quebec whereas, in Saskatchewan, the reports of the Children's Advocate are combined with an annual interdepartmental review of the Action Plan for Children. Clearly, Alberta has gone the furthest
POLICIES FOR SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN | 51
in incorporating performance indicators into its children's policy process. Not only are the regional Child and Family Services Authorities required to use these to measure their progress in meeting the goals of the province's Children's Initiative, all six ministries involved have been made jointly accountable for improving outcomes for children. Several other provinces are in the process of developing indicators. However, indicators do not speak for themselves. Rather, they are valuable to the extent that they assist the public in making a qualitative assessment of what has been done, what has yet to be done, and even what can be done. In this context, the annual reports of agencies such as the British Columbia Children's Commission or Saskatchewan's Children's Advocate can play a critical role. It is also important to consider mechanisms for eliciting input from the broader public. Task Forces and Advisory Bodies A time-honoured mechanism for consulting citizens is the task force or public commission, royal or otherwise. This kind of process has been used in the development of provincial children's agendas such as Saskatchewan's Action Plan. Quebec has a longstanding tradition of popular consultation, via йtats-gйnйraux or tables de concertation. Consultations preceded the development of Quebec's family and youth strategies and the education reforms discussed above. British Columbia has established a set of "policy tables," including the important Aboriginal policy tables where the whole relationship between the British Columbia government and the First Nations, the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, the Mйtis Provincial Council and the Aboriginal Peoples Council is being negotiated. It also uses semi-judicial public inquiries such as the Gove Inquiry Into Child Protection, which recommended sweeping changes in child welfare practices and the formation of a Ministry of Children and Families. The local plans being developed by Newfoundland's Health and Community Service Boards similarly have been structured for substantial public input. One cautionary example is the experience of New Brunswick's task force on social policy renewal. To supplement the federal-provincial discussions of social policy renewal, the Liberal government de-
cided to organize a public dialogue on the same theme. A special Cabinet committee was appointed and a roundtable involving a representative group of citizens was organized. Out of this consultation, a discussion paper was developed as the basis for a broader dialogue, carried out at the community level. Many of the recommendations contained in the final report were in line with the kind of proactive, integrated approaches to policymaking found elsewhere. Unfortunately, as has happened elsewhere, the results of electoral democracy clashed with this form of consultative democracy when a different party, with its own agenda, took office. Several of the provinces have formed advisory bodies to create the possibility for a sustained dialogue on strategies for children and youth. Alberta's children's plan includes an annual forum that brings together hundreds of stakeholders from around the province. The 1999 forum was, however, criticized for producing a long "wish list" rather than a clear set of priorities.265 Both Quebec and Saskatchewan have developed mechanisms that seem to allow for a more focused dialogue. Thus Quebec's Ministиre de la Famille et de l'Enfance has a Forum of Partners drawn from the education, health, and voluntary service community, as well as the labour market parties. Saskatchewan's Children's Council is made up of people drawn from frontline organizations dealing with children and youth, with particular attention paid to representation of Mйtis and First Nations, youth, and all geographic areas of the province. The Council meets quarterly with three liaisons from the Steering Committee, and once a year with the ministers. In the spring of 2000, it met for the first time with the co-chairs of the Regional Intersectoral Coordinating Committees. It has produced two reflective reports that critically assessed the Action Plan's achievements and identified a clear set of priorities for the future. In the Fall of 2000, the Council was to participate in discussions concerning the Action Plan's next steps. Partnerships The voluntary sector has long played an important role in the provision of community services, including those of particular relevance to children
52 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
and youth. This was recognized in the Canada Assistance Plan's vision of the arrangements it sought to support, bringing together not only the different levels of government but also community agencies involved in service delivery. Thus provision was made for cost-sharing arrangements that included the nonprofit sector. As the studies included in Ismael's collection on provincial social service delivery show, the development of provincial social services has not "crowded out" this sector. Rather, it has meant the institutionalization of new relations with the voluntary sector.266 As well, in the 1960s, federal and provincial recreation policies worked to develop the leadership and training capacity of voluntary organizations working in the field of amateur sport and recreation. There are two main developments contributing to reshaping the nature of partnerships between governments and the voluntary sector. As Phillips argues, the voluntary sector has been evolving from a model based on charity to one based on civil society, that is, "from an approach premised on helping those less fortunate to one in which communities have the resources and are empowered to represent and help themselves and in which citizens actively participate."267 This shift began to occur in the 1960s and 1970s, fuelled from below by the emergence of new social movements, and aided from above by government policies including federal programs like Opportunities for Youth, Local Initiatives Projects, and various programs administered by the Secretary of State for Citizenship. The second development is the new or renewed interest (on the part of governments of both the right and the left) in an enhanced service provision role for the voluntary sector, in partnership with government and other actors. Certainly, the tight fiscal situation has constituted a motivating factor here, but notions of "civil society" and "social capital" have also been important. As we shall see, however, there are different ways of interpreting the role and nature of such partnerships. One example of these new partnerships is the three-year program involving Health Promotion and Programs, the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg, and several local neighbourhood groups. While each pilot project was different, all took an approach that stressed community capacity building
in the interests of not only democratic objectives such as "empowerment" but also of long-term sustainability. As one participant put it, "the ultimate sustainability is the inter-relationships that are being built while the money is being spent. Resident relationships will continue regardless of whether workers from outside the community remain involved on terms agreeable to the residents: They say, `well, when this is done, what will there be here?' And we'll just say, `we will be.' This is intrinsic to actually being a resident of the community.... That is the ultimate sustainability."268 All four projects put considerable emphasis on widespread participation of neighbourhood residents. The project coordinators lived in the neighbourhoods; all had boards that drew in members of the community, and all used methods like the "PATH" model for participatory identification of needs, which engaged many in the community. The reports do suggest two caveats, however. First, while sustainability indeed requires strong, ongoing local involvement right from the beginning, arranging adequate longer-term financing is critical. As those involved in the Portage La Prairie "Neighbourhood Connections" project noted, it is difficult to sustain the work and community interest in the absence of secure long-term funding.269 In addition, while all projects involved partnerships with governments and the private sector, not all partnerships are welcome. As the coordinator for the Chalmers Neighbourhood project noted, "Some partnerships aren't as productive as others.... Not all the resources that are offered to you are necessarily the most beneficial."270 Other examples of local partnerships could be found across the country. The key, however, is how they fit into a wider provincial framework. There are two kinds of partnership models. One is perhaps best exemplified by the Ontario government's new "Ontario's Promise" program, while the Quebec government's "social economy" model represents the other pole. Ontario's Promise, announced in November 2000, represents a three-year commitment to promote a new partnership built around five "promises" to Ontario's children and youth: (1) a healthy start in life (focused on children up to age 6); (2) a
POLICIES FOR SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN | 53
chance to develop an ongoing, positive relationship with a caring adult; (3) a safe place, offering meaningful activities outside the home; (4) marketable skills through effective education; and (5) an opportunity to give back to the community.271 The government's financial commitment is rather modest $2 million over three years and is not to be used to establish new public programs or expand existing ones. Rather, the government's role is to act as "catalyst, coordinator and champion." It aims to increase and focus private sector in-kind and financial donations to the voluntary sector. In other words, rather than taxpayers' money and civil servants' time, new and expanded initiatives pertinent to at least one of the five promises will draw their resources from private donations of time and money. In terms of the voluntary sector, nonprofit agencies are invited to become "agencies of promise" by applying for support for projects delivering services to children and youth that fall within one of the program areas. Corporations are also invited to participate. This initiative very much builds on the Ontario government's earlier initiative to aid participation by low-income children and youth in recreation programs (the $5 million Endowment for Youth and Children in Recreation). Another example is the Nova Scotia government's new Children's Futures Foundation in the field of mental health, also discussed above. In all these cases, government's role in the partnership is primarily one of facilitator providing incentives for individuals and corporations to donate time and money to the voluntary sector. In this sense, it has a lot in common with the charity model that predominated in the 19th and the first half of the 20th centuries. The main difference is that governments are seeking more actively to channel private contributions in line with public priorities such as the National Children's Agenda.
Quebec also envisages an important role for the voluntary sector but the latter is seen as a vital part of an alternative "social economy." Lйvesque and Mendell argue that this new model began to emerge in the 1990s, and that the 1995 Quebec women's "bread and roses" march played an important role, building on foundations laid by the Forum for Employment from 1989 to 1994 and Urgence/Solidaritй rurale from 1991 to the present.272 The key points to note are first, that social economy projects have access to significant public funds.273 Second, Ontario's Promise will operate under the guidance of a Board of Councillors composed of "high profile, high energy business and community leaders" selected by the government. Quebec's social economy, however, forms part of a "quadripartite" system of consultation among government, business and union representatives, women's groups, and community groups that is institutionalized at the provincial, regional and local levels. There are perhaps no parallels to Quebec's social economy infrastructure in the rest of Canada. Yet elements of a similar approach have certainly been tried in British Columbia and Saskatchewan in the past.274 Saskatchewan's Action Plan for Children can also be seen as providing much of the infrastructure and public financial support needed. This includes the Saskatchewan Council on Children, which Phillips sees as having many of the elements of the kind of "civic forum" required to support the development of a vital voluntary sector. Yet the Regional Intersectoral Coordinating Committees would have to go further than they currently do toward involving nonprofit sector partners.275 Similarly, Newfoundland's strategic social plan, with its locally constituted Economic Development and Health and Community Service Boards offers a similar opportunity for bringing together governments, the voluntary sector and other partners.
54 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
For most school-aged children, families in all their diverse forms remain the critical "nest" shaping and supporting their development. Yet as children move through the years from 6 to 15, they enjoy increasing autonomy to explore the other nests in which they live neighbourhoods and schools, the local community, and wider "communities of interest" through participation in sports and cultural activities. This study has focused on the role governments, in partnership with other policy actors, play in shaping the environments in which children develop. One of the issues motivating this study was whether concern for the child stopped short at "the early years" (from birth to age 6). Support for early childhood development is extremely important, but children continue to develop and encounter new challenges and opportunities as they pass through their school years. Thus continued societal support is needed throughout childhood and into the often more turbulent years of adolescence. Our research did find some evidence of a particular policy focus on the early childhood years, reflecting the assumption that this stage presents an exceptional "window of opportunity." The early years focus is perhaps most visible in the fields of health and literacy, and in the provinces of Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. This is not to say that school-aged children have been completely ignored, however. All provinces have maintained spending or cut less deeply on education, and considerable effort has been
devoted to curriculum reform. In all provinces, certain health initiatives include school-aged children, especially in the field of mental health, childhood diseases and special needs. School-aged children tend to get the most attention, however, in provinces that have developed broad children's strategies. Such strategies recognize that the benefits of early intervention will be lost if children do not continue to get the supports they need as they grow and develop. A second issue is whether policies for schoolaged children followed the broader trend away from universality and toward increased targeting. The argument made in this paper is not that targeted approaches are problematic per se but rather that the most effective approach is one that combines broad, inclusive programs, supplementing these with carefully targeted programs. The new child care programs in Quebec and British Columbia really stand out as examples of new inclusive programs. Targeting, on the other hand, is one of the key features of the National Child Benefit, which focuses on low-income families, and also represents an important trend in recreation and culture. All provinces, moreover, have combined targeting with an emphasis on getting adults off social assistance and into the labour force. There are, however, important differences among these strategies. Some provinces, like Newfoundland and New Brunswick, have taken a less punitive stance toward those who remain on social assistance. Other provinces such
CONCLUSIONS | 55
as Saskatchewan and Quebec have offered a much richer package of incentives including support services to back "employability." Still others have developed packages that rely more on sticks than carrots. The design being followed in most renewal programs takes important elements from the population health perspective. As noted in Section 1, this includes a strong emphasis on preventive measures and calls attention to the need for a holistic or integrated approach, cutting across disciplinary and departmental boundaries. This study found instances in all provinces of an increased emphasis on prevention. This is particularly evident in health-related matters where, for school-aged children, schools as well as recreation and cultural programs are seen to play a critical role. Prevention is also an important theme in child protection reforms, where more emphasis is being placed on fostering good parenting. There are, of course, differences in the extent of investment in preventive programs as well as in understandings of the best ways of preventing negative outcomes. This is nowhere more visible than in the area of juvenile justice. As we have seen, in provinces like Ontario, the emphasis is on deterrence, through the imposition of strict measures on offending individuals and even their parents. In others, particularly Quebec and British Columbia, the emphasis is on education and community action. The differences are not hard and fast, however. Thus British Columbia's approach to child prostitution moved closer to Alberta's, while Saskatchewan's approach to juvenile justice offers a blend of both strategies. All provinces are engaged in efforts to "break down the silos." In some provinces, these efforts are rather modest in scope. Such measures tend to be the most elaborate in provinces such as Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, which have adopted broad strategies focused specifically on children and youth. In Newfoundland, the focus has been on social development in general, but integrated programs focused on children and youth are being implemented by the new Health and Community Service Boards. One of the legitimate concerns that the pursuit of integrated services raises is client confidentiality.
To some extent, this issue can be addressed through the development of appropriate protocols, but it is also important to give a voice to the children and youth that are the targets of societal interventions. Thus, in some provinces, special efforts are being made to allow youth to have a say in their care and the issues that affect them. British Columbia is exemplary here. For younger children, however, additional measures are necessary. This is why British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario have introduced children's advocates, and British Columbia also has a Children's Commission. Such advocates constitute a special ombudsman for children. To the extent that they are given wider powers to investigate the quality of the services provided, and to produce annual reports on this, they make an important contribution to broader public debates on social policy for children. Another theme is a renewed emphasis on the local level as the site best placed to recognize actual needs and to mobilize community resources to meet them. While sometimes this focus is used to support what amounts to "downloading," it can also form part of an effort to renew the nesting arrangements linking the different levels of government, as well as fostering new partnerships with other actors. Clearly, local bodies need adequate resources to carry out their mandate, but there also need to be institutional arrangements that enable an appropriate balance to be struck between local, provincial and national concerns. Changes in the governance of schools provide an interesting example. In all provinces, school advisory councils have been instituted to give parents and neighbourhood communities greater say. At the same time, there has been a move to greater central control in many provinces through funding arrangements and changes to the powers of school boards. New Brunswick went the furthest, abolishing local school boards, but protests against the loss of local control have forced it to reconsider. Quebec seems to have worked out a set of arrangements that nicely balance the interests of families, neighbourhoods, the wider local community, and the province. A final theme running through provincial policies for school-aged children is the importance of culturally appropriate services. To some extent, especially in large urban centres, this has meant developing
56 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
programs appropriate for an increasingly multicultural population. The main concern, however, has been to provide more effective services for Aboriginal children and youth, and it is increasingly recognized that this requires the working out of a new relationship with Aboriginal communities. This appears in all policy areas examined, from education, recreation and culture to health, child protection and youth justice. Even the National Child Benefit gives First Nations' Bands rights that are equivalent to provinces and territories, at least with regard to decisions about what to do with the monies potentially freed by the federal government's contribution to social assistance. There is also a National Aboriginal Youth Strategy, which each province is pursuing in its own manner. Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Manitoba have been the most active in trying to work out new ways of supporting Aboriginal children and youth that recognize the importance of their language, culture and communities. The challenges federal, provincial and territorial governments have to face if they are to live up to the commitment of ensuring that all of Canada's children can fulfill their potential to be healthy, safe and secure, able to learn, and socially engaged and responsible are certainly substantial. Many of the problems are not so much new ones as they are old ones raised with a new urgency. Poverty and economic insecurity have long been objects of govern-
ment attention. However, changes in families (for example, lone-parent families), in labour markets (for instance, atypical employment), and in government policy itself (such as the austerity induced changes to the social security systems established in the postwar era) have fuelled rising concerns about child poverty. Similarly, literacy has long been considered important to reaching one's full potential, but the requirements of the knowledgebased economy make it essential for all. As well, since its formation, Canada has relied on immigration from various parts of the world. Now, however, there is greater recognition of the need to provide linguistically and culturally appropriate services and to combat racism. Finally, the last decades have made it clear that a new relationship needs to be worked out with Aboriginal peoples and that this has to be reflected in all policy areas. The policies we have examined in this study go some of the way toward addressing these challenges, albeit in very different ways. It makes little sense to speak of a "Canadian" policy for schoolaged children. Rather, as in the field of social assistance, there is a veritable patchwork of policies and programs, reflecting the often divergent courses being charted by the provinces. The question that remains is: Has the time now arrived to stitch a warm and nurturing quilt to meet the needs of all children living in Canada?
CONCLUSIONS | 57
58 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
Appendices APPENDICES | 59
Public Policies for School-aged Children 60 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
Table 1 An Overview of Federal Programs for Children in Canada, 2000 Child Benefits · The National Child Benefit (NCB), launched in 1998, provides the framework for child benefits. It is composed of: (1) the basic Canada Child Tax Benefit, (2) a National Child Benefit Supplement, and (3) provincial reinvestment commitments. · The federal government provides the basic Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) of $1,104 per child under 18, plus $219 per child under 7 if the Child Care Expense Deduction is not claimed (see Tax Deductions below). 1 It also pays the National Child Benefit Supplement to low-income families at $977 for one child and $1,748 for two children. The basic benefit begins to be reduced at $30,004 and disappears at $74,000 for families with one or two children. The low-income supplement begins to be reduced at $21,214 and disappears at $30,004. Alberta and Quebec have their own payment schedule for the CCTB. · Revenue Canada administers the following provincial and territorial child benefit and credit programs: BC Family Bonus, Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit, Saskatchewan Child Benefit, New Brunswick Child Tax Benefit, Nova Scotia Child Benefit, Newfoundland and Labrador Child Benefit, Yukon Child Benefit, Northwest Territories Child Benefit, and Nunavut Child Benefit. · A goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit is available for parents with children under 19 and/or for married people with annual incomes less than $35,980 for a one child family, $38,080 for two children and $40,180 for three children. Recipients have to apply for the credit each year. Tax Deductions to Cover Some of the Costs of Employment · Since 1972, the federal government has provided a Child Care Expense Deduction (CCED) to employed parents. Costs for child care for which receipts are provided can be deducted up to maximum of $7,000 for a child under 7, and up to $4,000 for children aged 7 to 16. In two-parent families, the deduction must be claimed by the parent with the lower income. The CCED can be used for both formal regulated child care or unregulated care, as long as receipts are issued. National Children's Agenda · The National Children's Agenda, in keeping with the spirit of the Social Union Framework Agreement, is an ongoing commitment among participating governments to improve cooperation among governments in order to make social programs more efficient and effective. In December 1997, Canada's First Ministers asked the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Council of Ministers on Social Policy Renewal to engage the public in developing a shared vision for enhancing the well-being of Canada's children. The Government of Quebec agrees with the objectives of the National Children's Agenda, but has decided not to participate in its development. · In collaboration with Canada's five national Aboriginal organizations, the Council published a document entitled A National Children's Agenda Developing A Shared Vision. This document invited people to discuss common values and goals for children, and to consider a vision that reflects Canadians beliefs about children and a commitment to their well-being. In addition, the document included an Aboriginal perspective on children's issues. · A supplementary document, A National Children's Agenda Measuring Child Well-being and Monitoring Progress, promoted discussion about how governments and Canadians can measure children's progress and share information about how to improve children's well-being. · In May 1999, governments launched a dialogue with citizens across the country to gather comments and ideas about the draft vision, as set out in the two dialogue documents. The Public Report on the Public Dialogue on the National Children's Agenda Developing a Shared Vision (2000) provides an overview of the comments and ideas provided by organizations and citizens, including children and youth, from across Canada. It includes an amended vision statement. Federal Transfers to Provinces and Territories · In 1996, the Canada Health and Social Transfer (CHST) was introduced to replace Established Programs Financing (EPF) and the Canada Assistance Plan (CAP). The CHST provides cash and tax transfers that can be used for health, post-secondary education and social assistance/services. · Provincial cash and tax transfers were reduced by $3 billion in 1996-97 and $4 billion in 1997-98. In 1999, the federal government announced increased CHST funding of $11.5 billion over 5 years ($2.5 billion for 2000). In 2000, $30.8 billion was transferred to the provinces and territories. · The 1999 Budget introduced measures to eliminate disparities among provinces in per capita CHST entitlement (cash transfers plus tax transfers). By 2001-02, all provinces and territories will receive the same amount on a per capita basis. (continued) 1 The Canada Child Tax Benefit will be increased by $2.5 billion a year by 2004, bringing to more than $9 billion its annual support for low- and middleincome families with children. This will mean a maximum benefit of $2,400 for a family's first child and $2,200 for a second child. APPENDICES | 61
Table 1 (cont'd) Programs for Child Well-being and Healthy Development · The development of National Child Health Goals represents a government commitment to improve child health in Canada through goal setting, outcome-oriented planning and evaluation. Growing Healthy Canadians: A Guide for Positive Child Development, funded in part by Health Canada, offers a unique perspective on how best to promote the well-being of children and youth. · The Fitness/Active Living Program is a centre of expertise within the federal government for issues, activities and programs concerning physical activity. The program works with partners to develop and implement national physical activity strategies and to develop practical resources. Resources relevant to children and youth include such publications as Active Children, Healthy Children. The Nutrition/Healthy Eating Unit works with external partners to develop a number of resources relevant to children and youth. · The Comprehensive School Health (CSH) initiative is a school-based health promotion approach that involves a range of programs, activities and services taking place in the school and surrounding community. Such actions are designed not only to support the health of individual students but also to change the environment in which they live and learn. To promote this framework, Health Canada has initiated a CSH Web site and a Student Health Model to help schools and schools boards to implement the CSH program. · The Office of Tobacco Reduction Programs has a wealth of youth-oriented tobacco resources available on the Health Canada Web site. These include Quit4Life, Improving the Odds, Back Talk, and Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, Ears, Nose and Lungs. The office also distributes a Catalogue of Selected Resources for Youth, produced through the Tobacco Demand Reduction Strategy. Youth programs are aimed at preventing smoking, encouraging and helping those who wish to quit smoking to do so, and reducing the harmful effects of tobacco smoke. They include features such as promoting healthy lifestyles, enhancing media literacy, increasing parental awareness and involvement, and establishing school smoking policies and peer counselling programs. · The Child and Youth Mental Health Unit addresses the development of mental health among children, youth and their families through promotion and prevention approaches. The Youth Net Program gives youth and their communities the opportunity to set up a mental health promotion and early intervention program that is run by youth for youth. Networking Youth Nationally brings together youth, youth groups and youth-friendly health professionals to problem-solve on youth mental health issues. Mauve is a learning tool for teenagers, covering topics such as depression, suicide, drug abuse, school drop-out and delinquency. Also supported is the initiative Developing a Sexuality Education Program While Adopting a Mental Health Promotion Approach. · Through its Family Violence Prevention Unit, Health Canada is responsible for coordinating the federal Family Violence Initiative, including research and resource development devoted to child abuse and neglect, as well as forms of abuse committed by and against youth. Justice Initiatives: Child Custody, Child Support, and Crime Prevention · On May 1, 1997, new laws respecting child support came into force, including Federal Child Support Guidelines and additional federal enforcement measures to help the provinces and territories ensure that family support obligations are respected. The Guidelines consist of a set of rules and tables for calculating the amount of support that a non-custodial parent should contribute towards his or her children, so as to make the setting of the amount of support fair, predictable and consistent. · All but two provinces have adopted these Guidelines. For its part, Alberta is considering adopting them and, in the meantime, distributes the Guidelines to divorcing parents. Quebec has its own guidelines, which use a different model than that developed by Ottawa, but which are also compulsory. · The federal government has provided enforcement tools to the provinces through the Department of Justice Canada's Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act (FOAEA), in cases where there is failure to comply with these family support orders. The Department of Justice Canada has established the FOAEA Service to implement the tracing, garnishment, and license denial provisions of the FOAEA. · In June 2000, the National Crime Prevention Centre in the Department of Justice Canada developed a policy framework for addressing crime prevention for children aged 0 to 12, in conjunction with complementary frameworks for youth aged 12 to 18, Aboriginal populations, and for the personal security of women and girls. The frameworks that apply to children and youth operate within the context of the National Children's Agenda and the Social Union Framework Agreement. These initiatives recognize that community safety and the positive social development of children are linked, and that integrated approaches across sectors are desirable. They focus on secondary prevention, particularly community efforts to address the multiplicity of risk factors that contribute to child victimization; and adolescent and/or later life criminal behaviour. · The Departments of Justice Canada and Canadian Heritage are initiating the program Y4K Youth for Kids to encourage adolescents to share their artistic, recreational, and sports interests with younger children. The program will be a focal point to share information and ideas for such activities. Young people will have a significant and substantial role in initiating, planning and executing Y4K programs and activities across Canada. Source: Relevant federal Web sites. Personal communication with the Department of Justice Canada about the Y4K initiative. 62 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
Table 2 Provincial Ministries and Councils Directly Responsible for Child and Family Issues
Ministries and councils directly responsible for child and family issues
British Columbia Alberta Saskatchewan Manitoba Ontario Quebec New Brunswick
Ministry of Children and Families (1996) British Columbia Council for Families (1977) Children's Commission (1996) Children's Services (1999) Child and Family Services Secretariat (1998) Council of Children (1994) Department of Family Services and Housing (2000) Children's Secretariat (1998) Minister Responsible for Children (1998) Ministиre de la Famille et de l'Enfance (1997) Conseil de la Famille et de l'Enfance (1988) Department of Family and Community Services (2000)
Source: Relevant provincial Web sites.
APPENDICES | 63
Table 3 Subsidy for Low-income Parents' Child Care Costs, Paid Directly to Service Providers
Program name · Department responsible for policy · Administrative responsibility · Eligibility · Benefits · Tests · Amount of subsidy1
Child Care Subsidy
Child Care Subsidy Child Day Care Subsidy
Ministry of Social Development and Economic Security
Children's Services Department of Social Services
Child Care Branch
Regional Child and Family Services Authority
Income Security Programs Division
Low-income parents at work, attending school or in training, actively seeking work or in medical treatment.
Low-income parents who need at least 50 hours of child care per month. Parents must be employed, looking for work, in school or training, with a child under 7 and not yet in Grade 1.
Low-income parents who need at least 36 hours of child care per month. Parents must be employed, looking for work, in school or training.
Subsidy may be directed to arrangement of choice (licensed or not, preschool, out of school, in home, out of home). Income tested A maximum subsidy is set. Parents pay the difference.
Subsidy may be directed to licensed day care centres or approved family day homes. Income tested A maximum subsidy is set. Parents pay the difference.
Subsidy may be directed to licensed child day care centres and licensed family child care homes. Income tested Up to 90 percent of actual fee. Parents pay the difference.
Child Day Care Subsidy Family Services and Housing Child and Family Services Parents who are employed, seeking employment, in training or attending school, those with a medical need and those whose family or child has a special need. Paid to licensed facilities on behalf of eligible families. Income tested A maximum subsidy exists. Families may receive part or full subsidy.
Child Care Fee Subsidy Ministry of Community and Social Services Consolidated Municipal Service Managers, District Social Services Administration Boards, and Native Bands. Low-income parents and Ontario Works participants. Subsidy may be directed to nonprofit or for-profit service providers (licensed child care centres and private home day care agencies). Needs tested Up to 100 percent of actual fee, but municipalities may set other limits.
1 Subsidies cover school-aged children to some extent, although the age range covered may vary by province. The subsidy levels also vary by age and type of care. For details, see Childcare Resource and Research Unit (1999).
64 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
Table 3 (cont'd)
Prince Edward Island
Newfoundland and Labrador
Subsidy for Child Day Care Assistance Day Care Subsidy Child Care Benefit Child Care Subsidy
· Department Ministry of the
responsible for Family and
Department of Family Community
Health and Social Health and
· Administrative responsibility
Child Care and Early Intervention Services
Child, Family and Health and
Available only if Low-income parents
child care at
who are working,
$5 a day is not attending school,
available. Low- undergoing medical
income parents treatment or disabled.
work, or referred
by a social agency.
Parents must be Low-income employed, seeking parents. work, in training or attending school, in medical treatment or have a child with special needs.
Working parents or social assistance recipients, if children attend child care for child development purposes.
Subsidy may be Subsidy may be
directed to regulated
licensed providers, nonprofit or for-profit
both nonprofit child care centres or
community day care
family day care) homes (family day
and for-profit. care).
providers may not
be eligible for
centres (nonprofit nonprofit or for-
profit child care
community-based centres are
organizations) and eligible.
nonprofit family day
care agencies may
Any licensed nonprofit or forprofit child care centre.
Income or needs Income tested tested
· Amount of subsidy3
Up to 100 percent of actual fee.
Subsidy on sliding scale based on family income and number of children attending day care.
Parents pay the difference between maximum subsidy and actual fees.
Maxima to subsidies exist.
Parents pay the difference between the subsidy and actual fees.
2 Programme d'exonйration et d'aide financiиre pour la garde des enfants. Quebec's subsidy program is being phased out. In September 2000, all preschool children will be eligible for $5 per day spaces, and the program will no longer be available to their parents. 3 Subsidies cover school-aged children to some extent, although the age range covered may vary by province. The subsidy levels also vary by age and type of care. For details, see Childhood Resource and Research Unit (1999). Source: Adapted from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit (1999), Child Care in Canada: Provinces and Territories, 1998, Toronto: Childcare Resource and Research Unit, Centre for Urban and Community Studies, University of Toronto. All data cited are from the June 1999 draft report. Relevant provincial Web sites.
APPENDICES | 65
Table 4 Subsidies Available to Child Care Providers Key: = Program exists in that province. X = Program does not exist in that province.
Wage enhancement subsidies
1 In Manitoba, all licensed child care spaces are eligible for subsidy. For-profit child care programs licensed prior to April 18, 1991, are eligible to receive an additional payment on behalf of subsidized families for up to 25 percent of their licensed spaces. In Nov a Scotia, only registered centres (nonprofit centres operated by community-based organizations) and nonprofit family day care agencies may enr ol children receiving subsidies. 2 Quebec's subsidies are being phased out (see Table 3). 3 Operating subsidies in British Columbia are only available to nonprofit providers. In New Brunswick and Ontario, some operatin g funds are available for spaces for children with special needs. 4 Saskatchewan is in the process of amalgamating Wage Enhancement Grants with Operating Grants into "Early Childhood Grants."
66 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
Table 4 (cont'd)
Program description Individual subsidies Operating subsidies Wage enhancement subsidies
Nova Scotia 1 5 6
Prince Edward Island X
Newfoundland and Labrador
5 In Manitoba, only nonprofit child care facilities are eligible for operating grants, grants on behalf of children with disabilities, and start-up grants. Nova Scotia has operating grants for nonprofits as well as special grants for child development, provided for certain centres serving low-income families. Newfoundland has supply and equipment grants. 6 In Nova Scotia, wage enhancement subsidies are available to nonprofit (registered and non-registered) centres and licensed family day care agencies. Source: Adapted from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit (1999), Child Care in Canada: Provinces and Territories, 1998, Toronto: Childcare Resource and Research Unit, Centre for Urban and Community Studies, University of Toronto; and relevant provincial Web sites.
APPENDICES | 67
Table 5 Special Benefits for Parents on Social Assistance
Supports for Independence
Saskatchewan Assistance Plan
Employment and Income Assistance
· Department responsible for policy · Administrative responsibility
Human Resources Province
Human Resources and Employment Province
Social Services Province
Department of Family Services and Housing Provincial and local
· Eligibility · Single parents are considered eligible for work when youngest child is what age?
Needs tested Single parent is considered employable when youngest child is 7 years old or older.
Needs tested Single parent is considered employable when youngest child is 6 months or older.
Needs tested Single parent is considered employable when youngest child is 2 years old or older.
Needs tested Single parent is considered employable when youngest child is 6 years or older.
Ministry of Community and Social Services Consolidated Municipal Service Managers or District Social Services Administration Boards Needs tested Parents who have children under school age are not required to participate in employment assistance activities. They may choose to participate voluntarily. School age is determined at the local level.
68 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
Table 5 (cont'd)
Program description Program name
Prince Edward Island
Newfoundland and Labrador
Income Security Plan (Sйcuritй du revenu)
Extended Benefits, Transitional Assistance (TAP), Interim Assistance (IA), and Income Supplement
Family Benefits (long-term) and Income Assistance (shortterm)1
Income Support Program
· Department responsible for policy · Administrative responsibility
Minister of Social Solidarity Province
Family and Community Services Province
Department of Community Services Province
Department of Health and Social Services
Department of Human Resources and Employment
· Eligibility · Single parents are considered eligible for work when youngest child is what age?
Phased reductions being applied over five years. In 2000, parents of children over 2 were considered employable.
No formal criterion for age of child at which single parent is considered employable.
Non-employed parents on social assistance, are entitled to 23 hours free child care.
Needs tested No age specified but not considered employable until the child is 6 months old.2 Single parents are considered eligible if not presenting any barriers to employment.
Needs tested Decision on a case-by-case basis.
Needs tested Single parent is considered employable when youngest child is 2 years or older.
1 Legislation to replace the existing Family Benefits Act and most provisions of the Social Assistance Act with a new integrated program, the Employment Support and Income Assistance Act, will be introduced during the upcoming session. 2 In August 2001, single mothers will not be considered employable for 12 months after the birth of a child. Source: Relevant provincial Web sites.
APPENDICES | 69
Table 6 Programs That Promote the Earning Capabilities of Parents
Program name · Department responsible for policy · Administrative responsibility · Eligibility
BC Benefits: Youth Works (19-24) and BC Benefits: Welfare to Work (24+) Ministry of Social Development and Economic Security Training is provided by colleges, employers, private training centres, contractors. Employmentrelated activities involve private, public, and nonprofit employers. Eligibility is based upon screening to determine an individual's current state of job readiness. Participants are either referred to job search assistance, or to further assessment and/or employability skills programs.1
Employment Initiatives Human Resources and Employment Canada/Alberta Career Development Centres do assessments of eligibility. Community agencies, colleges, etc., provide training. Supports for Independence (social assistance) clients, Employment Insurance recipients, and Employment Insurance reachback clients are eligible for funding during training from the respective programs.
Saskatchewan Training Strategy: Bridges to Employment
Ministry of PostSecondary Education and Skills Training
Family Services and Housing
Implemented with a variety of partners, including regional colleges, New Careers Corporation, employers, nongovernmental organizations, and Aboriginal communities.
Family Services and Employment and the Training Services (ETS) division of the Department of Education and Training. The federal government and private employers are involved in some programs.
New Careers Corporation programs are available only to social assistance recipients. All other programs are open to all eligible Saskatchewan residents. All programs are voluntary except the Youth Futures pilot.
Social assistance recipients.
Ontario Works: Employment Assistance Activities Ministry of Community and Social Services Delivery agents consisting of municipalities and First Nations. Every participant is required to participate in one or more employment assistance activity in accordance with Ontario Works regulations. although some exceptions may exist.
1 In British Columbia, participation is mandatory for Youth Works participants unless a temporary exemption is obtained. Unless temporarily excused, ongoing job search is mandatory for Welfare to Work participants, but program participation is optional and based on availability. Single parents with a dependent child under 7 may be temporarily excused.
70 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
Table 6 (cont'd)
Program description Program name
Prince Edward Island
Newfoundland and Labrador
APTE: Actions positives pour le travail et l'emploi
Training and Employment Options
Employment Support Services
Active Employment Measures
Employment and Career Services
· Department responsible for policy
Minister of Social Solidarity
Training and Employment Development
· Administrative responsibility
Minister of Social Solidarity, private sector and nonprofit sector.
Training and Employment Development
Department of Community Services
Development, and Health and Social Services
Department of Human Resources and Employment
Department of Community Services. Other departments, levels of government and the private sector are sometimes involved.
Development, Health and Social Services, federal government, community partners, and employers.
Department of Human Resources and Employment. Some programs operate in partnership with community economic development agencies and the federal government.
Required for recipients 18 to 24, voluntary for other employable people. Level of support for couples with children varies, depending on availability for and willingness to take paid employment (or employment measures).
Social assistance recipients, Employment Insurance claimants, and Employment Insurance reachback clients are eligible for the programs.
Social assistance recipients and persons with disabilities.
Unemployed and under-employed persons, plus social assistance and Employment Insurance recipients. (continued)
APPENDICES | 71
Table 6 (cont'd)
· Detailed program description
Youth Works provides young people aged 19-24 with a living allowance and programs and services to enable them to move into employment. Welfare to Work offers employmentrelated programs to adults 25 years of age and over on income assistance. Based upon screening of an individual's job readiness, participants are referred to either Work Connections Self-Directed Services2 or to complete an Employability Assessment for further needs determination.
Funding for basic foundation skills (academic upgrading, literacy, English as a second language) is through the Students' Finance Board, supported by grants. Post-secondary education such as college or university is through loans, grants, or part-time loans or bursaries. The Employment Alternatives Program, Job Placement
Program, Training on the Job, Integrated Training, Employment Skills Program, Alberta Community Employment Program, and Alberta Job Corps all provide life skills, employment supports, and work experience.
Assessment, career counselling, upgrading, job readiness, etc. Work Placement offers wage subsidies and employment related supports to employers to hire eligible employees and provide onthe-job training leading to employment. Community Works provides wage subsidies and supports to community-based organizations and municipalities to hire eligible employees for projects that benefit the community and provide on-the-job training and work experience. Training allowances offered for people on basic education or related courses. Elements of postsecondary education are included.
Industry-based training provides workplace-based training. Employment Centres coordinate and provide support services such as lifeskills and job readiness skills training, during training and following placement. Employment Connections provides job preparation, job search, group training and individual job placement designed to help job seekers in receipt of income assistance obtain employment. Youth NOW provides training and employment programs for youth 18 to 24 years of age who are receiving municipal income assistance. A free of charge employment service provides individual or group counselling on employment issues to women of all ages.
Employment assistance activities consist of community participation and employment measures, including: job search; job search support services; referral to basic education and job specific skills training; employment placement; an education or training program approved by the administrator; a self-employment activity approved by the administrator; supports to selfemployment; or a substance abuse recovery program.
2 Work Connections includes applicant orientation sessions (for BC Benefits applicants), Self-Directed Services, Career Planning Programs, Job Clubs, and Job Search Skills Services. Employability Skills Programs include both paid and volunteer work experience, self-employment training, academic skills training, and job readiness training.
72 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
Table 6 (cont'd)
Prince Edward Island
Newfoundland and Labrador
· Detailed program description
Employment integration assistance (wage subsidies, work experience in community, job experience). Self-employment support and employment preparation (advice to job seekers, vocational guidance, placement services and training). Volunteer work is recognized as a social insertion measure for people unable to find employment.
Educational upgrading, referral to short-term employment, subsidized employment, and greater recipient responsibility for training past high school. Career exploration program offers work experience and monthly training allowance.
Employment services include career planning, job-finding clubs, and subsidized employment placements. Work Activity Projects provide five weeks of "activity" for training. Assessment Services are provided for clients in training and employment programs.
On-the-job training with the private or nonprofit sectors. Work on long-term, comprehensive and training issues.
Includes career counselling, support for educational upgrading (e.g., adult basic education), support for training, support for job placement (e.g., cost-shared employment), employment subsidy to private and nonprofit sector (e.g., Employment Generation Program), and elements of postsecondary education. Newfoundland JOBS provides short-term training, job vouchers, wage subsidies, and career counselling to help social assistance recipients find longterm employment.
(continued) APPENDICES | 73
Table 6 (cont'd)
· Benefits for parents · Appeal
Employability and employmentrelated program benefits
up to $100 per month while participating in programs; child care subsidy while participating in programs; earnings exemptions; transition to work benefits; family maintenance program.
Maintenance grants up to $6,000 are available to single parents and disadvantaged individuals. Participants may be eligible for a child care subsidy.
Appeals process available to all Supports for Independence clients and applicants.
Includes child care and health benefits. Varies with individual programs and by delivery agent.
Subsidies available for child care costs. "Taking Charge" (a five-year pilot program ending in 2000) provides training and employment opportunities for single parents on social assistance. The Social Services Advisory Committee provides an appeal process to recipients of income assistance programs.
Parents with child care requirements may benefit from Ontario Works Child Care programs.3 Internal review before applying to Social Benefits Tribunal.
3 Ontario Works Child Care programs include Ontario Works Child Care, Advance Child Care Payment, and STEP (Supports to Employme nt Program). Ontario Works participants may also access regular child care fee subsidies, and the Ontario Child Care Supplement for Working Families (see Table 9).
74 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
Table 6 (cont'd)
Prince Edward Island
Newfoundland and Labrador
· Benefits for parents · Appeal
The Ministry of Social Solidarity covers the costs to parents in employability programs, beyond the 23 hours free child care to which they are entitled.
Includes child care expense subsidies.
Educational upgrading, support for single parents to enrol in postsecondary education. Appeal process and leaflet.
The Family Income Security Appeal Boards permit clients to seek an independent review of a departmental decision.
Child care expenses can be provided for children up to age 13. For single parents, financial assistance is provided for child care and transportation.4 Career Planning for Single Parents provides assessment services, career counselling, training or retraining, job search assistance. Two levels of review are available: appealing to worker's immediate supervisor and formal appeal to the Appeal Board.
Subsidies sometimes available for child care costs. Skills Development is a pilot that includes parents on Parental Leave (Employment Insurance) in the last five years who are returning to the labour force.
Child care exemptions are available. Single Parent Employment Support Program (a three-year project) helps single parents on social assistance increase their employability skills. Two levels of appeal are available to the Income Support Program: Service Review Committee and Social Service Appeal Board.
4 From August 2001, the new social assistance system in Nova Scotia will include an increase in the maximum child care and transportation allowances, a new personal start-up allowance for beginning a job, and a new training allowance incentive. Source: Adapted from Gorlick, Carolyne and Guy Brethour (1998), Welfare-to-Work Program Summaries, Ottawa: Canadian Council on Social Development. Relevant provincial Web sites.
APPENDICES | 75
Table 7 Extended Health Benefits for Poor Families with Children
Programs for families with dependant children who receive social assistance
Programs for low-income families with children who do not receive social assistance
British Columbia Alberta Saskatchewan Manitoba Ontario Quebec
Healthy Kids Children under 18 in families on social assistance are provided with a partial or full medical service plan. Each child is eligible for up to $700 per year for dental care and $250 per year for vision care. Coverage for health services. People eligible for Support for Independence receive a medical services card, which covers eyeglasses, dental care, ambulance service
and prescription drugs. Family Health Benefit Families who receive social assistance and the Saskatchewan Child Benefit receive full, nontaxable supplementary health benefits including drug, dental, and optical services. Health Services Program Participants in Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) and their children receive essential drug, dental and optical supplies and services. Ontario Drug Benefit Program (ODB) People on social assistance (General Welfare or Family Benefits Assistance) are eligible for ODB coverage, which includes most of the cost of prescription drugs, basic dental and optical services for children and the disabled, and emergency dental services for adults. Rйgime d'assurance-mйdicament People on social assistance are automatically covered by this system, which includes free medication, dental, and optical services for children and partial or full coverage for adults.
Healthy Kids Children under 18 in low-income families not covered by federal or employer-sponsored insurance plans are provided with a partial or full medical service plan. Each child is eligible for up to $700 per year for dental care and $250 per year for vision care. Alberta Child Health Benefit Program Children under 18 in families (with 1 child) with an annual income below $21,214 or whose parents are in an upgrading program and receive student assistance receive a premium-free health benefit plan that covers 50 to 100 percent of the costs of drugs, eye glasses, dental work, diabetic supplies, and emergency ambulance transportation. Eligibility levels are higher per child in larger families. Family Health Benefit Low-income families receiving Saskatchewan Employment Supplements and/or Child Benefits receive non-taxable health benefits including drug, dental, and optical services. Parents are eligible for partial supplementary health benefits and children receive the full supplementary health benefit. Extended Health Services Program Sole-support parents leaving social assistance for employment may continue to be eligible for an extension of the Health Services Program for up to 12 months. Trillium Drug Program This program helps people who have high drug costs in relation to their income. People can apply if their private insurance does not cover 100 percent of their prescription drug costs and if they are not eligible for drug coverage under the Ontario Drug Benefit Program. The program has an annual deductible that is based on income and family size. Rйgime d'assurance-mйdicament People who are not covered by any other insurance scheme (by a job, a spouse or a professional association) are covered by this system for free medication, dental, and optical services for children and partial or full coverage for adults. For those with a low income, there is no premium to pay.
76 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
Table 7 (cont'd)
Programs for families with dependant children who receive social assistance
Programs for low-income families with children who do not receive social assistance
New Brunswick Nova Scotia Prince Edward Island Newfoundland and Labrador
Extended Health Benefits
People on social assistance who are not covered under another plan receive coverage for dental, optical and other costs.
Social assistance clients who find employment receive Health Benefits for one year after leaving social assistance.
Family Benefits Pharmacare Program and Social None1 Assistance Pharmacare Program
Both programs include drug coverage for prescriptions and are available to income assistance clients. All beneficiaries of the Family Benefits Pharmacare Program are required to contribute 20 percent of the cost of each prescription or a minimum of $3.00, to a limit of $150 per person per year. There is no annual limit for the Social Assistance Pharmacare Program.
Financial Assistance Drug Plan
PEI Family Health Benefit
People on social assistance are eligible for dental services when in pain and suffering, an optical exam every two years, and $115 for the purchase of glasses, with no co-payment required.
Families with incomes below $20,000 who are not on social assistance receive drug coverage that requires co-payment of up to $13 per prescription plus the pharmacy's dispensing fee.
Extended Drug Card Coverage
Families on social assistance receive coverage for unlimited prescription drug costs.
For social assistance clients who find employment, coverage can be extended for a six-month period after leaving social assistance.
1 From August 2001, the province of Nova Scotia will provide extended pharmacare drug coverage for 12 months for those leaving social assistance to join the work force. Source: Relevant federal and provincial Web sites.
APPENDICES | 77
Table 8 Provincial Child Tax Benefits
BC Family Bonus
· Department responsible for policy · Administrative responsibility · Eligibility
Finance and Corporate Relations Revenue Canada Families with children under 18 and an earned income of between $3,750 and $20,921 in the previous tax year are eligible. Families with a net income below $18,000 receive the maximum benefit.
Tax-free, maximum monthly benefit of $25.41 for the first child, $42.08 for the second child, and $48.33 for each additional child.
Alberta No program
Saskatchewan Saskatchewan Child Benefit Social Services
Manitoba No program1
Revenue Canada Families with children under 18 and a net income below $15,921 receive the maximum benefit. Families with incomes between $15,921 and $30,000 are eligible for partial benefits.
Tax-free, maximum monthly benefit of $44.00 for the first child, $61.50 for the second child, and $67.66 for each additional child.
Ontario No program
1 Manitoba's Lower Tax Commission (created in May 1999) was considering a new benefit as one of its reform options. 2 We use the amount published by the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency. Provinces use a different model to calculate amounts by including the federal part of the benefit.
78 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
Table 8 (cont'd)
Prince Edward Island
Newfoundland and Labrador
NB Child Tax Benefit
Nova Scotia Child Benefit4
· Department Ministry of the responsible for Family and Children policy
· Administrative Rйgie des Rentes du responsibility Quйbec
· Eligibility · Benefits3
Families with children under 18, with a net income below $15,000 for a single parent and $21,000 for twoparent families receive full benefits. Partial benefits are provided to families with incomes of less than $60,000, depending on the number of children. Tax-free maximum monthly benefit for single-parent family with: One child $160.42 Two $212.50 Three $264.58 Four $316.67 Five $368.75 Two-parent family with: One child $52.08 Two $104.17 Three $156.25 Four $208.33 Five $260.42
NB Finance Revenue Canada Families with a net income of $20,000 or less will receive an annual tax-free payment of $250 for each child under age 18 living at home. Families with a net income of $20,000 or more may receive some benefits, depending on their income and the number of children. Tax-free, maximum $20.83 per month per child.
Community Services Revenue Canada Families with children under 18 and a net income up to $15,999 receive full benefits. Families between $16,000 and $20,921 receive partial benefits. Tax-free monthly payments up to $33.58/month for the first child, $26.58 for the second child, and $23.83 for each additional child.
No program Newfoundland and Labrador Child Benefit Human Resources and Employment Revenue Canada Families with children under 18 and an income below $15,921 receive the full benefit. Families between $15,921 and $20,921 receive partial benefits. Tax-free monthly payment. Up to $17/month for the first child, $26 for the second, $28 for the third, and $30 for each additional child.
3 We use the amount published by the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency. Provinces use a different model to calculate amounts by including the federal part of the benefit. 4 Nova Scotia will introduce an Integrated Child Benefit for all children in low-income families effective August 2001. The allowance will be provided by increasing the Nova Scotia Child Benefit and combining it with the NCB. Low-income families will be eligible to receive up to $1,600 each year for each child. Source: Site of the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (http://www.ccra-adrc.gc.ca) and relevant provincial Web sites.
APPENDICES | 79
Table 9 Provincial Working Income Supplements for Families with Earned Income
Program description Program name
Earned Income Benefit
Family Employment Tax Credit
Saskatchewan Employment Supplement
Ontario Child Care
Income Support Supplement for
Program (CRISP) Working Families
· Department responsible for policy · Administrative responsibility · Eligibility · Benefits
Finance and Corporate Relations Revenue Canada Families with children under 18 and earned income of more than $3,750 may be entitled. Amounts are reduced if family net income is more than $20,921. Maximum benefit is $50.41 per month for a family with one child, $84.16 for two children, $111.66 for three children, and another $27.50 per month for each additional child.
Treasury Revenue Canada Families with children under 18 and at least $6,500 in earned income but less than $50,000. Maximum to families with income under $25,000. Semi-annual payment. Maximum annual credit is $500 ($41.66 per month) per child or $1,000 ($83.33 per month) for families with two or more children.
Family Services and Housing
Families with children under 18, with incomes between $1,500 and $25,000 per year from employment income, child support, or income from farming or self-employment.
Families with children under 18 and incomes below $14,188 receive the maximum. Current family assets may not exceed $200,000.
Up to $2,100$3,750 depending on the number of children. Maximum benefits to families with an annual income of $12,000 (up to $175 a month for one child, $210 for two children, and $245 for three children). Benefit is accrued between $1,500 and $9,900 of supplemental income, and reduced when family income exceeds $12,900.
Monthly supplement up to $30 per child.
Finance Finance Families with children under 7, with at least one parent employed, studying or in training. Maximum benefit to families with incomes under $20,000.1 Maximum annual benefit of $1,100 ($92 per month) for each child under 7. Since July 2000, the maximum annual benefit for single parent families is $1,310 ($109 per month) for each child under 7.
1 Benefit reduced by 8 percent of net family income in excess of $20,000. Families with earnings up to $5,000, and families with no earnings who are attending school or training can qualify for an annual benefit of 50 percent of qualifying child care expenses as reported on their previous year's tax return, up to the maximum benefit level. For families with earnings in excess of $5,000, the benefit is calculated as the greater of a percentage of the family's net earnings in excess of $5,000, or 50 percent of the family's qualifying child care expenses, up to the maximum benefit level.
80 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
Table 9 (cont'd)
Prince Edward Newfoundland
Program name · Department responsible for policy · Administrative responsibility · Eligibility · Benefits
Parental Wage Assistance Program (APPORT: Aide aux parents pour leurs revenus de travail)
Working Income Supplement
Ministry of Social Solidarity
Family Assistance Program Community Services
Families with children under 18, earning at least $100/month ($1,200 annually) but no more than $22,000 ($15,000 for single parents), and assets under $45,000 for renters and under $90,000 for homeowners. Benefits can reach $3,456 per year ($288 a month) for one-child families with annual income of $12,000. Access to child care for $2 per day.
Families with children under 18 and earned income greater than $3,750 but under $25,921. Maximum to families with income under $20,921. Maximum $250 per year.
Families with children under 19 and earned income less than $16,500, and who have not received social assistance for more than three months in the previous year. $250 per year.
Source: Relevant provincial Web sites.
APPENDICES | 81
Table 10 Tax Reductions and Credits for Families with Dependent Children
Selective Tax Saskatchewan Sales Reduction Tax Credit
Saskatchewan Child Tax Reduction
Manitoba Tax Manitoba Cost
of Living Credit
· Department responsible for policy
Finance and Corporate Relations
· Administrative Revenue responsibility Canada
Revenue Canada Finance
Reduces the Reduces
payable for taxes for
those with families with
dependent low taxable
children. income, until
the flat tax
Sales tax credit available to lower income families with children under 19. The child component of the credit is reduced at a rate of 1 percent as family net income rises over $14,100 ($8,600 if there is more than one qualifying child).
Reduces provincial taxes payable for low- and middleincome families with children.
refundable tax dependent
credit available children
on family size
Maximum benefit is $50 per child.
The child component Reduction of $250
of the Sales Tax
per child per year
Credit provides an to a maximum of
additional $55 per $1,000 per year for
child. For two-parent families with
component is $110,
for an annual sales
tax credit of $264.
families, the first
child eligible is
entitled to the adult
benefit of $77 and the
component of the
credit is $55, for a
credit of $209.
Nonrefundable tax reduction for each child under 18 : $370 for first child of a loneparent family and $250 for each additional child and for each child in a two-parent family2
Refundable credit of $190 for the first child in a loneparent family and $25 for each additional child and for each child in a two-parent family.
1 In Budget 2000, Saskatchewan announced a non-refundable child tax credit of $2,500 per dependent child, which will come into effect in 2001. 2 In Budget 2000, a new Family Tax Reduction was announced for 2001, which will replace the existing Manitoba Tax Reduction. The amount for each child will rise from $250 to $300 for both lone-parent and two-parent families. 3 Programs cover school-aged children to some extent, although the age range covered may vary by province.
82 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
Table 10 (cont'd)
Ontario Tax Credits
Ontario Tax Reduction
Refundable tax credits (including First Home, Sales Tax, Adoption expenses)
Quebec Child Tax Credit (Crйdit d'impфts pour enfants)
Tax Reduction for Families
Tax Credits for Quebec Sales Tax (Crйdits d'impфts pour la TVQ)
· Department Finance responsible for policy
· Administrative Revenue responsibility Canada
Refundable tax credits for Ontario residents over 16, based on family income. Includes Sales Tax Credit and Ontario Home Ownership Plan.
Reduces taxes for lower income taxpayers, eligible people with children 18 or under, or disabled children of any age.
Provides refundable tax credits to families with dependent children.
Finance Universal tax credit for families with children. Maximum is paid to two-parent families with incomes of $21,825 ($15,332 for single parent). Not income tested, nonrefundable.
Tax reduction for families with incomes below $51,000 ($45,917 for single parents). Families with incomes under $26,000 receive the maximum benefits.
For families with incomes under $36,266 (for two parents) and $34,566 (for single parents). Full credits to families with incomes below $26,000 with dependent children at home.
Sales Tax Credit provides $50 for each dependent child under 18.
Basic amount is $160 plus an additional $325 for each dependent child aged 18 or under. An additional reduction of $325 is also available for each disabled or infirm dependant.
The amount varies by the particular credit.
Maximum of $598 for the first child and $480 to $552 for subsequent children. Single parents receive an extra $260.
Maximum reduction of $1,500 for twoparent families and $1,195 for single-parent families.
Maximum of $308 per year for two-parent families and $257 for singleparent families.
4 In Quebec, a refundable tax credit is offered to all families to cover 20 percent of fees related to child adoption for a maximum tax credit of $2,000. 5 Programs cover school-aged children to some extent, although the age range covered may vary by province.
APPENDICES | 83
Table 10 (cont'd)
Program description Program name
New Brunswick Sales Tax Reduction (HST)6
Low-Income Tax Reduction Program
Prince Edward Island
Low-Income Tax Reduction Program
Newfoundland and Labrador HST6
· Department Revenue responsible for Canada policy
· Administrative Revenue responsibility Canada
Provides a sales tax credit to families with children under 19.
Finance Finance All income families. Maximum tax reduction for families with incomes up to $16,500.
Finance Finance All families with taxable income up to $15,000, reducing by 5 percent on income over that amount.
Up to $300 a year for the first adult and $165 for each child.
Nonrefundable credit against tax payable of $250 for tax filer, $250 for spouse or equivalent to spouse, and $200 per child.
6 The Atlantic provinces participate in the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) Reduction Program, which merges the provincial sales tax and the federal government's Goods and Services Tax (GST). Thus families with children under 19 years old receive a sales tax reduction in each Atlantic province, delivered via the HST. 7 Programs cover school-aged children to some extent, although the age range covered may vary by province. Source: Relevant provincial Web sites. 84 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
Table 11 Child Advocates or Representatives
Child advocate or representative for the child in divorce or child protection
British Columbia Alberta Saskatchewan Manitoba Ontario Quebec New Brunswick Nova Scotia Prince Edward Island Newfoundland and Labrador
The Office of the Child, Youth and Family Advocate Legislation ensures that rights and interests of children, youth and their family related to designated services are protected, assures their right to complaint, informs government and communities about services to children and families. The Advocate's office helps children under 16, youth and their families when they feel they are not getting the services needed from the provincial government by providing information and, in some cases, help for formal appeal. This office does not represent children in custody and access matters. Children's Advocate Represents the rights, interests and viewpoints of the child. Identifies issues and provides information and advice with respect to the nature, adequacy, availability, accessibility, effectiveness and appropriateness of services that are offered to children. This office does not represent children in custody and access matters. Children's Advocate The Advocate assists children under 19 who use Government Services
to ensure they have a voice. The office also provides ongoing public education on the needs of children and youth, helps to resolve disputes, conducts investigations, and advises government on how best to meet the needs of children and youth. The Advocate reports directly to the Legislative Assembly. This office does not represent children in custody and access matters. Children's Advocate Represents the rights, interests and viewpoint of children receiving or entitled to receive child and family services. The Office has a relationship with the child welfare system, but does not represent children in custody and access matters. Office of Child and Family Service Advocacy Administers a system of advocacy on behalf of children and families who receive or seek services. Advises the Ministry of Community and Social Services on matters and issues concerning the interests of children and families. Provides advocacy except before the court. Collaborates with the Children's Lawyer, who delivers programs in the administration of justice on behalf of children under 18 with respect to their personal and property rights and relating to child custody and access, child protection, and civil litigation. Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse The Youth Protection Act confirms that child protection is a collective responsibility, incumbent on every adult member of society and especially on the people whose work brings them into contact with children. The Commission has the mandate to protect the rights of children and youth and also oversees the Director of the Youth Protection and the child protection mandate. None Office of the Ombudsman The Office of the Ombudsman responds to Child Advocacy issues when requested and will intervene if there is difficulty between an office of government and a citizen. None None
Source: Relevant federal and provincial Web sites.
APPENDICES | 85
Table 12 Family Mediation Programs
Family mediation programs and services
British Columbia Alberta Saskatchewan Manitoba Ontario Quebec New Brunswick Nova Scotia Prince Edward Island Newfoundland and Labrador
There are government programs available in British Columbia that offer voluntary mediation to resolve disputes about child custody and access or child protection, and there are many family mediators in the private sector. Mediation is available to parents referred by Family Court, the Court of Queen's Bench, lawyers or families who are self-referred. An Open Assessment Subsidy could be offered for private assessors' services if mediation is not appropriate or did not resolve the problem. A portion of the fees could be paid for parents in financial need. Mediation is voluntary. The Mediation Information Program is free of charge. Individual fees for mediation are determined by the ability to pay if mediation is obtained through Saskatchewan Justice. Parents may start mediation by themselves, be sent by a judge or be referred by a lawyer or a social service agency. Mediation is concerned specifically with child-related matters. Mediation on parenting issues is available at no cost from trained mediators through the provincial government's Family Conciliation service. The province distributes information about mediation services. The government funded Voluntary Family Mediation Services provide mediation for issues arising upon family breakdown. As the province expands its Unified Family Courts, family mediation services also will be made available at those sites. Family mediation is voluntary, but courts may order spouses to mediation. Services are provided free of charge to all couples with children during the negotiation and settlement of their application for separation, divorce, child custody, support, or the review of an existing judgement. The use of mediation services is voluntary and services are free. Some municipalities make voluntary mediation available. As of May 2000, parties will contribute to the cost of mediation according to their income. Those earning under $20,000 are exempt from any costs. A free and voluntary mediation program is available through the Family Court. The Court may also order parties to mediate as a means of resolution. Information is not available.
Source: Relevant federal and provincial Web sites.
86 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
Table 13 Children's Involvement in Custody Decisions
Possibility in provincial legislation for the child to have a say related to child custody and access
British Columbia Alberta Saskatchewan Manitoba Ontario Quebec New Brunswick Nova Scotia Prince Edward Island
Yes, where appropriate No Yes, the wishes of the child are considered to the extend the court considers appropriate, having regard to the age and maturity of the child Yes, where appropriate Yes, where the views and preferences of the child can reasonably be ascertained Yes, if the child's age and power of discernment permit it Yes, where the child's views and preferences can be reasonably ascertained No, but in exceptional cases, the child can have a say (generally, not before the child reaches the age of 12) Yes, the court shall consider the child's view and preferences where possible
Newfoundland and Labrador
Yes, where the views and preferences of the child can reasonably be ascertained
Source: Relevant federal and provincial Web sites.
APPENDICES | 87
Table 14 Child Maintenance Enforcement
Family Maintenance Enforcement Program
Maintenance Enforcement Program
Saskatchewan Maintenance Enforcement Program
Manitoba Maintenance Enforcement Program
Ontario Family Responsibility Office (FRO)
· Department responsible for policy
Any parent with an existing maintenance order or registered agreement.
Any parent with court ordered maintenance.
Justice Any parent with a court order, maintenance or written agreement.
Departments of Family Services and Housing and Department of Justice Any parent with a family support order or agreement.
Attorney General Person with custody, care or control of a child, with child support order, or domestic contract filed with the court and with FRO.
Provides enforcement for and monitoring of agreements/ orders. Family Maintenance Incentive encourages noncustodial parents on welfare to provide family maintenance payments on time.
Provides enforcement, including the cancellation of drivers' licenses, the reporting of debtors to the Credit Bureau, and the use of a new series of media advisories to locate individuals. Family and Social Services helps clients on social assistance obtain orders.
Provides enforcement to ensure compliance.
Provides automatic enforcement and computerized monitoring of payments.
Provides enforcement to encourage compliance.
88 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
Table 14 (cont'd)
Support Payment Collection System (Rйgime de perception des pensions alimentaires)
· Department Revenue and, in a
responsible for limited number of
Family Support Orders Service Justice, in partnership with Family and Community Services
Maintenance Enforcement Program Justice
Prince Edward Island
Newfoundland and Labrador
Family Support Orders Program
Support Enforcement Program
Health and Social Services and Attorney General
· Eligibility · Benefits
All separated parents. Provides enforcement and can also advance payment.
Any parent with a family support order or agreement.
Any parent with a court order or registered agreement.
Any parent (with a support order) in receipt of social assistance (either financial assistance or a day care subsidy).
Any parent with a support order or an agreement that has been filed with the court.
Provides enforcement to ensure compliance and also assists parents on social assistance to obtain a child support order.
Ability to issue garnishment of income sources, to issue a lien on real property, to seize bank accounts, etc. Special enforcement is provided for single parents on social assistance by the Family Maintenance Income Support Program.
The Maintenance Enforcement Office can garnishee wages or any income source, attach liens to property, impound motor vehicles, suspend drivers' licenses, and take other remedies in accordance with the Maintenance Enforcement Act.
Receives and disburses court ordered funds for support and maintenance, traces delinquent payers, transmits support orders to other provinces, garnishes wages.
Source: Relevant provincial Web sites.
APPENDICES | 89
Table 15 Education Governance: Number and Composition of School Boards
Reduction of the number of school boards
Composition of school boards in the province
British Columbia Alberta Saskatchewan Manitoba Ontario Quebec New Brunswick1 Nova Scotia Prince Edward Island Newfoundland and Labrador
7560 18165 97 54 72 (plus 37 school authorities) 15672 180 228 53 2711
59 public, 1 francophone education authority 43 public, 18 Catholic, 4 francophone 76 public, 19 Catholic, 1 Protestant and 1 francophone 53 public, 1 francophone 31 English-language public boards and 4 Frenchlanguage public boards; 29 English-language Catholic boards and 8 French-language Catholic boards; plus 37 school authorities 9 English, 60 French, 3 special status First Nations None 5 regional, 2 district and 1 francophone 2 anglophone, 1 francophone public 10 anglophone, 1 francophone public
1 In 1996, school boards were replaced by school-based regional and provincial parent councils. Source: Canadian School Boards Association (2000), Education Governance Cross-Canada Chart, Ottawa: Canadian School Boards Association.
90 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
Table 16 Education Governance: Funding and Negotiation
Negotiation in education
British Columbia Alberta Saskatchewan Manitoba Ontario Quebec New Brunswick Nova Scotia Prince Edward Island Newfoundland and Labrador
Provided entirely by the province under a block grant system. Access to property tax through referenda.
Two-tiered system. Provincial matters, including all those with cost implications negotiated by employer's association. Legal negotiations or other matters require provincial ratification.
Provided entirely by the province under a block grant system. Approximately equal amounts come from general revenue sources and property taxes levied by the province. School boards may seek elector approval to levy tax on property to a maximum of 3 percent of their budget allocation.
Local collective bargaining.
Province provides 40 percent through provincial grants. Boards generate 58 percent of funding from property tax base, through locally determined levies, and 2 percent from tuition fees.
Two-tiered system with a provincial government-trustee (5-4) bargaining committee. Local bargaining on certain required matters and other locally determined issues.
About two-thirds of education funding is provided through the province's general revenues and a provincial levy on property. One-third is raised through a school board levy on property.
Local collective bargaining.
Provincial grants only. Boards lost the right to local taxation in 1998 (100 percent funded by Ministry of Education).
Local collective bargaining.
85 percent from provincial grants and 15 percent local property tax levies.
Provincial bargaining under employer committees. Local arrangements on matters set out in provincial agreement.
100 percent provincial funding from general revenues.
Funded by province from general revenues and mandatory property taxes collected by municipalities. Funding is approximately 83 percent provincial and 17 percent municipal.
Two-tiered system with provincial and local bargaining.
Provincial funding from general revenues.
Provincial bargaining with administrative representation from school boards.
Entirely funded by province from general revenues.
Provincial bargaining with representation from trustee association or team.
Source: Canadian School Boards Association (2000), Education Governance Cross-Canada Chart, Ottawa: Canadian School Boards Association.
APPENDICES | 91
Table 17 School Governance: Status of School Councils
· School councils are required in each school · Statute of school council is mentioned in legislation · Current statute of school council
Parent role is to advise the board, and the principal and staff of the school respecting any matter relating to the school.
School councils can operate on any model of governance they choose.
School councils or district boards of trustees are elected in a manner similar to boards of education. In urban divisions, boards of education may provide for the establishment of local school advisory committees and set out their duties and responsibilities.
No Yes Advisory councils for school leadership receive a variety of duties and roles as outlined in the provincial guidelines when they register with the Minister's office.
Yes Yes Made up of parent, school and community representatives, the school council provides advice to the principal and to the school board, where appropriate, on a range of matters affecting their children's learning.
92 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
Table 17 (cont'd)
Prince Edward Island
Newfoundland and Labrador
· School councils are required in each school · Statute of school council is mentioned in legislation · Current statute of school council
School committees have advisory and decision-making functions on pedagogical and school management issues, while parent committees advise the school board.
The Committee uses a representative model, with an elected board that acts in an advisory capacity to the principal. Provide advice only on local education issues, but have district level committees and a provincial board of education that reports to the Minister.
School can have more than one council. To have legitimate authority, the council must sign a letter of agreement with the Department of Education and the local school boards, which outlines the parameters of their role.
Their role, as stated in the PEI Handbook on School Councils, is to provide advice to the principal, and facilitate and encourage cooperation between parents and educators.
School councils must negotiate a protocol agreement with their school board, establishing their role and responsibilities, which must include those outlined in the legislation and may include others as identified by the school board.
Source: Canadian School Boards Association (2000), Education Governance Cross-Canada Chart, Ottawa: Canadian School Boards Association. Relevant provincial Web sites.
APPENDICES | 93
Table 18 Education Expenditures per Student, 1993, 1995 and 1997
Annual expenditures per student ($)
Canada British Columbia Alberta Saskatchewan Manitoba Ontario Quebec New Brunswick Nova Scotia Prince Edward Island Newfoundland and Labrador
6,815 6,650 6,158 5,490 6,481 7,306 7,164 5,668 5,260 5,181 5,102
6,853 6,941 5,836 5,670 6,764 7,213 7,370 5,773 5,180 4,824 5,272
Source: Statistics Canada, The Daily, 28 July 2000 (www.statcan.ca/daily).
1997 6,852 7,054 6,157 5,871 6,923 7,236 7,000 5,902 5,133 4,843 5,337
94 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
Table 19 Adolescent Pregnancy and Parenting Initiatives
Adolescent pregnancy: preventive and remedial measures1
British Columbia Alberta Saskatchewan Manitoba Ontario Quebec New Brunswick Nova Scotia Prince Edward Island Newfoundland and Labrador
Teen prenatal programs focus on the prevention of unplanned pregnancy, offer counselling to pregnant teens and after-birth home visiting. Regional Health Authority Birth Control Clinics provide information, assistance with choice and contraceptives in larger urban cities. Edmonton and Calgary Boards of Education have schools for pregnant and parenting teens that incorporate education and counselling and include child care services at school. Teen Wellness Centres use a comprehensive approach to promote healthy lifestyles and deliver preventive programs to enhance teen health and decrease teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. The Successful Mothers Support Program and Teen and Youth Parent Program are voluntary programs targeted at pregnant and parenting teens and youth parents. Northern Saskatchewan (the area with the highest rate of teen pregnancy) provides child care for teen parents attending high school. An educational media campaign developed by youth is undertaken to give a clear message: "don't get pregnant." Northern and Urban Aboriginal Youth Councils in Thompson and Winnipeg are developing culturally appropriate pregnancy prevention strategies. Learnfare is addressed to able-bodied parents under 18 on social assistance. Young parents are required to take parenting courses within a residential setting and those with a child over six months are required to attend school or training. The Learning, Earning and Parenting Program is obligatory for young parents (16 and 17 years old) who have not finished their secondary schooling. The program helps them to finish school, improve their parenting abilities, and to obtain work experiences. Childcare subsidies and other support relating to school expenditures are also provided. The Community Health Centres Program for Youth offers primary care services for youth ages 14 to 24. A wide range of programs is offered, based on local needs, including prenatal and postnatal support. The government is preparing guidelines and an action plan on the subject of prevention of early pregnancy and support for teenage mothers. The aim of the guidelines will be to support women who choose to continue their pregnancy, but also to prevent early pregnancy through strategies aimed at boys and girls. Single parents on social assistance less than 18 years old are required to take parenting courses. Some high schools have teen health centres that put an emphasis on the prevention of teen pregnancy. Graduation for Teen Moms is designed to help teen moms to graduate from high school. The province is funding Taking Care of Yourself and Your Kid, an educative program to help adolescent mothers. The project consists of 15 weekly sessions where a qualified childhood educator will facilitate good child care and provide informal guidance and education about child development and parenting.
1 Provinces provide preventive information relating to pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases through the education system, as a part of biological classes or career and life management courses. Provinces also have developed particular programs to prevent teen pregnancy, and some provinces offer support to young parents. Source: Relevant federal and provincial Web sites.
APPENDICES | 95
Table 20 Initiatives to Prevent or Reduce Youth Tobacco Smoking
Strategies to prevent or reduce youth tobacco smoking1
British Columbia Alberta Saskatchewan Manitoba Ontario Quebec New Brunswick Nova Scotia Prince Edward Island Newfoundland and Labrador
BC Kicks Off is the first Ministry of Health program designed for teens who want to quit smoking. Health-care and teaching professionals provide free learning sessions through schools and community agencies. Alberta's Regional Health Authorities operate education, prevention and cessation programs targeted to youth. A provincial Tobacco Reduction Strategy is being developed and will focus particularly on youth. A new legislative committee will focus on tobacco risk and ways to protect people from the effects of tobacco. For the moment, there is no special emphasis on reducing youth tobacco smoking. The Tobacco Reduction Strategy focuses particularly on prevention of youth and adolescent tobacco smoking through schools, community-based projects and the media. An action plan for the reduction of tobacco smoking includes precise goals relating to the reduction of youth tobacco smoking. The Ministry of Health and the regions undertake inititiaves to prevent and reduce youth smoking. As part of New Brunswick's Tobacco Strategy undertaken by the Health and Community Services Department, the use of a Resource Guide to Teaching about Tobacco will be used in each school, in cooperation with the Department of Education. Smoke-Free for Life offers a smoking prevention curriculum supplement for students of primary grades. Kids Against Tobacco Smoke is a peer education program for students in Grades 5 and 6, which operates primarily in the western health region. An alliance between several governmental and non-governmental organizations works towards the development of a comprehensive plan to prevent youth smoking. Initiatives include the distribution of posters, smoking cessation programs, and a variety of preventive activities in schools. A Teen Tobacco Team is developing a Youth Tobacco Strategy in the province.
1 Provinces undertake several initiatives to prevent or reduce youth tobacco smoking. Most of them involve many actors such as ministries, schools, and anti-tobacco associations. Several programs receive funding from Health Canada. Source: Relevant federal and provincial Web sites.
96 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
Table 21 Anti-violence Initiatives
Initiatives to promote non-violent behaviour in school-aged children
British Columbia Alberta Saskatchewan Manitoba Ontario
The Live Violence Free Campaign includes television and radio advertisements and an information kit for individual, community and societal actions. The Violence Prevention Pipeline includes school action projects that help students to understand the dynamics of violence. The BC Safe School Centre is a central source of information and resources on successful practices for addressing safe schools and related community issues, available to individuals and groups. The recent Children's Forum report included recommendations in the area of prevention of violence among youth, such as educational programs in school. The Department of Education has a Safe and Caring Schools Program that addresses this issue through partnerships at the provincial and local level. A provincial Children at Risk Task Force is established with the mandate to look at issues facing children at risk, including those who are at risk of developing violent behaviours. STOPS to Violence (Saskatchewan Towards Offering Partnership Solutions to Violence) is developing ways to promote healthy relationships and eliminate abuse and violence. The Saskatchewan School Trustees Association published One Incident Is Too Many: Policy Guidelines for Safe Schools. Each school division is responsible for developing its own "safe school policy." Materials on domestic violence are included in the school curriculum of the Ministry of Education. In addition, a variety of school-based anti-violence programs are given in schools, and information sessions are provided to teachers to help them to deal with problems. Violence prevention programs are provided in schools for administrators, teachers, parents and children
Quebec New Brunswick Nova Scotia Prince Edward Island Newfoundland and Labrador
An educational campaign focuses on violence against women and targets teenagers in particular. High schools distribute materials and organize activities on the subject. The Department of Education, in conjunction with the Crime Prevention Association of New Brunswick, is sponsoring a Safer Schools... Safer Communities conference in November 2000. The focus of the conference is three-fold: school-based interventions; safe learning environments; and strong community-school linkages. Sessions will discuss best practices, strategies, policies and practical ideas for classroom teachers and administrators in schools and communities. A Family Violence Prevention Initiative emphasizes primary prevention and early intervention, and includes a television advertising campaign. The multi-departmental Family Violence Prevention Initiative includes primary prevention and the development of family violence prevention activities. The Peer Education Manual for Adolescents provides basic information and promotes discussion among adolescents on issues related to violence. Manuals are distributed to schools and youth groups.
Source: Relevant federal and provincial Web sites.
APPENDICES | 97
Table 22 Initiatives to Prevent Youth Suicide
Youth suicide prevention measures
British Columbia Alberta Saskatchewan Manitoba Ontario Quebec New Brunswick Nova Scotia Prince Edward Island Newfoundland and Labrador
A provincial Forum on Youth Suicide Prevention led to a document entitled Youth Suicide Prevention: A Framework for British Columbia (1997). The province has a comprehensive, community-wide youth suicide prevention plan based on many of the strategies outlined in the Manual of Best Practices in Youth Suicide Prevention. A Web site provides information on the best practices to prevent youth suicide. The Suicide Information and Education Center (SIEC) organizes school-based suicide prevention programs and provides information on program design and evaluation. SIEC is also used as a specialized resource for Suicide Prevention Training Programs. Teen Wellness Centres are a place for young people to access resources to inform, guide and assist them in becoming knowledgeable about health and lifestyle issues of concern to them. Some topics targeted by the Wellness Centres include suicide prevention, eating disorders, sexuality, self-esteem, smoking cessation, leadership, personal decision making, violence and healthy relationships. The Youth Suicide Information Centre program has three main functions: education and training to help inform the public and professionals on risk factors and indicators associated with suicide; developing resources to assist regions in identifying existing services and service gaps; and developing and conducting research on issues relating to youth suicide, as well as developing policy based on the outcome of research conducted in Manitoba and elsewhere. Ontario is developing a more comprehensive mental health system, and several children's mental health programs target suicide prevention. The reformed system includes intensive child and family intervention services provided in homes, schools and communities, and new mobile crisis response teams to respond to children and families in acute crisis. Tel-Jeunes is a non-profit organization that provides telephone help to youth by qualified personnel as a way to prevent drug abuse, distress and suicide. The three-year campaign Parler, c'est grandir (Talking, It's Growing) focuses on the prevention of social distress among youth and includes television publicity, school-based activities and a Web site. Suicide prevention centres are in place across the province. The New Brunswick Suicide Prevention Program mobilizes agencies and individuals that work provincially and locally to reduce the rate of suicide among all age groups. There are 13 Community Suicide Prevention Committees that advise on the actions required and coordinate efforts at the regional level. Information is not available. The province does not have a suicide prevention strategy although the Canadian Mental Health Association is in the process of arranging the delivery of a school-based program. The province is funding the Suicide Intervention and Community Response Program in Labrador to provide support and professional training to communities in order to develop a framework to prevent suicide among all age groups.
Source: Relevant federal and provincial Web sites.
98 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
Table 23 Initiatives to Promote Youth Literacy
Programs that promote literacy activities for school-aged children
British Columbia Alberta Saskatchewan Manitoba Ontario Quebec New Brunswick Nova Scotia Prince Edward Island Newfoundland and Labrador
Literacy BC offers family literacy programs to address reading by children and parents and to prevent adult literacy problems. Read to Succeed focuses on students in primary grades and tries to motivate them to learn and to improve their reading skills. The Family Literacy Project funds several family literacy projects across the province to promote family literacy awareness and training, including programs to help parents create a home that provides a literacy-rich environment, to develop book-sharing strategies, and to develop partnerships with local schools. The Family Literacy Initiative is part of Saskatchewan's Action Plan for Children that provides funding to specific regional projects. A Literacy Network promotes family literacy in collaboration with regional committees. The Family Literacy Steering Committee emphasizes family literacy and the Early Literacy Intervention Program seeks to bring the lowest achieving Grade 1 students to average levels of achievement for their grade so they may progress satisfactorily. Early Literacy programs require each school board in the province to develop a comprehensive early literacy plan for Grades 1 to 3. The plan includes remedial reading and writing programs, teacher training, the involvement of parents and the community, and an Early Literacy Fund. The Learning Opportunities Grant provides funding to improve student literacy skills, including summer school programs and support for parents. Literacy initiatives include community groups, public libraries and schools. Communication-Jeunesse develops literacy clubs for youth and is developing a strategy to reach teenagers. Artist and author "school rounds" allow students to meet authors at school. The Community-Based Family Literacy Initiative promotes early literacy interventions to parents of preschool-aged children in their homes and communities, the support of early childhood development, the parent-child bond, school readiness, and stimulation and reinforcement of children's early learning process
es. Literacy New Brunswick Inc. and other provincial and regional partners develop community projects in support of these objectives. The NB Committee on Literacy holds seminars at all English public libraries in New Brunswick. Family Literacy is a part of a comprehensive approach to developing literacy at all levels in the province, with programs that include workshops for parents on promoting reading at home, programs linking libraries and families, and parents' pre-school reading sessions. A Literacy Initiatives Secretariat is responsible for all literacy projects including one to promote family literacy. A provincial Strategic Literacy Plan outlines literacy initiatives for all ages, both within and outside the formal school system.
Source: Relevant provincial Web sites.
APPENDICES | 99
Table 24 Parenting Education Initiatives
Programs to promote parenting education and lifelong learning about parenting
British Columbia Alberta Saskatchewan Manitoba Ontario Quebec New Brunswick Nova Scotia Prince Edward Island Newfoundland and Labrador
Family Support Services provide programs on healthy growth and development including sexual health services, promotion of resiliency, health education, referrals, youth clinic services and injury prevention programs. Community schools provide programs such as parenting education classes. The British Columbia Council for Families offers documents on parenting. Parenting After Separation seminars help divorcing parents to learn about the impact of divorce on children and how to ensure the healthy development of children through and after the experience of divorce. The You're Amazing support network, a partner of Alberta's Health Authorities, offers a network to parents. Parenting Education Saskatchewan provides information, support and consultation about parenting education to community members and groups. It also produces a Web site that provides links to facilitators of parent-related support services throughout the province. The Parent Education Program, For the Sake of the Children, educates and focuses parents on the needs of their children in the context of divorce. The Ontario Library Service provides a bibliography on parents and parenting documents. The 37 Public Health Units in Ontario deliver services and programs directed at children, youth and parents, such as sexual and reproductive health education and parenting. The campaign to prevent youth social distress reminds parents to listen to and support teens. Parenting skill workshops are held in numerous communities across New Brunswick and some regions offer sessions relating to school-aged children. The Web site of the Department of Education includes a section dedicated to "Parents as Partners" that includes valuable information for parents who wish to become more involved in their children's education. The Department of Justice provides information and parenting education for divorcing parents to help them understand and respond to the needs of their children in the context of divorce. Family resource centres, located in each of the five health regions, offer a variety of programs including parent education, support groups, parent resources, and outreach to smaller communities. Information is not available.
Source: Relevant federal and provincial Web sites.
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Table 25 Policy Evaluation Processes
Provincial policy evaluation processes
British Columbia Alberta Saskatchewan Manitoba Ontario Quebec New Brunswick Nova Scotia Prince Edward Island Newfoundland and Labrador
The Children's Commission assesses government services for children and youth, and advises government on improving these services. The annual report, Measuring Our Success: A Framework for Evaluating Population Outcomes, provides the policy framework for monitoring progress in relation to broad goals and outcomes objectives of the Ministry for Children and Families. Alberta requires its regional Child and Family Services Authorities to use outcome indicators in their business plans to show progress in achieving the goals of the Alberta's Children's Initiative. The six ministries involved in child and family services are jointly responsible for reporting on the same measures for children and families in the Alberta Children's Initiative: Agenda for Joint Action, which includes goals, strategies, action plans, expected outcomes and performance measures. Saskatchewan's Children's Advocate provides annual public reports to the legislature on areas of success and areas needing attention in the province's policy and program planning. Saskatchewan's Action Plan for Children is reviewed and renewed every year. The government is also developing an overall performance accountability system. The Policy and Planning Branch of the Department of Family Services provides senior management and programs with information and assistance for effective policy development and planning within the department, and focuses on outcomes achieved across partner departments including Health, Education and Training, Family Services, Justice, and Culture. These departments are involved in reform to support families and reduce barriers to provide coordinated, outcome-based services for children and youth. Ontario's Children's Secretariat is responsible for obtaining input on policies and programs affecting children, and reporting on changes that may be needed. The Ministиre de la Famille et de l'Enfance produces an annual report of activities and the ministry is developing an overall outcome measurement system. Children Come First, the Child Welfare Review and Redesign Project, recommended the development of process, outcome and impact indicators for each program area within the NB Child Welfare System. It is also recommended that these indicators should be monitored on a regular basis and that the new Client Service Delivery System database be configured to include those indicators. As part of its business plan, Community Services has developed a set of outcome measures to help determine the effectiveness of programs. Some measures are still being refined due to the difficulty in obtaining relevant data. The Department of Health and Social Services has no special divisions or authorities that work on policy evaluation for child and family services. To date, the Evaluation Unit has only been involved in identifying sources of data to evaluate program impacts. The Children's Service Section is responsible for providing provincial administration and direction to the five regions for children's services through policy and program development, monitoring and quality assurance, staff training, intergovernmental and intersectoral collaboration, and constancy services. The Strategic Social Plan includes objectives and goals relating to social development in the province. A provincial measurement framework will be developed by government in cooperation with regional partners to achieve goals, and will place greater emphasis on measuring outcomes (impact indicators), instead of only measuring outputs (process indicators).
Source: Relevant federal and provincial Web sites.
APPENDICES | 101
Box 1 Family Leave Relevant to Children British Columbia: An employee is entitled to up to five days of unpaid leave per employment year to meet responsibilities related to the care, health or education of any member of the employee's immediate family. "Immediate family" includes spouse, child, parent, guardian, sibling, grandchild or grandparent of an employee, or anyone who lives with the employee as a member of the family. Saskatchewan: An employee is entitled to 12 days of unpaid leave to look after a sick immediate family member (and up to 12 weeks if it is a serious illness). In the December 6, 1999, Speech from the Throne, the government announced plans to review The Labour Standards Act, with the goal of introducing amendments in 2001, following consultation with employees and employers. Ontario: An employee working for a company with 50 or more employees is entitled to up to 10 days of unpaid family crisis leave per year. Quebec: An employee is entitled to up to five days of unpaid leave per employment year to meet responsibilities related to the care, health or education of a minor child. An employee is entitled to five days of leave at the moment of the birth or adoption of a child. After two months of employment, the first two days are paid. However, if the employee is adopting the child of his or her spouse, only two days of unpaid leave are available. New Brunswick: An employee is entitled to up to 3 days of unpaid family responsibility leave per year to cope with and respond to health, education or care needs of a person in a close family relationship. Source: Relevant federal and provincial Web sites. Box 2 Provincial Deductions for Child Care Expenses Ontario: Ontario has a Child Care Tax Credit, which uses the same eligibility criteria as the Federal Child Care Expense Deduction. This credit covers up to 25 percent of qualifying child-care expenses for children under the age of 7, up to a maximum credit of $400. The maximum is available to families with incomes of $20,000 or less. Quebec: Quebec has a Tax Credit for Child Care Expenses (Crйdit d'impфts pour frais de garde), which is available for families without access to $5 a day child care. This credit covers from 75 percent of child care expenses for families with very low incomes to 24 percent of child care expenses for families with higher incomes. The credit is reduced progressively when annual incomes exceed $26,000. Families can receive up to $90 a week ($3,000 a year) for children 7 to 16. Source: Clark, Christopher (1998), Canada's Income Security Programs, Ottawa: Canadian Council on Social Development. Relevant federal and provincial Web sites. 102 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
Box 3 The Use of the Federal Child Support Guidelines British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland: These provinces have enacted legislation adopting the federal Child Support Guidelines. Alberta: Alberta has not yet given a clear indication as to whether it will adopt the federal Child Support Guidelines in provincial legislation. Quebec: The province of Quebec enacted legislation defining its own child support guidelines, which uses a different model than the federal Child Support Guidelines and applies to proceedings under both the federal Divorce Act and provincial legislation. Source: Hornick, P. Joseph, Lorne Bertrand, D. Bala and M. C. Nicholas (1999), The Survey of Child Support Awards: Final Analysis of Pilot Data and Recommendations for Continued data collection
, presented to Child Support Team, Department of Justice Canada. Relevant federal and provincial Web sites. Box 4 Legal Aid for Separated and Divorcing Parents British Columbia, Ontario and Newfoundland: Legal aid is available to low-income persons only in a critical or urgent situation (for example, in domestic violence cases). Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba: Needs tested legal aid is available for divorce and support cases. Quebec and Prince Edward Island: Legal aid may be available. New Brunswick: Legal aid services are available to all beneficiaries of child support orders without needs testing. In the case of divorce, legal aid services are available only to the client who files a petition for divorce. Nova Scotia: Needs tested legal aid is available only until the client files a petition for divorce. Source: Hornick, P. Joseph, Lorne Bertrand, D. Bala and M. C. Nicholas (1999), The Survey of Child Support Awards: Final Analysis of Pilot Data and Recommendations for Continued Data Collection, presented to Child Support Team, Department of Justice Canada. Relevant federal and provincial Web sites. Box 5 Measures to Promote Continued Relationships between Grandparents and Grandchildren In Quebec, grandparents can rely on Article 611 of the Civil Code to maintain access to their grandchildren. In other provinces, the matter is discussed. For example, in Nova Scotia, grandparents can seek leave of the court to continue a relationship with the child through access. Source: For the Sake of the Children, Report of the Special Joint Committee on Child Custody and Access, Parliament of Canada, 1998. Relevant federal and provincial Web sites. APPENDICES | 103
Box 6 Unified Family Courts The concept of family courts, that is, courts that exercise jurisdiction in relation to family-related laws, is developing in several jurisdictions across Canada. In Unified Family Courts, the court hears all family-related matters, whether these are covered by provincial or federal legislation. The federal government is encouraging the development of Unified Family Courts and providing funding for judges. British Columbia and Alberta: These provinces are considering the creation of Unified Family Courts. Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island: There are Unified Family Courts across each of these provinces. Ontario: Ontario has had a Unified Family Court in Hamilton since 1977. Other cities have established Unified Family Courts and more are being created. Quebec: Quebec does not have a Unified Family Court but there are specialized family law judges or divisions within the courts. Nova Scotia: Nova Scotia has Unified Family Courts in Halifax and Cape Breton, regions that represent approximately 60 percent of the population of the province. Newfoundland: Newfoundland has a Unified Family Court in St. John's. Source: For the Sake of the Children, Report of the Special Joint Committee on Child Custody and Access, Parliament of Canada, 1998. Hornick, P. Joseph, Lorne Bertrand, D. Bala and M. C. Nicholas (1999), The Survey of Child Support Awards: Final Analysis of Pilot Data and Recommendations for Continued Data Collection, presented to Child Support Team, Department of Justice Canada. Relevant federal and provincial Web sites. Box 7 Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: Preventive and Remedial Measures Alberta: Children's Services is leading a three-pronged initiative of prevention, early intervention and treatment of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). A pilot focuses on mothers at risk and a public campaign is being undertaken. The Ministry of Learning is developing a teaching package for teachers with FAS children in their classroom. Saskatchewan: An education program aimed at preventing FAS is part of the Saskatchewan Action Plan for Children. Prevention is offered through education, health promotion and preventive programs for at-risk women. Manitoba: The province has undertaken several initiatives. Programs are offered through schools, family centres, and health and social agencies focusing on adolescents and Aboriginal youth. Prairie Province FAS Initiative: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAS/FAE) is a particular concern in provinces with a large Aboriginal population. To address this issue, the Prairie Province FAS Initiative, in partnership with Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, introduced an interprovincial curriculum on FAS/FAE. As part of this initiative, an annual FAS symposium and conference will be held in each of the prairie provinces. Newfoundland and Labrador: The province has called for a partnership in Atlantic Canada similar to the one now in place in the prairie provinces. Source: Relevant federal and provincial Web sites. 104 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
Box 8 Measures to Promote Healthy Nutrition British Columbia: Nutrition programs provide nutritional information and services through public awareness and education provided in child care and school settings. The School Meal Program provides nutritious meals for poor children, which led to the development of a Cooking Fun for Families Handbook that outlines the nutrition education program model. Saskatchewan: The Child Nutrition and Development Program emphasizes a preventive community-based approach to child hunger and poverty, and supports nutrition education programs. Ontario: The Ontario Breakfast for Learning Program distributes grants through local programs to give poor students a nutritious meal each school day. The province has also an eating disorder treatment program that provides treatment services to children and adolescents with eating disorders. New Brunswick: The pilot program Healthy Minds provides a basic breakfast to all hungry students, from kindergarten to Grade 5. Prince Edward Island: The School Age Nutrition Action Committee explores, supports and develops ways to enhance the nutrition of school-aged children. Newfoundland and Labrador: The Community Health Education, Promotion and Screening Program provides access to health information and programs to enhance the community's health status. The province is funding the Children's Food Foundation to provide breakfasts, lunches and snacks to schoolchildren through community-based meal programs operated in schools and community centres. Source: Relevant provincial Web sites. APPENDICES | 105
Box 9 Initiatives to Enhance Youth Self-esteem British Columbia: The annual report, Measuring Our Success: A Framework for Evaluating Population Outcomes, evaluates the percentage of children and youth with low self-esteem. Alberta: There is no province-wide program in place. However, Calgary has committed, through the corporate, educational, health and social sectors to enhance the health and wellness of children and youth in Calgary and area. The primary focus of the program structure for youth and self-esteem is the incorporation of the "developmental asset" philosophy and community mobilization. Programs include the development of a Search Institute Developmental Asset Tool to determine baseline levels of assets so programs can be revised or implemented to promote asset development (self-esteem) in youth. Saskatchewan: Teen Wellness Centres are a place for young people to access resources to inform, guide and assist them in becoming knowledgeable about health and lifestyle issues of concern to them. Some topics targeted by Teen Wellness Centres include self-esteem, eating disorders, sexuality, suicide, smoking cessation, leadership, personal decision making, violence and healthy relationships. Manitoba: There is a variety of agencies and community-based organizations that offer services to enhance young people's self-esteem. These include the Rossbrook House-Youth Drop-in activity centre, the alternative school program, the Winnipeg Boys and Girls Club
, the Youth in Care Network, the William Whyte Community School Project, the New Friends Community Mentorship program, the Aboriginal Youth Initiative, and recreational/educational programs for youth in urban settings (for young people residing in Winnipeg). Quebec: Macadam J is a pilot project undertaken by a youth organization in Sherbrooke that provides services and activities for youth related to work, education, social needs, health services, sport and culture. The project attempts to address youth isolation and prevent exclusion. One of the cornerstones of the project is the enhancement of self-esteem. Prince Edward Island: The Miscouche Student Self-Esteem Project brings together teachers, students, and community members to provide students in Grades 5 through 9 with skills in decision making, coping, and social development. Partners use a focus kit to improve self-esteem and improve links between youth and the community. Newfoundland and Labrador: The province is funding the Healthy Choices program that focuses on strengthening self-perception and esteem, developing awareness and assertiveness, enhancing communication with families and the community. It is intended to promote solid, healthy, life choices among youth aged 13 to 19. Source: Relevant provincial Web sites. 106 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
Box 10 Measures to Promote Active Living for School-aged Children Provinces undertake various initiatives to encourage children to be physically active. These initiatives involve actors from schools, municipalities, government and the non-governmental sector. The federal government funds programs in several provinces to promote physical activities at school. British Columbia: Healthy Schools involves school-age children and youth in identifying issues, planning and taking action to improve their health. Students, teachers, parents, administrators and community service providers work with students in creating a shared vision of what makes their school healthy, as well as developing and implementing action plans that focus on priority health issues. Alberta: The Active Schools Program and Schools Come Alive involve schools and communities to ensure that lifelong physical activity is valued and integrated into student daily life. The Alberta Sport, Recreation, Parks and Wildlife Foundation also provides annual support to provincially recognized recreation and sports associations. Saskatchewan: The province provides funds to community groups for social, recreational and cultural activities for disadvantaged children
, youth and families during the summer months. Ontario: The Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation partners with provincial recreation organizations to improve the quality of sport and recreation programs for children and youth. Quebec: An awareness campaign involving teachers in secondary schools is undertaken to promote youth physical activity. New Brunswick: The province has a province-wide sport and leisure policy and the Secretariat for Culture and Sport administers a national program that focuses on physical activity among youth, which involves schools and other actors. Nova Scotia: The Sport and Recreation Commission formed the Physically Active Children and Youth (PACY) group, with representatives from different government departments. In 1999, a Young and Active Conference gathered groups from across the province to discuss issues related to children, youth and physical activity. It resulted in a research pilot project that will measure the physical activity levels of children and youth in the province. Prince Edward Island: The province has developed an Active Living Initiative that will include an Active Healthy School Program. Newfoundland and Labrador: The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Recreation provides grants to support active living projects and initiatives at the community level. Source: Relevant provincial Web sites. APPENDICES | 107
Box 11 Programs to Promote Arts and Culture for School-aged Children Alberta: Several programs provide creative experiences and skill-based knowledge in the arts. The Performing Arts Study Grant Program is open to youth and undergraduates in the arts in the disciplines of theatre, music and dance. Residency programs involve a variety of arts disciplines for youth aged 13 to 17 (the age depends on each program's parameters). Manitoba: The Children's Museum's mandate is to enhance cultural, educational, social, recreational and economic resources in the community, and to provide a "hands-on" museum designed for children between the ages of 2 to 13. The museum helps children to learn within an interactive learning environment and to foster a better understanding of their culture. The museum also offers educational activities for schools. Quebec: The Culture in Education Partnership program, funded by the Ministry of Culture and Communications, brings youth into direct contact with culture and the arts by initiatives such as writers' rounds in schools, culture excursions, and supporting collaborative cultural-educational projects. A Culture in Education Directory for schools and cultural communities is available on the Internet. It contains information on programs and cultural organizations that offer educational activities for students. New Brunswick: Through its Web site, the Heritage Branch suggests several classroom activities to encourage students to develop an interest in arts, culture and the history of New Brunswick. For New Brunswick's Heritage Week Celebrations 2000, the Heritage Branch invited teachers and students to meet locally with many of the province's talented artists. Source: Relevant provincial Web sites. Box 12 Programs to Promote Lifelong Learning for School-aged Children As a general pedagogical goal, departments of education across Canada have the objective to promote lifelong learning among school-aged children. In Saskatchewan, the Department of Education states that "education should provide students with knowledge and skills to function effectively as lifelong learners in a changing complex, pluralistic society." In Ontario and Manitoba, one of the goals of the education agenda is to ensure that the education system equips children for lifelong learning. The Provincial Resource Program in British Colombia provides summer educational programs for children in the care of the Ministry for Children and Families, to ensure continuity of educational goals. In most provinces, the programs for "lifelong learning" are aimed at people older than 15 years, focussing particularly on post-secondary students. For example, in Manitoba, the development of web-based course
s for students in Colleges and Universities
is seen as a way to facilitate lifelong learning. In Alberta, a Committee on Lifelong Learning is doing consultations on ways to encourage adults to keep learning throughout their lives. Source: Saskatchewan Education (1992), Into the Classroom: A Review of Directions in Practice, Regina: Saskatchewan Education. Relevant provincial Web sites. 108 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
Box 13 Sources of Research Information on School-aged Children Canadian Association for Adolescent Health http://www.acsa-caah.ca/ Canadian Association for School Health http://www.schoolfile.com/_private/index.htm Canadian Centre for Studies of Children at Risk http://www-fhs.mcmaster.ca/cscr/ Canadian Institute on Child Health http://www.cich.ca/ Canadian Institutes of Health Research http://www.cihr.ca Centre d'information sur la santй de l'enfant de l'Hфpital Sainte-Justine http://www.hsj.qc.ca/CISE/ Centre for Studies of Children at Risk http://www-fhs.mcmaster.ca/cscr/index.htm Centres of Excellence for Children's Well-Being http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hppb/childhood-youth/centres/e_networking.html Child Health Network http://www.echn.ca/ Groupe de recherche sur l'inadaptation psychosociale chez l'enfant http://www.grip.umontreal.ca/ National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth http://www.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/arb/nlscy-elnej/home.shtml Research Institute at the Hospital for Sick Children http://www.sickkids.on.ca/default.asp Source: Relevant Web sites. APPENDICES | 109
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B Key Informants Interviewed for This Study
British Columbia Carole James Acting Director Child Care Policy Branch Government of British Columbia Victoria, British Columbia Alberta Dave Anderson Executive Director Alberta School Boards Association Edmonton, Alberta Gayle Gilchrist James Director, International Development, and Associate Professor Department of Social Work University of Calgary Calgary, Alberta Saskatchewan Bonnie Durnford Assistant Deputy Minister, Policy Saskatchewan Social Services Government of Saskatchewan Regina, Saskatchewan
Craig Melvin Executive Director Saskatchewan School Trustees Association Regina, Saskatchewan Manitoba Carolyn Duhamel Executive Director Manitoba Association of School Trustees Winnipeg, Manitoba Jane Gray Policy Analyst, Executive Council Healthy Child Initiative Government of Manitoba Winnipeg, Manitoba Ontario Gail Anderson Executive Director Ontario Public School Boards Association Toronto, Ontario Pauline Laing Education Consultant Toronto, Ontario APPENDICES | 111
Heather Martin Ontario Children's Secretariat Toronto, Ontario Quebec Jeff Polenz Executive Director Quebec English School Boards Association Montreal, Quebec New Brunswick Edith Doucet Director Office for Family and Prevention Services Department of Health and Community Services Government of New Brunswick Fredericton, New Brunswick Robert Gerard Director of Student Services Department of Education Government of New Brunswick Fredericton, New Brunswick Nova Scotia Rick Gilbert Executive Director Youth Secretariat Tourism and Culture Government of Nova Scotia Halifax, Nova Scotia
Bob Matergio Coordinator Child and Youth Action Committee Halifax, Nova Scotia Kathy Moggeridge Director of Collaboration and Partnership Metro United Way Halifax, Nova Scotia Tom Rich Executive Director Department of Education Government of Nova Scotia Halifax, Nova Scotia Glynnis Ross Coordinator Professional Development Department of Education Mount Saint Vincent University Halifax, Nova Scotia Newfoundland Bruce Cooper Assistant Executive Director/ Client Services Health and Community Services Government of Newfoundland St. John's, Newfoundland Penelope Rowe Executive Director Community Service Council Newfoundland and Labrador St. John's, Newfoundland
112 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
C Project Advisory Committee Members (October 2000)
Susan Annis CultureNet Ottawa, Ontario Patricia Begin Director, Research and Evaluation National Crime Prevention Centre Department of Justice Canada Ottawa, Ontario Nicole Boily Prйsidente Conseil de la famille et de l'enfance Quйbec (Quйbec) Paul Cappon Director General Council of Ministers of Education of Canada Toronto, Ontario Karen Chan Director Business and Community Development Ontario Children's Secretariat Toronto, Ontario Bonnie Durnford Assistant Deputy Minister Policy Saskatchewan Social Services Government of Saskatchewan Regina, Saskatchewan
Nicola Epprecht Research Analyst Research and Statistics Division Department of Justice Canada Ottawa, Ontario Claire Fortier Vice President/ Chief Administrative Officer The Hospital for Sick Children Foundation Toronto, Ontario Darlene Lawson Director of Research and Policy The United Way of Greater Toronto Toronto, Ontario Cynthia Lees Assistant Deputy Minister Integrated Services for Children Division Toronto, Ontario Helen McElroy Manager, Strategic Policy and Systems Coordination System Health Canada Ottawa, Ontario Marie Pierce Executive Director Canadian School Boards Association Ottawa, Ontario APPENDICES | 113
Dick Stanley Strategic Research and Analysis Strategic and Policy Coordination Branch Canadian Heritage Ottawa, Ontario
John Yudelman Team Leader Sports and Recreation Branch Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation Toronto, Ontario
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1 Sharon M. Stroick, and Jane Jenson, What Is the Best Policy Mix for Canada's Young Children?, CPRN Study No. F|09, Canadian Policy Research Networks (Ottawa, 2000), p. 9. 2 The National Children's Agenda stemmed from the First Ministers' request to the Federal-ProvincialTerritorial Council of Ministers on Social Policy Renewal to engage the public in developing a shared vision for enhancing the well-being of Canada's children. The Government of Quebec is not participating in this process, despite its agreement with the objectives. The five national Aboriginal organizations worked with the Council to produce A National Children's Agenda Developing a Shared Vision. See Table 1, Appendix A, for more detail. 3 This is drawn from the excellent report by Jennifer Tipper and Denise Avard, "Building Better Outcomes for Canada's Children," CPRN Discussion Paper No. F|06, Canadian Policy Research Networks (Ottawa, 1999), chapter 4. 4 This paper's definition of "school-aged children" takes 15 as the symbolic cutoff point since children are obliged to stay in school until they are 16. Clearly, many of the policies we will discuss include older teenagers as well, but this cutoff line signifies our focus on school-aged children, not on those who have left school to join the labour force nor on policies specifically designed to ease the transition from school to work. 5 Government of Ontario (2000), "Ontario's Promise," http://www.ontariospromise.com, p. 2. 6 What Is the Best Policy Mix for Canada's Young Children?, p. 21.
7 M. Tymchak, and Saskatchewan Instructional Development and Research Unit (2000), Task Force and Public Dialogue on the Role of the School: Interim Report to the Minister of Education. Available at http://www.roleoftheschool.com/interim/files/ ROSinterim.html. 8 Canada is not alone in this; however, other countries have instituted policies that at least ease the financial burden. Thus, for instance, in September 2000, the French Minister for the Family and Childhood announced the allocation of up to 3,000 francs per month for a parent who had to quit work to care for a sick or injured child; 2,000 francs if they continue to work half-time and 1,500 if they work up to 80 percent. The government of Paris instituted a still more generous plan offering up to 4,000 francs for parents who interrupt their professional life for up to a year, to care for a gravely ill child, even if they continue to work part time. 9 Canadian Council on Social Development, The Progress of Canada's Children into the Millennium (Ottawa, 2000), p. 28. 10 As we shall see, the Youth Criminal Justice Act introduced by the previous Liberal government failed to please the critics of the Young Offenders Act (1984), whether they were from the right or the left. It died on the order books when the November 2000 election was called. 11 Janis Wood Catano, "Emerging Issues and Proposed Priorities in Child (6-12) and Adolescent (13-18) Health," prepared for the Health Promotion and Programs Branch, Health Canada (Atlantic Region), 5.6.97.
NOTES | 115
12 The total fertility rate is based on the number of births per woman aged 15 to 49 years. The replacement rate is the number of births necessary to maintain a stable population (2.1 births per woman). The Vanier Institute of the Family, Profiling Canada's Families II (Ottawa, 2000), p. 56. 13 Extended family households are also a rarity. In 1995, extended family households accounted for only 2.7 percent of Canadian households, but this family form has been marginal throughout the 20th century. Profiling Canada's Families II, p. 56. 14 New Brunswick was also a little below average at 1.5; Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia maintained the average rate; while Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Alberta were a bit above average at 1.7. Profiling Canada's Families II, p. 57. 15 Canadian Council on Social Development, Thinking Ahead: Trends Affecting Public Education in the Future, http://www.ccsd.ca/pubs/gordon/part1.htm, p. 6. 16 The Progress of Canada's Children, p. 9. 17 Interim Report to the Minister of Education, p. 42. 18 Profiling Canada's Families II, p. 10. 19 The Progress of Canada's Children, p. 9. 20 Profiling Canada's Families II, p. 11. 21 The Progress of Canada's Children, p. 9. 22 Profiling Canada's Families II, p. 54. 23 The Progress of Canada's Children, p. 10. 24 UNICEF, "A League Table of Child Poverty in Rich Nations," Innocenti Report Card 1 (June 2000), United Nations Children's Fund (Florence, Innocenti Research Centre). 25 More than three-quarters of wives and 75.4 percent of lone mothers whose youngest child is between 6 and 14 were in the labour force in 1996. Profiling Canada's Families II, p. 87. 26 The Globe and Mail, 15 September 2000, A3. 27 The national average in 1998 was 58.1 percent. Newfoundland was substantially below at 47.5 per-
cent and Alberta reached the high of 64.9 percent. Profiling Canada's Families II, Table 34a, p. 81. 28 Linda Duxbury, and Chris Higgins, "Combining Work and Family Life Creates Tension," in The Progress of Canada's Children, p. 14. 29 Sustaining Growth, Human Development and Social Cohesion in a Global World (Policy Research Initiative, Government of Canada, February 1999) dedicates a whole section to the notion of a "knowledge-based economy." It provides a good summary of the literature in this area. The academic literature on this subject is indeed vast. Some of the key contributors include Christopher Freeman, Carlota Perez, Luc Soete and others associated with the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex; Bengt Еke Lundvall, Charles Edquist et al. in Scandinavia; Arendt Sorge, Wolfgang Streeck in Germany; and Robert Boyer, Alain Lipietz and other members of the French "regulation school" in France. 30 Economic Council of Canada, Good Jobs, Bad Jobs: Employment in the Service Economy, Supply and Services Canada (Ottawa, 1990). 31 See "The Part-Time Benefit Gap 1995," in Falling Behind: The State of Working Canada 2000, Andrew Jackson, David Robinson, Bob Baldwin, and Cindy Wiggins, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (Ottawa), Table 2.17, p. 66. 32 Falling Behind, Table 2.6, p. 56. 33 Falling Behind, Table 2.11, p. 61. 34 In the depths of the recession, when the national unemployment rate was 11.3 percent, unemployment was as high as 20.2 percent in Newfoundland. It was above average in Prince Edward Island (17.9 percent), Nova Scotia (13.1 percent), New Brunswick (12.8 percent) and Quebec (12.8 percent). The three prairie provinces had the lowest unemployment rates. By 1999, the national rate had fallen to 7.6 percent but was still over two decimals in three of the four Atlantic provinces. Falling Behind, Tables 2.1 and 2.2, p. 51-2. 35 The Progress of Canada's Children, p. 16. 36 John Myles, and Garnett Picot, "Social Transfers, Earnings and Low Income Intensity Among Canadian Children, 1981-1996, " Statistics Canada (Ottawa, 2000).
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37 Falling Behind, p. 36-7. See especially Table 1.17, which compares the composition of family income for low-income (two-parent and lone-parent) families in 1993 and 1996. 38 Between 1976 and 1999, the value of the minimum wage dropped by more than one-third in Manitoba (36.7 percent) and Alberta (34.8 percent), and more than a quarter in Saskatchewan (30.1 percent), Newfoundland (29.3 percent), and Nova Scotia (25.8 percent). Falling Behind, Table 6.12, p. 152. 39 This was originally documented in J. Myles, G. Picot, and T. Wannell, "Wages and Jobs in the 1980s: Changing Youth Wages and the Declining Middle," Analytical Studies Branch, Research Paper No. 17, Statistics Canada (Ottawa, 1988). See also G. Betcherman, and R. Morissette, "Recent Youth Labour Market Experiences in Canada," Analytical Studies Branch, Research Paper No. 63, Statistics Canada, (Ottawa, 1994); and C. Kapsalis, R. Morissette, and G. Picot, "The Returns to Education and the Increasing Wage Gap Between Younger and Older Workers," Analytical Studies Branch, Research Paper No. 131, Statistics Canada (Ottawa, 1999). 40 The rise in wages did not eliminate the substantial income gap. Thus the lowest paid quarter of all employees got only 8 percent of all wages earned per week, whereas the highest paid earned 45 percent. Labour Force Update, "An overview of average wages and wage distributions in the late 1990s," http://www.statcan.ca/english/indepth/71-005/ feature/lf2000_v04n2_sum-hi.htm. 41 Profiling Canada's Families II, p. 119. 42 Taken from a recent report prepared by Toronto City Council. See "City's children worst off, report reveals," The Globe and Mail, 8 August 2000, http://www.globeandmail.com. 43 See Michael Hatfield, "Concentrations of Poverty and Distressed Neighbourhoods in Canada," Applied Research Branch, Human Resources Development Canada, W-97-1E, http://www.hrdc. drhc.gc.ca/arb. 44 Profiling Canada's Families II, p. 112. 45 Falling Behind, Figure 5.2, p. 116. 46 The Progress of Canada's Children, p. 16. See also Profiling Canada's Families II, p. 128-40.
47 The rising level of stress is documented in Falling Behind, p. 85-8 and 93. See also Profiling Canada's Families II, p. 140-5 and 154-7. 48 Sherry Thompson, with Judith Maxwell and Sharon M. Stroick, "Moving Forward on Child and Family Policy: Governance and Accountability Issues," CPRN Discussion Paper No. F|08, Canadian Policy Research Networks (Ottawa, 1999), p. 6. 49 Canada is rightly placed among the "liberal" welfare regimes, which means that, despite the introduction of certain universal social programs, it retained a relatively "residualist" orientation. For the most part, citizens were to look to the market (or family) to secure their needs. The government would step in only when markets and families failed. 50 Between the mid-1970s and the mid-1990s, selective benefits rose from 21 to 52 percent of income transfers. See Keith Banting, "The Social Policy Divide: The welfare state
in Canada and the United States," in Degrees of Freedom: Canada and the United States in a Changing World (Keith Banting, George Hoberg and Richard Simeon, eds.), McGill-Queens University Press, Montreal (1997). 51 The National Child Benefit (NCB) replaced this in 1998. See Section 4 for a more detailed treatment of the NCB. 52 See for example David R. Offord et al., "Lowering the Burden of Suffering from Child Psychiatric Disorder: Trade-Offs Among Clinical, Targeted and Universal Interventions," Journal of American Academic Child Adolescent Psychiatry 37:7 (July 1998). 53 While much attention has been focused on cuts to health care, social assistance was hit harder, with cuts of 24.7 percent, versus health, with cuts of 16.3 percent. Falling Behind, Table 6.2, p. 143. 54 Ron Melchers, "Local Governance of Social Welfare: Local Reform in Ontario in the Nineties," Canadian Review of Social Policy 43 (1999), p. 32. 55 Susan D. Phillips, "A More Democratic Canada ...?," in How Ottawa Spends 1993-94: A More Democratic Canada...?, Carleton University Press (Ottawa, 1993). 56 In November 1989, several groups came together to lay the foundation for "Campaign 2000,"
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launched in 1991. Supported by over 50 national and community partners, Campaign 2000 has been a critical force in keeping the issue of child poverty on the agenda. The original aim was to sustain pressure on governments to live up to the all-party resolution passed by the House of Commons to eliminate child poverty by the year 2000. 57 Work on the National Children's Agenda began in January 1997, when the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Council on Social Policy Renewal suggested that governments explore the possibility of working together to develop a broader agenda to improve the well-being of Canada's children. In December of that year, the First Ministers affirmed this commitment, with the exception of Quebec's, since that province had developed its own children's agenda. The National Children's Agenda was formalized in May 1999, with the release of Developing a Shared Vision, which states the broad values underlying the agenda and outlines four general goals to be pursued. 58 This draws on David I. Hay, and Andy Wachtel, The Well-Being of British Columbia's Children and Youth: A Framework for Understanding and Action (Background Paper for First Call: The British Columbia Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition, Spotlight on Children and Youth Campaign, 1998) for the following account of the population health perspective. See particularly p. 7-8 and 28-35. For more on the Lalonde initiative and its impact on Canadian health policy, see Philip Groff, and Susan Goldberg, "The Health Field Concept Then and Now: Snapshots of Canada," CPRN Background Paper prepared for Towards a New Perspective on Health Policy, Canadian Policy Research Networks (Ottawa, 2000). 59 The Well-Being of British Columbia's Children and Youth, p. 7. 60 The Well-Being of British Columbia's Children and Youth, p. 31. 61 Second Report of the Saskatchewan Council on Children, 1998. This is echoed in the report of the Montreal-Centre regional health and social services board (rйgie), Grandir sur l'оle : le projet jeunesse Montrйalais (Montreal, 1999), p. 38. 62 "First Ministers' Communiquй on Early Childhood Development," Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat, News Release, Ref: 800-038/005 (11.09.00).
63 Some important examples are listed in Table 1, Appendix A, including Aboriginal Head Start, the Community Action Program for Children, the Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program, and Nobody's Perfect (a program to improve parenting practices among parents of children aged 0 to 5). 64 See, for example, John T. King, "The Brain and Child Development: Time for Some Critical Thinking," Public Health Reports 113 (September/October 1998), p. 388-97. 65 National Council of Welfare, "Children First: A Pre-Budget Report of the National Council of Welfare" (1999), p. 4. 66 Paula Dunning, Education in Canada: An Overview, Canadian Educational Association (1997), p. 23. 67 Second Report of the Saskatchewan Council on Children. 68 Of particular relevance here are efforts to integrate the hearing- and sight-impaired, as well as intellectually challenged children, into the regular school system. 69 Education in Canada, p. 14. 70 The Progress of Canada's Children, p. 27. Lee et al. note, however, that between 1992-93 and 199697, spending per pupil rose in British Columbia (11.7 percent) and Newfoundland (9 percent), while it fell by 4 percent in Alberta (the second largest decrease). See Marc Lee, Seth Klein, and Stuart Murray, Behind the Headlines: A Review of Public Policy in BC, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives British Columbia Office, http://www. policyalternatives.ca (March 1999), p. 15-6. For more detail on the Alberta case, see the chapters by Dean Neu and Frank Peters in Contested Classrooms: Education, Globalization and Democracy in Alberta (Trevor W. Harrison, and Jerold L. Kachur, eds.), University of Alberta and Parkland Institute (1999). 71 Education in Canada, p. 39. The Toronto Action Plan for the Children's Report Card 1999 notes, for instance, that vision and hearing screening programs in schools were one of the things cut as a result of the tightening fiscal squeeze. 72 The Progress of Canada's Children, p. 47. 73 Co-curricular activities like science fairs, drama festivals, and field trips help achieve curricular
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objectives. See Government of New Brunswick, Ministry of Education, Background Information on the Top-Up Fund for Supplies, http://www.gnb.ca/ education/docs/e/132312e.htm, p. 1-2. 74 Social Planning Council of Ottawa-Carleton, The Challenge Our Children Face Report Card on Child Poverty in Ottawa-Carleton, http://www. spcottawa.on.ca/challe.htm. 75 The Progress of Canada's Children, p. 21. The report notes that moulds have been reported in Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia but that the problem is particularly widespread in Ontario. 76 Social Studies in BC: Results of the 1996 Provincial Learning Assessment, http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/ assessment/social96/chap9.htm. 77 Supporting Learning: Final Report of the Ministerial Panel on Educational Delivery in the Classroom, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador (March 2000), p. 15-6. 78 Budget Address, 11 April 2000, http://www.gov. ns.ca/finance/budget2000/addr/address.htm, p. 15. 79 See for example, Chris Dooley, "Making the Grade: Education Funding in Manitoba," CCPA Manitoba, Quarterly Review 1:2 (1999). 80 Presidential message, Annual Report of the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers' Association. 81 In its budget for 2000, the New Brunswick government allocated just over $1 million in new money to increase the teaching supplies budget an increase of 16.6 percent. 82 The latter are "those programs, goods and services that are fundamental to a pupil's education. They include ... textbooks, basic instruction by teachers, test tubes and chemicals in a science lab, and microscopes, audio-visual materials and equipment, school furniture and pupil transportation." Background Information on The Top-Up Fund for Supplies, p.1. 83 Alberta's Education Partners, "A Vision and Agenda for Public Education." 84 Education in Canada, p. 90. 85 Education in Canada, p. 14.
86 Even when there is a move "back to the basics," the latter can be delivered in creative ways. Thus Quebec's new K-12 curriculum puts considerable emphasis on teaching by multidisciplinary teams and on the use of projects that explore a theme in a multidisciplinary way. A number of the examples given of this approach incorporate the fine arts. 87 There are three parts to this: artists and writers in schools, cultural excursions, and collaborative cultural-education projects. The two ministries maintain a directory of artists and writers to encourage schools to make use of cultural resources to complement and enrich school instruction. Each Fall, a school is to decide on its program of activities for the year, including the balance between diverse arts, in-school programs and cultural excursions. 88 Supporting Learning, p. 21-2. 89 Implementation Plan for Technology Education (1997), http://ednet.edc.gov.ab.ca/technology/ implementation_plan.asp. 90 Education in Canada. 91 "Making the Grade." 92 Education in Canada. 93 "Information and Communication Technology, Kindergarten to Grade 12," http://www.ednet.edc. gov.ab.ca/ict/pofs.asp. 94 For instance, students are expected to demonstrate a basic understanding of operating skills and practice the concepts of ergonomics and safety when using the technology. They are also required to understand the role of technology as it applies to self, work and society; to demonstrate a moral and ethical approach to the use of technology; and to become discerning consumers of mass media and electronic information. 95 Thinking Ahead. 96 Supporting Learning, chapter 6, section 8. 97 It is argued that governments, let alone parents, have little control over what can be accessed through the Internet, but a recent case in a French court (Tribunal des grandes instances de Paris) suggests that governments need not accept a laissez-faire approach. In the interests of blocking access by French citizens to the sale of Nazi memorabilia,
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Yahoo was given three months to develop a means to identify the nationality of users or face fines of 100,000 FF per day. 98 Interim Report to the Minister of Education, p. 9. 99 An excellent overview of distance education in Canada can be found in Supporting Learning, chapter 6, section 4. 100 Thinking Ahead, p. 4. 101 Thinking Ahead, p. 5. 102 At the same time, they provide jobs for the "youth interns" and coordinators. This is funded under the Canada/Newfoundland and Labrador Community Access Program. 103 Thus only 24 percent of computer science undergraduates are women, versus 60 percent of undergraduates overall. Thinking Ahead, p. 5. 104 The main exceptions are the recognition of religious and linguistic differences in certain provincial education systems. In 1971, Canada adopted a policy of official multiculturalism and, in 1988, the Canadian Multiculturalism Act was passed. 105 While in most provinces this took the form of a secular and a Roman Catholic school system, Quebec had both Catholic and Protestant boards. When Newfoundland joined Confederation in 1949, eight denominations were represented. Over the years, these were reduced to four. 106 Other faith groups are taking a Charter case through the courts, arguing for parity with Catholic and Protestant schools. The spread of Islamic consciousness has led to similar moves in other countries. 107 Students in the last two years would be required to take two ethics or cultural-religious courses. 108 Dunning notes that in 1992-93, the federal government transferred $296.5 million to the provinces in support of education in the official languages. See Education in Canada. 109 Education in Canada, p. 32. 110 Education in Canada, p. 35. 111 The Report of the Task Force on Aboriginal Issues (March 1999) noted that there is only one Aboriginal language teacher who is teaching in the public system
and paid by the province, http://www.gov.nb.ca/ 0016/taks/task.htm, p. 11. 112 Draft Framework for Report from the BCTF Task Force on the Education of First Nations Students, http://www.bcto.bc.ca/social/FirstNations/TFFrameworkForReport.html, p. 8. 113 Draft Framework for Report from the BCTF Task Force, p. 18. 114 Education in Canada, p. 37. 115 Thinking Ahead, p. 10. 116 Thinking Ahead, Figure 9, p. 7. 117 Education in Canada. Apparently the Halifax Grammar School has recently purchased two new buildings and still has a waiting list. 118 Some of these are likely faith-based. In Saskatchewan, support is limited to special "historical" schools. In 1993, Manitoba gave private schools access to the municipal tax base. Alberta Learning's 2000 Business Plan notes impending implementation of the recommendations of the Private School Task Force, increasing basic instruction support to 60 percent of the public school support. 119 Thinking Ahead, p. 10-1. 120 David Hay, for Information Partnership, Schoolbased Feeding Programs? A Good Choice for Children?, Commissioned by the Child and Youth Division, Health Promotion and Programs Branch, Health Canada (2000). 121 The National Literacy Secretariat, located in Human Resources Development Canada, works with provinces and other partners to promote literacy. While the focus is on adults and youth that have dropped out of school, it also supports family literacy programs designed "to break the cycle of illiteracy." 122 For instance, literacy programs in Nova Scotia and Alberta focus on the early years. 123 Government of Alberta, Department of Education, In the Balance...Meeting Special Needs Within Public Education, Task Force Findings and Recommendations (1997), p. 17. 124 There are two funds: (1) the special education per pupil amount for programs addressing relatively
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common problems, which is based on a school board's total student enrolment; and (2) the intensive support amount, a grant tailored to the individual needs of students who require high-cost specialized services. It is only the latter that is tied directly to students identified as "exceptional." 125 At the same time, the report argued that the ministry should change its auditing system so that it focuses on the educational progress of the students rather than on compliance with assessment and planning processes. 126 Supporting Learning, p. 28. 127 This is for children in late elementary or intermediate school with serious behavioural difficulties. The class size is very small (six) and the students work with a facilitator and a youth worker for 10-week periods, with the aim being to enable them to return to their regular school. 128 The spring 2000 budget included new money to hire 28 public health nurses, who will be involved in the "healthy learners" school program. 129 Integrated School-Linked Services Fact Sheet, http://www.gov.sk.ca/govt/socserv/infocntrl/ stratdir/ SAPFC/Integrated.htm. 130 The Community Schools Program is completely funded by the provincial government, which otherwise only pays 40 percent of the education budget. 131 Ellen Vineberg Jacobs et al., Directions for Further Research in Canadian School-Age Child Care, a study commissioned by the Manitoba Child Care Association, for Child Care Visions, Human Resources Development Canada (2000), page 9. 132 The federal government has no official role in the governance of schools. As we have seen, however, the British North America Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms entail certain obligations with regard to religious instruction, minority language rights, and the education of Canada's Aboriginal peoples. 133 See Government of Alberta, Start Young, Start Now! Report of the Task Force on Children at Risk (2000b). The recommendations are very much in line with the "special needs" approaches discussed above: early intervention; access to various social and health services through the schools; and a community-building approach to preventing violence.
134 In the United States, similar policies have resulted in punishments that bear no relation to the seriousness of the infraction. For instance, an 11-year-old girl was hauled away in a policy car for packing a plastic knife to cut her lunch and a 14-year-old Boy Scout was banned from school for 80 days because he accidentally left a pocketknife in a book bag after a camping trip. African-Americans have been disproportionately affected. The Boston Sunday Globe, 13 August 2000, Section F. 135 See documents available at http://www.edu.gov.ca/ eng/document/nr/00.05/safe.html. 136 The latter are, however, enjoined to consult school advisory councils regarding the board's policies for implementing the new policy. 137 Education in Canada, p. 14. Note that centralization occurred earlier in provinces like New Brunswick, where the important Byrne commission of the 1960s argued it was essential to achieve greater equity throughout the province. The equity argument was also brought up in Ontario in the 1990s. In that case, however, it meant a levelling downward for the boards located in large urban areas. 138 In Saskatchewan, the boards account for as much as 60 percent of revenue, whereas Manitoba's share had actually fallen to 68 percent. See Dooley, "Making the Grade" on the latter point. In Quebec, local boards raise about 15 percent of revenues and they can only exceed the specified level by referendum. In Nova Scotia, the boards do not have the power to raise revenue but municipalities account for about 20 percent of revenue. Education in Canada, p. 18-9. 139 According to Dunning, local boards in Alberta can levy an additional 3 percent, while in British Columbia, discretionary residential taxes must be approved by referendum. Education in Canada, p. 18-20. 140 Education in Canada, p. 19-21. See Table 15, Appendix A, for current board numbers. 141 The Hamm government has launched a pilot project in the southwestern region. The latter is to be split into two smaller school districts but their boards will be responsible only for educational matters. Operational and administrative details will be in the hands of a shared chief executive officer reporting to the Minister of Education. The government has indicated that, if successful, this
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arrangement will be imposed on the rest of the province. The current Nova Scotia Deputy Minister of Education was New Brunswick's Deputy Minister of Education when that province abolished its boards. New Brunswick's current government, however, seems poised to introduce a system remarkably similar to the old one, i.e., locally and publicly elected education councils. 142 Some jurisdictions, like Quebec and Ontario, include elected student representatives at the secondary level. 143 Thinking Ahead, p. 7. 144 Among the criticisms raised was that the councilbased system further centralized authority in the provincial Department of Education and that the election process was "exclusionary." See Let's Discuss Public Education Governance, http://www.gnb.ca/ education/documente.htm. 145 What Is the Best Policy Mix for Canada's Young Children?, Box 1-3, p. 20. 146 Canadian Institute of Child Health, The Health of Canada's Children (3rd ed.) (Ottawa, 2000), p. 253. 147 The Health of Canada's Children, p. 200. 148 David Offord, Ellen Lipman, and Eric Duku, "Sports, the Arts and Community Programs: Rates and Correlates of Participation," W-98-18E, Applied Research Branch, Human Resources Development Canada (Ottawa, 1998), http://www. hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/arb, p. 46. 149 Gerard W. Boychuk, Patchworks of Purpose: The Development of Provincial Social Assistance Regimes in Canada, McGill-Queen's University Press (1998). 150 For a more detailed account of the historical and contemporary development of income security measures for families, see Jane Jenson, with Sherry Thompson, Comparative Family Policy: Six Provincial Stories, CPRN Study No. F|08, Canadian Policy Research Networks (Ottawa, 1999), p. 2-5 and 20-9. 151 For a good discussion of the historical differences among provincial income assistance regimes, see Boychuk's Patchworks of Purpose. 152 See Rianne Mahon, "The Never-Ending Story: The Struggle for Universal Child Care in the 1970s," Canadian Historical Review (forthcoming).
153 The other main thrust of the social policy renewal agenda is Canada's health care system. 154 Some provinces, like British Columbia and Quebec, had already launched their own schemes prior to this. 155 There is also a supplementary payment for parents with children aged 7 and under who have not claimed the Child Care Expense Deduction (see Table 1, Appendix A). 156 Children First. 157 Children First. 158 See Jane Jenson (forthcoming), "Against the Current: Child Care and Family Policy in Quebec," in Gender and Welfare State Restructuring: Through the Lens of Child Care (Rianne Mahon, and Sonya Michel, eds.). 159 What Is the Best Policy Mix for Canada's Young Children?, p. 80. 160 The Progress of Canada's Children, p. 31. The two provinces were Alberta and British Columbia. The need is most marked in Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, and the biggest increases occurred in Nova Scotia (from 25 to 37 percent of renters) and Ontario (from 23 to 32 percent). The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation defines "core housing need" in terms of lack of full bathroom facilities or in need of major repairs; accommodations too small for size and composition of family; or shelter costs that are 30 percent or more of household income. 161 The Challenge Our Children Face. 162 Start Young, Start Now! 163 This did not provide comprehensive coverage. Drugs, dental care, eyeglasses, various prostheses, and private hospital rooms were not covered. Those who were lucky enough were covered either by employer insurance schemes or through the purchase of private insurance. Caroline Tuohy, Accidental Logics: Dynamics of Change in the Health Care Arena in the United States, Britain and Canada, Oxford University Press (1999), p. 55. The provinces cover some of the key uninsured items for families on social assistance. As part of the effort to eliminate any disincentive to labour market participation, most now cover a transition
122 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
period for families of those who have left social assistance work. See Tables 5, 6, 7 and 9, Appendix A. 164 Accidental Logics, p. 97. 165 The federal and provincial governments reached a new agreement in September 2000, which will see federal transfers rise to $18.3 billion in 2001 (a little less than the $18.7 billion the provinces sought but up from $15.5 billion in 2000) and to $21.1 billion by 2005. In addition, $1 billion will be available for the purchase of new equipment, $800 million to accelerate primary care reform, and $500 million to promote the use of information technology in the health field. With the exception of 30 percent of the primary care reform fund, all money will be distributed on a per capita basis. 166 The Canadian Institute of Child Health reports a modest but significant drop in the percentage of boys and girls between Grades 6 and 10 who found it easy to talk with their mothers. The drop in percentage of youth who found it easy to talk to their fathers was more marked, especially for girls. The Health of Canada's Children, Tables 4-1 and 4-2, page 82. 167 Emerging Issues and Proposed Priorities. 168 The Health of Canada's Children. 169 Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) "typically involves some degree of mental retardation, various assorted physical characteristics ... and a host of cognitive defects that affect judgement (the ability to plan, anticipate consequences or learn from mistakes), impulse control ... and learning. Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) often involves no or minimal mental retardation, none of the obvious physical characteristics, and a more subtle but still profound set of cognitive defects, often resulting in serious behavioural and learning problems." The WellBeing of British Columbia's Children and Youth, p. 19. 170 Janeway Child Health Centre, and The Children's Rehabilitation Centre, Healthy Children, Healthy Society (1996), p. 139. 171 This system requires new drivers to start with restricted licenses then the restrictions are gradually lifted. The Progress of Canada's Children, p. 22. The other provinces that have adopted this system are Quebec, British Columbia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland.
172 Government of British Columbia, BC Injury Free. The Provincial Injury Prevention Plan for Children and Youth (Ages Birth to 24). A Framework for Action. Report to the Minister's Injury Prevention Advisory Committee, Ministry of Health (1997). 173 The Health of Canada's Children provides a wealth of information on teen sexual experience, and on tobacco, drug and alcohol use. See chapter 5 in particular. 174 Ontario's LEAP program Learning, Earning and Parenting is a $25 million program including child care fee subsidies to help teen parents on welfare finish high school, learn parenting skills, and develop skills for jobs. 175 Government of Canada, Ministry of State for Childhood Services, Office for Childhood Services, Playing for Keeps: Improving our Children's Quality of Life (1991). 176 The province has also allocated new money for dealing with autism and attention deficit disorder. 177 Start Young, Start Now!, p. 22. 178 Ian Reid et al., An Analysis of the Impact and Benefits of Physical Activity and Recreation on Canadian Youth-at-Risk, for the Federal-ProvincialTerritorial Conference of Ministers Responsible for Sport and Recreation (1995), p. 9-10. 179 Jean Harvey, "Sport Policy and the Welfare State: An Outline of the Canadian Case," Sociology of Sport Journal 5:4 (1988). 180 Caroline Andrew, Jean Harvey, and Don Dawson, "Evolution of Local State Activity: Recreation Policy in Toronto," Leisure Studies 13 (1994), p. 9. 181 Jean Harvey, and Lucie Thibault, "Politique du sport et restructuration de l'йtat-providence au Canada," in La Culture du Sport au Quйbec (J.-P. Augustine, and C. Sorbets, eds.), Йditions de la maison des Sciences de L'Homme D'Aquitaine (Talence, 1996). 182 In 1993, the federal Ministry of Sport was abolished and the section responsible for amateur sport and recreation became part of the Department of Health. Responsibility for elite sports moved to Heritage Canada. Recreation policy moved in a similar direction at the provincial level. "Politique du sport," p. 97-9.
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183 "Sport Policy and the Welfare State." 184 See both "Politique du sport" and "Evolution of Local State Activity." 185 Peter McLaren, A Survey of Recreational Opportunities for Children and Youth in Ontario, Sport and Recreation Branch, Ontario Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation (1999), p. 5. The study shows an interesting gender difference for 10- to 12-year-olds, with a higher number of girls attending day camps (around 33 percent of girls versus 25 percent of boys). 186 "Survey of Recreational Opportunities." Note that the class pattern is attenuated only with municipal recreational services, as opposed to opportunities provided by private associations or sports organizations. Gender differences appear in terms of participation in sports for boys, versus participation in non-physical group activities for girls. 187 "Sports, the Arts and Community Programs," p. 6. 188 An Analysis of the Impact and Benefits of Physical Activity and Recreation. 189 "Sport and Recreation for Youth at Risk," http:// www.gov.sk.ca/govt/socserv/infocntrl/stratdir/ SAPFC/sport.htm. 190 Task Force on Community Safety, Toronto: My City, Safe City, http://www.city.toronto.on.ca/safety/ sftyrprt5.htm. 191 The Arts and Heritage Participation Survey prepared for Canadian Heritage by Environics Research Group Ltd. (June 2000) found that 87 percent of respondents felt that learning about arts and culture were important for children, and the same number disagreed with the statement that such interests were only for the rich. 192 "Sports, the Arts and Community Programs," p. 26. 193 The Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute estimates that three in five Canadians are not active enough for optimal health. Among children, activity levels decline with puberty, especially among girls. 194 The roundtable formed part of a larger federalprovincial project aimed at increasing physical activity among youth.
195 "Politique du sport." 196 "Politique du sport." 197 Another example is from Manitoba. DepARTures is a partnership of Winnipeg School Division 1 and the St. Norberts Arts and Culture Centre, which engages inner-city youth in various art practices and media, and the Magnus Eliason Recreation Centre works with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet to provide a weekly recreational jazz dance program for children aged 7 to 12. 198 The McCreary Centre Society, Healthy Connections: Listening to BC Youth. Highlights from the Adolescent Health Survey II, cited in The Health of Canada's Children, p. 207. 199 The Health of Canada's Children, p. 200. 200 The public debate on domestic violence and abuse may have made it easier for victims to report it. A recent study that asked Ontario adults about their past experience, however, indicated that 31 percent of men and 21 percent of women had been physically assaulted, and 4 percent of men and 13 percent of women had been sexually assaulted during childhood. The Health of Canada's Children, p. 208. 201 Leonard Rutman, "J. J. Kelso and the Development of Child Welfare," in The "Benevolent" State: The Growth of Welfare in Canada (Allan Moscovitch, and Jim Albert, eds.), Garamond Press (Toronto, 1987). 202 "J. J. Kelso and the Development of Child Welfare," p. 71. 203 See "Developments in Child Welfare Services in Saskatchewan, 1987-2000," http://www.gov.sk.ca/ govt/socserv/infocntrl/mediaroom/ developmentchildwelfare.htm. 204 BC Children's Commission, 1998 Annual Report: Comments by the Children's Commissioner (1998a), http://www.childservices.gov.bc.ca/reports/ 1998/98Annual%20Report/comments.htm, p. 4. 205 The Progress of Canada's Children, p. 28. 206 The Globe and Mail, 29 July 2000. 207 Ministиre de la Santй et des Services sociaux, "L'Adaptation Sociale," http://www.msss.gouv.qc.
124 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
ca/f/ministere/polorien.htm. Provincial policies are not always reflected in local practice. In a report to a conference organized by the National Crime Prevention Centre (22.9.00), Cйline Bellot argued that Montreal had turned to a "New York style" policy of zero tolerance in 1998, which included fines for interaction with people in cars, repression for public drinking and drug use or for being in parks at night, and incarcerating youth once they reach $4,000 in fines. This may have changed, as another report by Gilles Beauregard to the same conference suggests, as a result of the recommendations of a committee dealing with "squeegee kids" in January 2000. 208 Interview with Barry Cooper, St. John's Health and Community Service Board, 26.6.00; and St. John's Health and Community Services Board, Strategic Social Plan, http://www.commhealth.nf. ca/stratplan/execsum.htm. 209 Start Young, Start Now!, p. 31. 210 "J. J. Kelso and the Development of Child Welfare," p. 73. 211 Quoted in "J. J. Kelso and the Development of Child Welfare," p. 73. 212 Julian Tanner, Teenage Troubles: Youth and Deviance in Canada, Nelson Canada (Toronto, 1996), p. 203. 213 Teenage Troubles, p. 201. 214 The Canadian rate of youth incarceration is twice that of the United States, though it is lower in Quebec and New Brunswick, both of which have emphasized community-based programs. Paula Mallea, Getting Tough on Kids: Young Offenders and the `Law and Order' Agenda, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (1999). 215 Teenage Troubles, p. 205. 216 Alberta Children's Advocate, Annual Report 199798, p. 23. 217 See Getting Tough on Kids, p. 5-9. 218 The Safer Communities Program has four elements: a community mobilization program, a crime prevention investment fund, a crime prevention partnership fund, and a business action program on crime prevention.
219 Getting Tough on Kids, p. 3. 220 See http://www.saskjustice.gov.sk.ca/newsreleases/ apr23-98.htm. 221 Mayor's Task Force on Young Offenders, http:// www.city.toronto.on.ca/mayor/yoatf.htm. 222 As the "First Ministers' Communiquй on Early Childhood Development" noted, "While sharing the same concerns on early childhood development, Quebec does not adhere to the present federalprovincial-territorial document because sections of it infringe on its constitutional jurisdiction on social matters," p. 4. 223 For interesting discussions of the problem of horizontal management in general, see Mark SprouleJones, "Horizontal Management: Implementing Programs Across Interdependent Organizations," Canadian Public Administration 43:1 (Spring 2000). For a discussion focused specifically on integration as it pertains to youth, see Miguel Montiel, John Hultsman, and Sarah Herrin Armistead, "Systemic Barriers to Effecting Governmental Youth Policy: A Case Study of a Failed Collaboration and Its Implications for Public Parks and Recreation," Journal of Parks and Recreation Administration 15:1 (Spring 1997). 224 Children Come First, Report of the Child Welfare Review and Redesign Project (New Brunswick, 2000). 225 Select Committee of Children's Interests, Newfoundland House of Assembly, LISTENing and ACTing: A Plan for Child, Youth and Community Empowerment (1996). The report recommended the establishment of a Child, Youth and Family Secretariat as well as the establishment of a Child and Youth Advocate. 226 "Systemic Barriers to Effecting Governmental Youth Policy," p. 94. 227 See "Systemic Barriers to Effecting Governmental Youth Policy," p. 86. Integration is more likely to involve the creation of a central administrative structure. 228 The federal government is involved in the latter. 229 See Family Policy Secretariat, Government of New Brunswick, Foundations for the Future: A Proposed Framework for Family Policy in New Brunswick (1995).
NOTES | 125
230 The initial group of 7 departments has grown to 10, plus the women's secretariat. In addition to the usual departments like Education, Health, Justice, and Social Services, the committee includes Economic and Cooperative Development. 231 These include: Saskatchewan Human Services: Working Together; Sharing Information to Improve Services for Children, Youth and Families; Interagency Projects: An Evaluation Guide; Integrated Case Management; and the newest, Working With Communities. 232 The Forum produced a set of family policy guidelines that operated as a grid for assessing the family implications of any policy initiative. The minister without portfolio was responsible for establishing regional Child and Family Services Authority boards, and for trying to get the various government ministries to work together to plan and coordinate the delivery of services for children. 233 These are Health and Wellness, Learning, Human Resources and Employment, Justice, and Community Development. The scope of Alberta's plan is narrower than Saskatchewan's, which, as we have seen, includes housing, neighbourhood development, and anti-racism activities as well as community schools. Alberta's is very health focused, concentrating on FAS, student health, children's mental health, and child prostitution. 234 BC Office of Child, Youth and Family Advocate, 1998 Annual Report. 235 BC Children's Commission, Weighing the Evidence: 1999 Annual Report, p. 47. 236 "Report on the Meeting of Ministers of Welfare" (May 1964); and "Summary of Reports," Deputy Minister of Welfare (7.12.64), National Archives
RG 29, Box 17, 3203-2, part 1. 237 Government of New Brunswick, Report on Social Policy Renewal, http://www.gov.nb.ca./op%5Fcpm/ spr-e.htm (1999), p. 7. 238 J. P. Hornick, R. J. Thomlison, and L. Nesbitt, "Alberta," in Privatization and Provincial Social Services in Canada (Jacqueline Ismael, and Yves Vaillancourt, eds.), University of Alberta Press (Edmonton, 1988), p. 48. 239 Yves Vaillancourt, "Quebec," in Privatization and Provincial Social Services in Canada (Jacqueline
smael, and Yves Vaillancourt, eds.), University of Alberta Press (Edmonton, 1988), p. 147. 240 "Against the Current," p. 9. 241 Susan D. Phillips, with Havi Echenberg, "Simon Says `Take a Giant Step Forward': Advancing the National Children's Agenda," Discussion Paper (2000), p. 6. 242 The committee brings together Human Resources Development Canada, Health Canada, the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, the Privy Council
Office, the Treasury Board, and the Department of Finance. There is a parallel steering committee at the deputy minister level. "Simon Says," p. 18. 243 After strong protests, the province agreed to make $200 million available for capital upgrades of social housing. 244 "Local Governance of Social Welfare," p. 45-50. 245 Halifax is the fourth region. It does not seem to have gotten off the ground yet. 246 Edmonton Social Planning Council, The Redesign of Children's and Family Services A Frontline Perspective (1998). 247 Alberta Children's Forum, First Circle Uniting for Children, Report of the Proceedings from a Public Forum held 5-6 October 1999, p. 12. 248 It should be noted, however, that Newfoundland's approach was the opposite of Alberta's, in that the latter conducted community consultations to determine regional service needs, after which regional authority boards were created and funding limitations were imposed. Newfoundland conducted consultations within the framework of established funding. 249 Information from the Auditor General's report (fall 2000) about the adequacy of resources was not available on the government's Web site when this report was finalized. 250 Interim Report to the Minister of Education, p. 54. 251 John Gandy, and Roger Delaney, "Planning for the Delivery of Social Services at the Local Level," Plan Canada 17/2 (1977). 252 "Planning for the Delivery of Social Services at the Local Level," p. 116.
126 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
253 The government's response to the Royal Commission report is Gathering Strength: Canada's Aboriginal Action Plan, Government of Canada (1997). 254 "Meeting of the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ministerial Council on Social Policy Renewal, Ministers Responsible for Aboriginal Matters and Leaders of National Aboriginal Organizations," News Release (16 December 1999), http://www. scics.c.ca/info99/ 83067204_e.html. 255 Like the National Children's Agenda and the various provincial children's initiatives described above, the National Aboriginal Youth Strategy involves action in a variety of areas. Each government decides its own priorities within the broad areas to be covered health, employment and training, education, and social development. For instance, British Columbia has committed $150,000 for 2000-01 to be spent on Aboriginal transformative justice services, community-based initiatives to address the sexual exploitation of Aboriginal youth, leadership and outdoor training, and regional leadership sports camps. 256 Second Report of the Saskatchewan Council on Children, p. 15. 257 Emerging Issues and Proposed Priorities. 258 Junior Canadian Rangers is a community-based patrol program in the Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Northern Quebec and Ontario. Open House Canada is a federal program aimed at Canadian youth between 14 and 19. The Cadet program, open to young Canadians from 12 to 18, is the largest of the three. 259 National Youth Network, Definition Page and Meeting Minutes, http://www.nyn.on.ca/who.htm. 260 BC Children's Commission, Annual Report 1998 (1998b), p. 5. 261 BC Children's Commission, Annual Report 1998 (1998b), p. 5. 262 The Commission's job is to "monitor services for children and youth; to make recommendations for change and to ensure that necessary changes are made; to ensure children and youth are respected and treated fairly; that they have access to the
services they need and that these services are responsive to their needs." 263 Alberta Children's Advocate, Annual Report 199798, p. 7. 264 "First Ministers' Communiquй on Early Childhood Development," p. 4. 265 Edmonton Social Planning Council, "The Other Children's Forum Report" (2000). 266 Jacqueline Ismael, and Yves Vaillancourt (eds.), Privatization and Provincial Social Services in Canada: Policy, Administration and Service Delivery, University of Alberta Press (Edmonton, 1988). 267 Susan Phillips, "Voluntary Sector-Government Relationships in Transition: Learning from International Experiences for the Canadian Context," Carleton School of Public Administration, (draft, Fall 2000), p. 1. 268 Social Planning Council of Winnipeg, Tools in the Hands of Communities: Planning and Working at the Neighbourhood Level, Social Planning Council of Winnipeg (2000), p. 28. 269 Tools in the Hands of Communities, p. 16. 270 Tools in the Hands of Communities, p. 24. 271 See "Ontario's Promise," http://www.ontariospromise. com. 272 Benoоt Lйvesque, and Marguerite Mendell, "L'йconomie sociale au Quйbec : йlйments thйoriques et empiriques pour le dйbat et la recherche," Lien social et Politiques 41 (spring 1999). 273 The social economy constitutes an important component of the $225 million "Fonds de lutte contre la pauvretй." 274 See the chapters on British Columbia and Saskatchewan in Privatization and Provincial Social Services. 275 At present, the Regional Intersectoral Coordinating Committees are mainly comprised of intra- and inter-governmental agencies, but the Regina RIC has begun to develop an ongoing relationship with the United Way.
NOTES | 127
128 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
Alberta Children's Advocate (1998), Annual Report 1997-98, http://www.gov.ab.ca/cs/childrensadvocate/ childcdv_annrpt.pdf Alberta Children's Forum (1999), First Circle Uniting for Children, Report of the Proceedings from a Public Forum held 5-6 October 1999, http://www.childrensforum. gov.ab.finalreport/cforum Alberta's Education Partners (2000), A Vision and Agenda for Public Education, http://www.teachers. ab.ca/what/vision.pdf Andrew, Caroline, Jean Harvey and Don Dawson (1994), "Evolution of Local State Activity: Recreation Policy in Toronto," Leisure Studies 13. Banting, Keith (1997), "The Social Policy Divide: The Welfare State in Canada and the United States," in Degrees of Freedom: Canada and the United States in a Changing World (Banting, Keith, George Hoberg and Richard Simeon, eds.), McGill-Queens University Press, Montreal. BC Children's Commission (1998a), 1998 Annual Report. Comments by the Children's Commissioner, http:// www.childservices.gov.bc.ca/reports/1998/98Annual %20Report/comments.htm ------ (1998b), Annual Report, 1998, http://www.childservices. gov.bc.ca/reports/1998/98Annual%20Report/ ------ (1999), Weighing the Evidence, 1999 Annual Report, http://www.childservices.gov.bc.ca/ reports/1999/99Annual%20Report/99_AR.htm BC Office of Child, Youth and Family Advocate (1998), Annual Report, 1998, http://www.advokids.org/office/ reports/
Betcherman, G., and R. Morissette (1994), "Recent Youth Labour Market Experiences in Canada," Research Paper No. 63, Analytical Studies Branch, Statistics Canada, Ottawa. Boychuk, Gerard W. (1998), Patchworks of Purpose: The Development of Provincial Social Assistance Regimes in Canada, McGill-Queen's University Press, Montreal. British Columbia Teachers' Federation (1999), Draft Framework for Report from the BCTF Task Force on the Education of First Nations Students, http://www. bcto.bc.ca/social/FirstNations/TFFrameworkForReport.html Canadian Council on Social Development (2000), The Progress of Canada's Children into the Millennium, Ottawa. ------ (1999), Thinking Ahead: Trends Affecting Public Education in the Future, http://www.ccsd.ca/pubs/ gordon/part1.htm Canadian Institute of Child Health (2000), The Health of Canada's Children (3rd ed.), Ottawa. Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat (2000), "First Ministers' Communiquй on Early Childhood Development," News Release11.09.00, Reference 800-038/005. Canadian School Boards Association (2000), Education Governance Cross-Canada Chart, Ottawa. Catano, Janis Wood (1997), "Emerging Issues and Proposed Priorities in Child (6-12) and Adolescent (13-18) Health," prepared for the Health Promotion and Programs Branch, Health Canada (Atlantic Region), 5.6.97.
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134 | SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA
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