Supporting Better Outcomes for Children & Youth: MCFD’s Specialized Homes & Support Services Redesign

Specialized Homes and Support Services is the new name for Contracted Residential Services. This name change moves us away from the historical and deeply traumatic implications of the term ‘residential’ and reflects the need to focus less on providing just a place to stay and more on what these services are providing to the children and youth who access them.

The Ministry of Children and Family Development is seeing the fewest children and youth in care than it has in the past 30 years, and the fewest Indigenous children and youth in care in 20 years. This is not simply the result of good policy; it is the result of the changes in practice that are happening every day on the front line, from the work that staff and community agencies do to lift families up and support their wellness and safety, to the restorative healing approaches that are happening in communities across B.C.

We are committed to supporting families who need help and we know that early intervention and better supports will lead to better outcomes for the children, youth and families we serve. This is a shared goal between the Ministry, social workers and social-service, community-based agencies. While we’re making progress, much work is yet to come.

What we are engaging on:

The Specialized Homes and Support Services Redesign project proposes a new model for contracted residential agencies and resources in the province. Read about the proposed model here.

Engaging with Indigenous partners, service providers, contract holders, staff, families, interest groups and community members will help us shape the proposed model and ensure that, once implemented, it meets the unique needs of vulnerable children, youth and families and B.C. We are seeking feedback on the following:

  • What makes you feel optimistic about this change?
  • What is missing or concerns you about this approach?
  • What are key considerations that will help ensure this transformation is a success?

We are taking this step now without all the answers: How will the transformation look, when implemented, for current contract holders?  For staff working in contracted residential services? For Ministry staff supporting children who are receiving these services?  We need to gather these answers through dialogue and collaboration. This is just the beginning. The Ministry will use this site to start the conversation. It will use the information collected here to develop future collaboration opportunities.

In addition, we will be engaging in conversations with Indigenous partners to explore how this work supports the creation of services that are built with and embody an Indigenous worldview and foster cultural identity. These engagements will be designed and developed with Indigenous partners and will be closely aligned with supporting Indigenous partners’ vision for child and family services.

The initial feedback period closed on March 31, 2022. Further engagement is currently underway.

What are we doing with the feedback?

All feedback gathered over the engagement period will be used by the Ministry to inform the final model and implementation planning.

An engagement summary report will be made available in Winter 2022.