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Toronto 2015-2019 service plan

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Toronto Children's Services
Publication Date: 
4 May 2015

Executive Summary:

The Children's Services Service Plan is a vital document that guides the division in the planning and delivery of services for children and families in Toronto. The division develops a new Service Plan every five years. Each new plan provides the opportunity to assess our accomplishments and challenges over the last five years, take stock of the landscape we're working within, and set ambitious new directions for the next five years. The Service Plan sets a vision for the child and family service system, including early learning and child care, and moves us to action to bring that vision to life.

This Service Plan was built on collaboration. Children's Services worked closely with stakeholders - including families, service providers, and other community partners - to develop a plan that is responsive to their needs and perspectives. Over 3,000 individuals contributed over the course of the service planning process. As a result, this Service Plan is informed by and designed to reflect stakeholder priorities.

The Service Plan has four parts. Parts A, B, and C provide background information and analysis that set the stage for our new strategic directions and actions, which appear in Part D.

Section A: A Toronto for All Children & Families delves into Children's Services' role in building a city that works for all of Toronto's children and families. Investing in services for children and their families contributes to improved health, education, employment, social equality, and poverty reduction outcomes. Children's Services' vision for the service system focuses on meeting the needs of children and families, and of the communities, service providers, and system that support them. Children's Services has three roles it can leverage to help achieve this vision: service system manager, service provider, and strategic leader.

Section B: The Changing Landscape is an environmental scan of the many influences that are impacting the child and family system in Toronto. The sector has undergone significant change over the last five years, and it is still in flux. These changes are happening at a community level, municipal level, provincial level, and within the broader social context. They present new approaches to support child and family well-being, and provide a new framework for local planning and integrated service delivery. As a champion for children and families, Children's Services must respond to and implement these changes in a way that maintains the stability of the service system, responds to local needs, and reflects Toronto's unique character and diversity.

Section C: The Service Sector provides a snapshot of existing programs and services, with a focus on those programs and services that Children's Services plans, funds, and manages. Service areas include: early learning and care; child care fee subsidies; Aboriginal services; French-language services; special needs services; family support; and quality assurance. Within each of these areas, there are specific planning considerations, including current trends, changes, and challenges. These considerations are directly linked to the Service Plan actions in Part D. Further, we acknowledge that the current service system as it relates to early learning and child care would need to grow significantly through careful planning and long-term investment in order to meet demand in Toronto.

Section D: Strategic Directions & Actions for the Next Five Years sets the agenda for the next five years. It maps out concrete and deliverable actions that reflect the stakeholder priorities, changing landscape, and planning considerations we have described in Parts A, B, and C of the Plan. These actions are organized under five new strategic directions, which move the system towards our vision of an accessible, inclusive, seamless, and resilient system.