Ministerial Statement – Child and Youth Care Association Continues to Focus on Children and Youth in Province
May 21, 2015
Mr. Speaker, I stand today to recognize the Child and Youth Care Association of Newfoundland and Labrador’s annual conference, currently taking place at the Holiday Inn in St. John’s. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the conference, and I was delighted to address the delegates this morning and congratulate the association on 10 years of advocating for children and youth in our province. Each year, these individuals come together to exchange ideas on how to best serve the children, youth and families of this province who require their services.
Child and youth care workers are employed in a diverse range of roles, programs and organizations. Mr. Speaker, throughout our province, an estimated 600 child and youth care workers can be found in group homes, family support programs, community centres, outreach programs, youth treatment programs, day treatment, family-based care, youth corrections facilities, hospitals and schools. The Child and Youth Care Association of Newfoundland and Labrador provides training and education opportunities for child and youth care workers, and advocates for standards of practice.
The theme for this year’s conference, Caring in Context, focuses on the many facets of providing care and support. It reflects the diverse nature of the provision of care, from the supports needed for those who experience severe trauma to the development of supervisory skills. A number of renowned speakers are also participating in the conference including Lorraine Fox with the University of California, Davis, and the San Diego State University Foundation, and Connie Pike of the Coalition against Violence.
Mr. Speaker, our government remains committed to moving forward in enhancing the lives of young people in a variety of ways: addressing poverty, violence and mental health issues; enhancing education; working more collaboratively with Aboriginal communities; and enhancing health care and wellness. An investment of $475,000 in Budget 2015 allows for the creation of six new Child, Youth and Family Services frontline positions in Labrador, allowing our government to meet the commitment of a 1:20 ratio for social workers to caseload on a provincial level. We recognize we still have challenges in many of our remote communities and we will continue to focus on improving caseloads in these areas.
It is important that we work collaboratively with organizations such as the Child and Youth Care Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, as we continue to ensure the safety and well-being of children and youth in our province. I want to take this opportunity to once again congratulate the Child and Youth Care Association of Newfoundland and Labrador on 10 years of providing much needed support to our most vulnerable children and youth.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.