Celebrating good practices at the ministry of children and family development - as well as analyzing service delivery gaps - will be the first part of Lesley du Toit's transformation initiative. This, according to an update quietly released by the deputy minister last week. In her nine-page newsletter, Ms. du Toit writes that "a team of consultants and MCFD staff" will be responsible for documenting those gaps and good practices over the next year, producing an accompanying report and DVD. The deputy minister also reaffirms her commitment to decentralization, telling colleagues that "the process of establishing regional and community governance of service delivery" will be "re-initiated" at the start of the new financial year. But it isn't clear what that decentralized structure will look like.
Referring to the non-aboriginal side of the ministry, Ms. du Toit cautions that "no assumption should be made that this (regionalization) process will result in 5 authorities." Moreover, "contrary to the recent statement in the press, there has been no decision made that there will be 10 regional authorities established." Nor "should there be an assumption that these will be in the form of the authorities originally conceptualised by MCFD and our partners."
Despite this uncertainty, by 2008, Ms. du Toit wants "to have made measurable progress in shifting service delivery governance to the regions and communities." Although, when it comes to the aboriginal side of the ministry, Ms. du Toit says the process of "developing regional models of decision-making and service delivery...will take as long as it needs to and is firmly in the hands of Aboriginal Peoples."
Other newsworthy mentions in the update include Ms. du Toit's promise to begin a four year program "to ensure that every vulnerable young person in BC has one supportive, caring and healthy adult in their life to whom they are attached and who will be consistent in their life through the teenage years and into their adulthood." Needless to say, your humble organ is anxiously awaiting details of that program - as well as its budgetary requirements.