In his authoritative British Columbia Children and Youth Review, former conflict of interest commissioner Ted Hughes noted past ministry of children and family development service plans "have contained too few" performance measures. Those measures, a hallmark of the Campbell administration, are used as "indicators of the government's progress in achieving its goals" - in this case ensuring "child safety and child wellbeing."
So it seems somewhat strange the ministry would remove a timeline for regionalizing aboriginal and non-aboriginal children and family development services from its latest service plan. The fiscal 2008/09 and 2009/10 targets for increasing the number of aboriginal children in aboriginal care has also been discarded. And the report doesn't record the "average annual number of days between entry into care and placement," "the proportion of children in foster care and 'kith and kin' placements who are 'very satisfied' with their placements" or any number of performance measures the Hughes review suggested will be needed "in the coming years."
Asked why those new measures weren't in the plan, Children and Family Development Minister Tom Christensen said, "We are in the midst of a process of transformation - a process that will put in place a framework to enhance the delivery of services to the children, families and communities we serve. It is through this process that we will be able to re-visit our targets and ensure those measureables are the correct ones. To establish new targets in advance of creating that framework would make no sense."
But why does the ministry no longer have a timeline for establishing regional authorities? "We are in the process of building a structure to support families and communities," responded Minister Christensen. "This is a grassroots process - one that will take time - and one that will be done properly. However, we will not force the process by putting a time frame in place."