Wynne’s Priorities Not Enough to Deliver Results

March 3, 2015

Queen’s Park – Despite the Baldwin Inquiry’s recommendation that all Ontario’s Children’s Aid Societies transition to a digital data sharing and management system by 2016, the Ontario government admits this will not be possible before 2020. On Friday during a national roundtable on missing, murdered aboriginal women, Premier Wynne reiterated an information sharing system across all agencies was a priority.

 

“Premier Wynne talks about prioritizing information sharing across Ontario’s social service agencies, however her government’s record on this account is dismal,” said MPP Jim McDonell, Ontario PC critic for Children and Youth Services. “The Social Assistance Management System (SAMS) rollout was characterized by massive cost overruns and failure to deliver correct assistance payments on time or at all. It is no surprise that the Child Protection Information Network (CPIN), recommended by the Baldwin Inquiry, is expected to be four years late. The reality of the CPIN rollout is that despite all the talk about priorities and despite spending millions on IT consulting in the past year alone, only 20% of all CAS staff in Ontario will be able to use the new system by the 2016 deadline recommended by the Baldwin Inquiry.”

 

Premier Wynne stated her Government will give itself benchmarks to be measured by and be held accountable, however she did not provide any details or examples.

 

“Premier Wynne clearly hasn’t identified CPIN as a priority early enough for it to be delivered on time,” MPP McDonell commented. “Children’s Aid Societies are shifting their focus to preventing situations where children need to be placed in care. There are currently 48,000 families receiving CAS services compared to 23,000 children in care. This requires strong information management to address the variety of individual situations and best courses of action. While I take the Premier at her word regarding her priorities, it frustrates me that she would consider only one in five CAS workers working on the new CPIN system by the original deadline as a success. It sets a low benchmark indeed.”