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Public and private responsibilities in child welfare : a review of the distribution of functions in child welfare between public and private agencies in four Canadian provinces Errington, Barbara Gene


PUBLIC AND PRIVATE RESPONSIBILITIES IN CHILD WELFARE: A Review of the Distribution of Functions in Child Welfare Between Public and Private Agencies in Four Canadian Provinces. Prepared by Barbara Gene Errington, Ruth Freeman, and Gail Greenwell under the direction of Mr. J. V. Fornataro. April, 1964. This study is concerned with the development of protective and adoptive services for children under public and voluntary auspices in four provinces; namely, Nova Scotia, Ontario, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan. An attempt is made to delineate areas of responsibility in the administration of the relevant child welfare statutes. This study is part of a larger project which is concerned with an examination of the changing relationships between public and voluntary social welfare and of issues raised by these relationships. The major public and private child welfare agencies in the four provinces were canvassed for information. An examination was made of pertinent statistical reports and of relevant statutes. The writers reviewed the literature which articulated the position and the rationale of both voluntary and public intervention, particularly as this applies to child welfare. The study revealed that the legal principle and statutory provisions in all four provinces were fundamentally similar, although differences were observed. The pattern of allocating responsibility for services was found to be different in each province. In Nova Scotia, both private and government agencies administer the Child Welfare Act, with no discernible criterion for the establishment of one or the other, in any particular geographic area. The private agencies receive from 50 to 75 per cent of their revenue from the governments. In Ontario, all direct service under the Act is provided by private agencies, which, on the average, receive 90 per cent of their funds from the governments. In Saskatchewan, all services under the Child Welfare Act are provided by the governmental department. In British Columbia, the provisions of Child Welfare Statutes are administered by the government except in the urban areas of Vancouver and Victoria where Children's Aid Societies implement the statutes. In all provinces, the broad outline of services appears to be similar. Finally, issues arising out of this study are identified for possible subsequent examination.

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