Standardizing work to help at-risk children get appropriate care

Two Tragedies

Many of us remember a tragic incident in 2013 when a six-year-old boy was the victim of a homicide and RCMP believed a ten-year-old was responsible.

In response, the Saskatchewan Advocate for Children and Youth delivered a Special Investigative report entitled “Two Tragedies – Holding Systems Accountable.”

As part of the government’s response to this report, a number of ministries and organizations came together as one team earlier this year to improve processes by considering the child’s experience and identifying gaps or breakdowns in services – and fixing those problems.

Through a Value Stream Mapping exercise, the team saw first-hand the dangers of a missed hand-off of information and missed opportunities for communication.

Working together, they standardized information requirements and actions among the Ministries of Education, Health, Social Services, police organizations and other agencies when hand-offs of information occur due to transfer of responsibility, or when information is disclosed to help another human service provider to provide appropriate care for at-risk children.

A few examples included developing decision-making tools or protocols to determine situations that require joint reviews, and implementing a plan to communicate child abuse protocol responsibilities to all education sector employees.

Six months after the mapping exercise, ministries and agencies continue to work through their implementation plans and use Daily Visual Management to track progress in a coordinated fashion.

This type of work is behind the scenes and not readily visible to the public. Yet a streamlined, coordinated process is critical to have in place for kids when they really need help.

Photo:

Back row, left to right: Andrea Lee, Ministry of Social Services; Inspector Jane MacLatchy RCMP; Cpl. Melinda Lalach, Regina Police Service; Sara Hawryluk, Ministry of Education, Sarah Geisler, Balcarres Vice Principal; Claudia Burke, Ministry of Health; 2nd row, left to right: Janna Taylor, Ministry of Social Services; Candace Plamondon, Ministry of Social Services; Colleen Quinlan, RQHR; Dawn Campbell, Ministry of Health; Kathy Willerth, Ministry of Health; Front row, left to right: Kari Paton, Ministry of Social Services; Claudio Serrano, Regina Police Service; Tracy Sandberg, Ministry of Social Services; Rae Shingoose, Yorkton Tribal Council

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