- GA 126
- Secondary Agency
The Family and Youth Services Division of the Department of Social Services was established in 1992 through an amalgamation of services and responsibilities of two previous divisions: one for children and families and another for young offenders. In doing so, the goal of the department was to provide a more effective level of services to children, youth and families than in the previous organizational structure. Programs and services offered by the division were delivered by staff in twenty-five communities throughout Saskatchewan, from nine government-operated facilities, and by non-governmental agencies.
Activities of the division were focused around four key areas: Child Protection and Family Support Services; Alternative and Foster Care; Adoption; and Young Offender Services. Child Protection and Family Support Services addressed reports of child abuse or neglect in homes. In-house support provided by workers and non-governmental agencies included parenting education, life skills training, emergency babysitting, counselling and support, emergency crisis intervention, and work with local police and justice to address cases of abuse and/or sexual assault.
Alternative and Foster care was provided in situations of temporary or permanent removal of children from their families. The four types of foster care offered were: emergency; short-term; long-term and therapeutic. Children were also placed with extended family, in group homes or in short-term residential facilities. Stabilization, assessment and treatment services were provided, along with training and support to those offering foster care in their homes.
Adoption services provided counselling and facilitated planning for the placement of children relinquished for adoption. Adoptions were categorized as Crown ward (those in the care of Social Services) or non-ward (adoptions by step-parents, independent adoptions, international adoptions or adoptions via an agency.) Post-adoption services provided included the provision to adoption clients of background information on their birth parents, and the conducting of searches for birth families.
Young Offender Services administered the client files of youth, aged 12 to 17, who were in the justice system in accordance with the federal Young Offenders Act (Canada). Services were provided under a youth model of justice which recognized the differences in developmental level between youth and adult offenders. Services offered were consistent with the Act, and included Alternative Measures (non-judicial mediation), Community Options (judicial interim release, community homes, community service orders, personal service orders, fines, compensation, and probation), and custody options (remand, open custody and closed custody.) Young offender services were transferred to the Department of Corrections and Safety on March 26, 2002.
The Department of Social Services was discontinued on March 31, 2003. All services and programs except young offender services were continued under the Department of Community Resources and Employment.