Edmonton, Alberta, Canada… The Auditor General of Alberta issued a new report highlighting the need for program improvements to manage the risk of inconsistencies to ensure eligible families receive similar experiences and outcomes.
In his Report of the Auditor General—Family Support for Children with Disabilities, Auditor General Doug Wylie concluded the Department of Community and Social Services does not have effective processes to manage the program’s assessment of needs and support planning when determining supports and services for eligible families, and improvements can be made.
The report found that:
- Assessment guides and service rate guides are not comprehensive.
- The training program is not being delivered effectively.
- Oversight processes of caseworker performance are ineffective.
“These are essential tools to manage the risk of inconsistencies to ensure families receive similar experiences and outcomes for their children with disabilities.” said Wylie. “Consistent and effective processes help ensure families receive the supports and services they quality for, regardless of who the caseworker is.”
The Auditor General makes three recommendations focused on reviewing and updating guides to increase consistency, further developing training processes to ensure staff have the necessary skills and knowledge, and increasing consistency through effective oversight of caseworkers.
The Family Support for Children with Disabilities program reimburses eligible families of children with disabilities for family support services and child-focused services based on the assessed needs of each child and family. In 2020-21, the ministry provided $193 million to over 15,000 families to fund supports and services through the program.
The report was tabled in the Alberta Legislature on May 25, 2022.
Appointed under Alberta’s Auditor General Act, the Auditor General is the legislated auditor of every provincial ministry, department, and most provincial agencies, boards, commissions, and regulated funds. The audits conducted by the Office of the Auditor General report on how government is managing its responsibilities and the province’s resources. Through our audit reports, we provide independent assurance to the 87 Members of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, and the people of Alberta, that public money is spent properly and provides value.
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