Remarks from the CEO and Board Chair
Making Progress on Our Strategic Plan
- Child and Youth Mental Health Redevelopment
- Integrating Mental Health and Autism Services
- Child and Youth Mental Health Lead Agency
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Treating Youth in the Justice System
We are exceptionally proud of the way our staff and organization have responded, adapted and evolved to continue to meet the needs of children and youth
Remarks from the CEO and Board Chair
The 2020-21 year has been an incredibly difficult time for the world, for children and youth and for everyone at Kinark. The COVID-19 pandemic has dominated our lives and our work and influenced the future that many of us envision. Through this year we have learned a lot about perseverance, resilience and commitment, and we are exceptionally proud of the way our staff and organization have responded, most importantly, how we have adapted and evolved to continue to meet the needs of the children and youth we serve in our autism, mental health, forensic mental health, and supervised access programs and our staff team.
Our 24/7 programs – Syl Apps Youth Centre and Live-in Treatment – treat children and youth who live with us for a period of time. These programs remained open and active with enhanced infection prevention and control measures and cleaning protocols. Our staff working in these programs immediately stepped up to support clients and families, and each other and some staff from other parts of the organization volunteered to be redeployed into those programs to ensure staffing levels remained stable.
Chair, Board of Directors
President and Chief Executive Officer
The need for mental health and autism supports for children and youth and their families has increased over the year. Some young people who were already receiving supports, now needed more support more urgently, and our waitlists for services grew.
The requirement to close our physical offices meant that many of our services had to quickly pivot to virtual and remote service delivery. Implementing virtual services was a great achievement by Kinark staff, with special recognition going to our information technology team and to our clinical staff to find and adapt to new ways of working. We are very proud that in a client survey:
- 96% of children and youth reported that virtual services helped them with life’s challenges
- 98% believed that our virtual services were high quality
- 97% would recommend our virtual services to a friend
Our community-based programs remained available to those clients for whom virtual services was not a viable substitute for in-person treatment.
We are incredibly proud of the work of Kinark employees.
As the pandemic continued, public health guidance and ministry directives changed and we adapted. Our leadership team took on the challenge to keep staff informed, supported and up to date with best practices, revised policies, and personal equipment to reduce risk of exposure to COVID-19. Our staff immediately stepped up to support clients and families, and each other. We undertook to support our employees, not just as staff members, but also as people with families and friends to care for.
We remained committed to our strategic plan and we believe the goals it sets out support children, youth and families, the sector, our partners, and employees. In the midst of the pandemic, we prioritized business continuity of our services, but where we had the opportunity, we felt it was imperative to continue to take measured steps to advance our strategic plan. This report includes some highlights of important activities we were able to accomplish towards meeting these objectives. You can read more under advancing our strategic plan.
The world has changed dramatically over the past year, and we have as well. We remain acutely aware of how difficult this time has been and continues to be for children, youth and families, for our staff and our communities. We thank the Kinark team for their continued dedication to the kids we serve and to each other.
Making Progress on our Strategic Plan
Like many organizations, Kinark needed to make difficult decisions regarding where to focus our time and energy. Our first priority was safe and effective services to our clients and their families. In the midst of the pandemic, Kinark prioritized business continuity of its services, but has continued, where feasible to advance the goals of its Strategic Plan. Some key accomplishments over the year are highlighted here.
Treating Youth with Complex Mental Health Issues in the Youth Justice System
In March of 2020, the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS) announced its provincial Youth Justice Modernization initiative to align custody/detention capacity with declining provincial service demand. A large number of open and secure facilities were notified their beds would be reduced or cut entirely.
Financial Summary and Statements
Kinark’s strong fiscal position enabled us to meet our strategic objectives to sustain accountable and efficient management of systems and processes that are centred on value and continuous quality improvements across the organization. During the past fiscal year ending March 31, 2021, Kinark received an unqualified audit report from our auditors (Hilborn LLP) and this fiscal year’s funding included special grants from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services and the Ministry of Health for COVID-19 costs including temporary pandemic pay and COVID-19 expenses (PPE, supplies, etc.).
Kinark is committed to helping children and youth with complex needs achieve better life outcomes.
At Kinark, our goal is to help children, youth and families manage the challenges they face today and equip them with the skills they will need to realize a brighter future.