In 2016, following an in-depth service review by agency stakeholders, The Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton’s Board of Directors approved a five year Strategic Plan.
The Strategic Plan will provide a blueprint for leading the agency through to 2021. Its development was guided by the agency’s mission: “The Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton, in partnership with families and our community, is committed to the safety, protection and well-being of children and the strengthening of families, while valuing diversity and promoting equity.
As Dominic Verticchio, Executive Director explains, the overarching goal of the Strategic Plan is to “work as a unified system, in collaboration with our Ministry, provincial association, peer agencies and community partners, to improve the quality of services and outcomes for children, youth and families in our diverse communities.”
The planning process commenced in October 2015 and engaged staff, management, board, youth, foster families, volunteers and key community stakeholders. In total, almost 500 points of contact provided valuable input into the future direction of the Society. Subsequently the plan was drafted based on feedback to highlight five strategic priorities: Our Children, Youth & Families; Our Staff, Foster Parents & Volunteers; Our Partners; Internal Systems; and Financial.
The Society will measure its progress in meeting its strategic priorities by means of a balanced scorecard approach that will be presented to the Society’s Board of Directors each fall.
With the landscape of child welfare evolving, it was important for the Society to have a plan in place that was developed based upon the input of stakeholders, and developed with the capability to report back to those same individuals on the agency’s progress in meeting its intended goals.
The Strategic Scorecard incorporates relevant reporting mechanisms in place for all children’s aid societies in Ontario, including Provincial Performance Indicators, quality improvement measures, and Crown Ward Audits, in addition to measures specifically developed by the Society to assess progress on the Strategic Plan. The 2016/17 Scorecard (below), is the first of five annual scorecards. It establishes a baseline for the measurement of progress over the next four years. Due to the multi-year nature of the plan, not all projects are complete at the end of the first year. Where a milestone activity has not been met, or performance is not at the expected level, the Society is accountable to refine the metrics and to work toward fulfillment of the goals and objectives set out in the Strategic Plan in the years to come.