The Quality Assurance (QA) Department is funded as part of the core funding structure of each Agency. The QA staff work with both on and off-reserve Agency staff, and are an essential component to ensure services provided are in accordance with the mandate and regulations governing child welfare services. The QA reports allow our Chiefs and Councils, Board of Directors, senior management, and compliance bodies to review the services we provide to children and families in the Southeast region.
Glory Lister – Director of Quality Assurances
Roxanne Moneyas – QA Co-Coordinator
Peter Berens – QA Assistant and Web Developer
About Quality Assurance
The QA representatives from the southern First Nations CFS agencies meet as a group with their counterparts at the Southern First Nations Network of Care (SFNNC) on a regular basis in order to jointly understand and define the scope of work of the QA units. The Child and Family Services Information System (CFSIS) reports provide directors, supervisors, and workers with an overview of how the Agency is doing with respect to compliance. CFSIS data is measurable and captures the mandated work requirements between staff and clients at the Agency level for reporting and compliance requirements.
In addition to the quantitative data (numbers and statistics) collected by the QA Unit, the QA staff are also responsible for reviewing the qualitative (quality) work completed by the direct service workers and supervisors. The Unit tracks all Special Investigation Reviews (SIRs) that are generated through the Office of the Children’s Advocate, Ombudsman, and Southern First Nations Network of Care. The SIR reports are rolled up annually to assess how the Agency is fulfilling and implementing the recommendations put forth by the compliance bodies.
The SFNNC continues to request monthly compliance reports of the direct services staff including tracking special areas of interest as determined by the Province or the SFNNC. Information is collected and reported to ensure that children and families are seen regularly. This information also ensures that protection and prevention services are being provided to families, and that the information system is accurate and up-to-date.
The Agency is required to report all critical incidents regarding children involved with the Agency to the SFNNC. The QA team takes a lead role in assisting and ensuring these reports are thoroughly completed. At the request of SFNNC, the Agency also completes an Internal Agency Review (IAR) of files associated with children involved in critical incidents. These IARs are reviewed by the SFNNC and Office of the Children’s Advocate.
The QA team receives notifications of all minor expectant parents, and oversees the assessment of needs that might exist for the expectant parent. This ensures that all minor expectant parents can be connected with the supports and services that they may require in order to be successful parents.
Ongoing training is provided by the QA staff to the administrative assistants, direct service workers, and supervisors. This helps to increase efficiency and reduce costs for the Agency. This year, the QA team has focused on providing training in the areas of the Intake Module (IM), Safety Assessment, and Case Management and Assessment.
The Agency’s website is currently undergoing a remodel, which is being completed by the QA Assistant and Web Developer. Key items that are being added to the website include a staff directory and a staff log in that allows remote workers to have access to Agency materials and documents. The QA Assistant and Web Developer also assists the HR Department by ensuring that all new staff have registered access to the information database that is used. A provincial audit on the Agency’s Alternative Care Department was conducted this year by the Office of the Auditor General of Manitoba. The QA team took a lead role in compiling the requested data for this audit.
Monthly CFSIS reports and spreadsheets are generated by the QA team. These reports are cross referenced with case lists and the Agency’s financial Family and Children’s Tracking System (FACTS) to ensure accuracy. The results are then forwarded to each unit for review and follow up to ensure compliance with Agency and Authority requirements. Additional data, statistics, charts, analysis, and comparison chart/tables are developed on an ongoing basis as requested. This occurs, for example, for Board meetings, planning sessions and year end.
All the Southern First Nations CFS agencies are funded for two QA positions, including SECFS despite the fact that SECFS being a much larger Agency than its counterparts. As a result, the Agency has expanded its team in order to meet the work requirements.
Ongoing training is a crucial component to ensure staff are able to meet the needs of the Agency’s children and families especially with the ever-changing regulations, and to meet the training needs of new staff. As such, the QA team will continue to focus on providing regular onsite training to all units in the upcoming year. To support this, the SFNNC will be reimbursing the Agency for providing its internal training.
Members of the QA staff have recently been trained to provide Expectant Parent Services (EPS) training for minor parents. It is hoped that the QA team can roll out this training to all units within the next year. Most other child welfare service delivery training will continue to be relied upon by the SFNNC to provide or to coordinate.
The ability for the Agency to conduct self-reflective and objective evaluations on the services provided is crucial to ensure “best practices” are utilized for the children, families and communities. The statistics that are maintained and analyzed on all programs helps the senior management team and the Board with planning for the Agency’s future. These statistics will provide the Chiefs, Board, senior management, staff, and clients in receipt of services with the confidence that the Agency will continue to provide quality services.