Education in Care

by Gabrielle Barkany

Educational programs delivered to students under Section 23 address a range of social and emotional needs alongside the requirements of the Ontario curriculum.

Different programs – day treatment, in-care and in-custody – address the particular needs of each student and are offered in a range of locations. All programs take a multidisciplinary approach.

Service providers – from ministries of community and social services, child and youth services, health and long-term care, community safety and correctional services, and education – collaborate to meet the treatment and developmental needs of young people in their care.

Teachers are part of a team, partnering fully with the other facility staff  members who work directly with the children/youth. They often adapt curriculum to special needs and look for ways to integrate life-skills learning requirements.

Individual school boards employ the teachers and are responsible for Section 23 educational programs. Some programs are delivered in secure custody facilities; the vast majority are provided through open custody facilities and day schools. The latter may be for students under community supervision or for those in government-approved care or undergoing mental-health treatment.

Current enrolment numbers are not available and fluctuate as students enter and leave care. In June 2004, there were just over 14,000 students under community supervision and roughly 1,000 students in the custody of the Ontario youth justice system.

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