The Government of Saskatchewan is increasing its investment in Child and Family Programs, providing over $54 million in prevention programs in 2023-24 to support families to safely care for their children at home, and over $49 million to support extended family caregivers.

“The Ministry of Social Services relies on its partnerships with community-based organizations to deliver essential supports and services to children and families across the province,” Social Services Minister Gene Makowsky said. “This year’s provincial budget is strengthening our support of the sector and enhancing services provided directly by the ministry to ensure the safety and well-being of vulnerable children and youth.”

In 2023-24, the Ministry of Social Services, Child and Family Programs will contract with 106 third-party service providers that support at-risk children, youth and families in their homes and communities, for an estimated total funding of $174 million. This is an increase of $4.9 million over 2022-23 with contracted community-based organizations.

Family care providers are critical partners with the ministry in caring for children in need. The ministry will invest an additional $825,000 to increase the basic maintenance rate for foster families and extended family caregivers to help cover the costs of caring for a child. The new funding is on top of significant increases that were put in place last year to support the implementation of the PRIDE levels of pay for foster parents. 

“We are thankful for the Saskatchewan government’s continued investment in our province’s foster families and caregivers,” Saskatchewan Foster Families Association Executive Director Deb Davies said. “This most recent budget increase builds upon the previous increases and truly recognizes the important role that foster families and family-based caregivers play in providing a safe and supportive network for children and youth in crisis.” 

The ministry is also investing an additional $1.7 million to enhance services provided by the ministry to support positive outcomes for children and youth.

  • The ministry is increasing the number of Child Service Workers supporting children and youth in care, at a cost of $1.4 million. The addition of 18 new positions will provide direct services to children and youth in care, and ensure standards of service are maintained throughout the province.
  • To ensure all children and youth receive quality care, the ministry is also investing $350,000 to strengthen oversight of group homes caring for children and youth. The ministry will commit six additional staff to enhance oversight capacity, strengthen investigation services and help support community-based organizations.

“Increasing our investment in Child and Family Programs helps to ensure that families and communities are supported to safely care for all children,” Makowsky said. “When a child does have to come into care, our goal then becomes reunification, providing services and tools on parenting, counselling, domestic violence prevention and addictions services.”