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Minister of Family Services responds to Auditor General’s Performance Audit

30 May 2023


Minister of Family Services responds to Auditor General’s Performance Audit

Family Services Minister, the Hon. Margaret Nakashuk, today released a statement in response to the Auditor General’s performance audit on Child and Family Services:

“I fully accept the contents of the performance audit. I am deeply committed to making the changes that need to be made. My officials are moving forward with a roadmap that lays out a whole-of-government approach.

Our solutions and action plans must focus on safe-guarding children. Meaningful collaboration will be key. Work will include all levels of the department and government, as well as community and Inuit stakeholders.

We are developing a plan with broad objectives and a detailed framework with measurable outcomes. The plan will be evaluated with metrics to assess the success and challenges of the strategic response, and, when necessary, the department will shift priorities to respond to change.


Our top priority is on hiring the workers needed to protect our children. Family Services will work with the Departments of Finance and Human Resources to identify new positions to support the recommendations and to fill urgently needed positions.

All workers need to understand the standards by which we operate. Family Services is modernizing its Standards and Procedures Manual and will provide staff orientation on the updated manual.

With the support of Human Resources, the department will develop a coordinated schedule for training new staff and providing ongoing professional development for all staff. The departments will ensure there is an ongoing mechanism for learning, mentoring, and clinical supervision.

The department is reorganizing the Family Wellness Division and will clarify and communicate the roles and responsibilities of Community and Social Service Workers (CSSWs), Family Resource Workers, supervisors, managers, and directors.

Staff need to feel safe. A comprehensive occupational health and safety strategy will be developed and implemented, and management responses to staff needs will be expedited. This will include the development of a workplace violence policy and a mechanism to collect and manage occupational health and safety incident reports.

Family Services will ensure that the quality of its services meet standards by continuing to develop and implement a series of checks and balances for referrals, the investigative process, operational standards, and out-of-territory clients.

Community and Social Service Workers

The department will better recognize and promote the work of social workers.

Family Services will conduct a caseload analysis to ensure frontline employees are carrying a reasonable number of files to ensure focus can be placed on family wellness.

Family Services will work with Health to strengthen the linkages between CSSWs and Health staff at the community level across Nunavut.

A contract was awarded this month to assist Family Services in the expedited development of business cases to increase shelter core funding, increase Family Resource Worker positions, increase CSSW positions to eliminate sole-worker communities, and increase Client Liaison Workers for out-of-territory clients.

The department will develop an incentive package for CSSWs for consideration that will include signing bonuses and retention bonuses.

The department will continue to work with Human Resources and a recruitment firm to develop and hire pools of qualified CSSWs, and will consider immediate hiring of qualified candidates through staffing mechanisms that adhere to staffing policies.


Family Services will work with Executive and Intergovernmental Affairs and Culture and Heritage to engage Elders in its work with children and youth by hiring Elder advisors to liaise with CSSWs and Family Resource Workers in communities.

Foster Families

Family Services will launch a communications campaign to boost the number of foster families in Nunavut. The department will train foster families and ensure supports are in place for positive outcomes. The department will review current foster family compensation rates to determine if the funding is adequate.

Nunavut Arctic College Social Work Programs

Family Services met with Nunavut Arctic College officials to examine ways to support recruitment and expand in-class and online delivery options of the Bachelor of Social Work program and the Social Service Worker diploma program.

Family Services will work with government partners to explore third-party funding opportunities to support ongoing program development and delivery of the college’s Family Resource Worker Program. 

Family Services is working with Human Resources to discuss implementing co-op programs, internships, and junior social worker positions for students enrolled in the social worker programs. Family Services will work with Human Resources to consider avenues to implement a guaranteed job program for Nunavut Inuit graduates. 

Staff Housing

Family Services will work with Human Resources to identify CSSWs as critical workers for priority consideration of staff housing. Family Services will continue to work with Human Resources and the Nunavut Housing Corporation to find ways to provide staff housing for CSSWs and Family Resource Workers.

Office Space

The Department of Family Services will continue to work with the Department of Community and Government Services to locate all possible office space locations for CSSWs and Family Resource Workers.


Family Services is working with Community and Government Services to expedite and implement the Family Wellness Integrated Information System using Matrix software. This will develop a case management system that will be accessible from all communities across Nunavut to support children and families.”


Media Contact:

Beth Brown    
Press Secretary
Office of Premier P.J. Akeeagok