Social Worker to Head Youth Strategy

Department of Community Services

April 27, 2007 11:32 AM

One of the key recommendations of the Nunn Commission of Inquiry has been acted upon with the hiring of an executive director of Youth Strategy and Services.

Robert Wright, a former director of Family and Children's Services of Cumberland County, will lead a provincial strategy focused on the needs of children and youth, Community Services Minister Judy Streatch announced today, April 27.

Mr. Wright is a social worker and a mental health specialist whose career has focused on serving young people and their families. He is an educator, a former race-relations co-ordinator, a counsellor and a former forensic clinician at a U.S. state penitentiary. Mr. Wright has bachelor and master's degrees in social work, and has most recently worked in private practice. He is vice-president of the Nova Scotia Criminal Justice Association.

"Government has already addressed the obvious concerns," Mr. Wright said. "My job will be to make sure the new strategy is implemented in a consistent and co-ordinated fashion -- across government and around the province.

"There must be a dual focus on collaborative interventions for those children, youth and families who are struggling and on increased investment in early intervention and prevention programs to improve child and youth outcomes in the future. I want to see fewer young people struggling and I believe the government is with me on that."

"Commissioner Nunn has given us the opportunity to make a substantial change and a significant impact on the future of Nova Scotia's children and youth," said Ms. Streatch, the Minister Responsible for Children and Youth, and for co-ordinating the development of the Youth Strategy.

"We already have a great team and Robert Wright will be a great addition to our group."

Deputy ministers and senior staff from the departments of Community Services, Health, Justice, Education and Health Promotion and Protection have been working on the preliminary strategy since January. As well, a new family and youth services division has been created at the Department of Community Services to enhance support for families, particularly in areas of early intervention, family counselling and youth at risk.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     The province is hiring an experienced social worker to fill

a job recommended by the Nunn Commission of Inquiry.

     Robert Wright, a former director of Family and Children's

Services of Cumberland County, will lead a provincial strategy

focused on the needs of children and youth, Community Services

Minister Judy Streatch announced today (April 27th).

     As executive director of Youth Strategy and Services, Mr.

Wright will be responsible for co-ordinating the work of five

government departments that serve Nova Scotia youth and

families.

     Mr. Wright is a mental health specialist whose career has

focused on serving young people and their families. He is also an

educator and a former race-relations co-ordinator.

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Media Contact: Linda Laffin
              Community Services
              902-424-6283
              E-mail: llaffin@gov.ns.ca