03 Feb 2018

Ontario Tackles Overrepresentation of Black Families in Child Welfare System Featured

For decades, African Canadian families have been demanding major change from child welfare in Ontario.

Now, children’s aid societies take the first steps down the road to significant and lasting change.

Led by Ontario’s African Canadian community, in partnership with Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) the One Vision One Voice program is working to address the disproportionality and disparate outcomes of African Canadian families involved with Ontario’s child welfare sector through the implementation of 11 Race Equity Practices at local societies across the province.

This year, each society will complete an organizational anti-Black racism needs assessment to understand their capacity and readiness to implement the Race Equity Practices, outlined in the One Vision Voice Practice Framework released in September 2016. They’ll also each be issued a report card based on the findings from the organizational anti-Black racism needs assessment and provided with a full and individualized implementation plan to address gaps.

In addition, One Vision One Voice will create an African Canadian Provincial Advisory Council and a group of African Canadian Local Advisory Councils, whose aim will be to work with identified societies to focus on:
* Organizational direction:  Ensuring societies strategic direction continue to reflect and include the Race Equity Practices set out in the One Vision One Voice Framework

* Advocacy and Community Accountability:  Representing the African Canadian community in all matters pertaining to child welfare 

The collection of race-based data is a vital step towards ensuring the changes ushered in by the One Vision One Voice program are long-lasting. Child welfare leaders have embraced the call for the collection of this data, which has come from the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services, the Ontario Human Rights Commission and the Ontario Anti-Racism directorate.

“The implementation of this work means that child welfare leaders and front-line workers across the province have the opportunity to leave a lasting legacy.  They will be at the forefront of embracing and actioning Race Equity Practices designed to improve disparate outcomes for Ontario’s African Canadian families.”
Mary Ballantyne, CEO, Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies

“We recognize there is overrepresentation and an inequity in outcomes for African Canadian families engaged with child welfare agencies.  The time is right to support service excellence, by ensuring the child welfare system is equitable for African Canadian children and families through the implementation of the Race Equity Practices identified in the One Vision One Voice Practice Framework.”
Kike Ojo Project Lead, Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies, One Vision One Voice Program

For more information visit:  www.oacas.org/onevisiononevoice

About the One Vision One Voice Project
Aligned with A Better Way Forward: Ontario’s 3-Year Anti-Racism Strategic Plan, OACAS through One Vision One Voice, and in partnership with the Ministry of Children and Youth Services and the African Canadian community, has taken a leadership role in working to combat the overrepresentation, address the disproportionalities and eliminate the disparities experienced by African Canadians engaged with child welfare agencies.

About the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies
Since 1912, OACAS has represented Children’s Aid Societies in Ontario and provided service in the areas of government relations, communications, information management, education and training to advocate for the protection and well-being of children.

Read 1260 times Last modified on Saturday, 03 February 2018 18:04
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