Back in March 2016, Peel CAS was selected as the Child Welfare Immigration Centre of Excellence (CWICE). The Child Welfare Immigration Centre of Excellence, a partnership between OACAS and Peel CAS, is a new service to help Children’s Aid Societies in Ontario with the increasing number of issues related to immigration status associated with the children and families serviced by the CASs. We are pleased to announce that this work will be moving forward with services expected to begin in Spring 2018.
The case for early and rapid resolution of immigration status issues for children and youth within the child welfare sector is clear. Resolving immigration status issues in a timely manner has the potential to make a very significant difference in the lives of children and youth to ensure they have access to services such as education and employment.
A combination of changes within the field and sector have solidified the need for a centralized Child Welfare Immigration Centre as a long-term solution. Some of these changes include;
- An increase in children without immigration status coming to the attention of child protection agencies
- Recent changes to information and documentation requirements within child welfare to facilitate early and improved identification of children and youth with immigration status issues
- A desire for improved partnerships and protocols between CAS’s and federal and provincial agencies serving children and youth with immigration and settlement needs
Who will the Child Welfare Immigration Centre of Excellence serve?
- Children and youth under 18 who are receiving services from a CAS in Ontario including children in care and/or children receiving kinship services
- Youth 18 and over that are former crown wards or receive continued care and support from a CAS.
What services will be provided by the Child Welfare Immigration Centre of Excellence?
- Consultation and support for Ontario CASs managing complex child protection and immigration cases
- Short term interventions to assist children with immigration related status challenges (Ex. aiding in filing citizenship and immigration documents, connect to lawyers, referrals to settlement agencies)
- Raise awareness on the scope and importance of immigration status issues
- Identify and develop partnerships and protocols with local, provincial and federal partners to resolve immigration issues
- Collect data and facilitate research to promote an improved understanding of the scope of immigration issues across the Child Welfare Sector
- Develop resources that can be used by CASs, children and families and former Crown Wards
How will services be provided?
The service will operate from Peel CAS Monday to Friday during regular business hours. Referrals will be accepted via phone, email and on-line form.