Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much - Helen Keller
There is no quote more fitting than this classic from Helen Keller that describes the work of child welfare. Keeping children safe and strengthening families, can only be done through partnership. So at Peel CAS we have made building and sustaining positive, collaborative relationships a priority.
Our work continues to be increasingly complex and involves social issues such as poverty, domestic violence, custody and access, mental health, and substance abuse. Together with our community, Peel strives to ensure the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and families facing complex social issues.
It is through innovative partnerships that conversations turn into action. In addition to our ongoing work with police, schools, justice, children’s mental health, and health, we are also developing collaborations with settlement, ethno-cultural, family service, development service, shelters and even those beyond our Region such as Canada Border Services Agency and Global Affairs Canada.
Some highlights from the past year include:
- Together with the Black Community Action Network (BCAN), developing ways to coordinate services for Black families within the community. The partnership recently hosted the Cross-Sectorial Equity Leadership Development Session—a historical meeting attended by various systems leaders including representation of senior officials from school boards, police, health, and probation.
- One year of service by the Child Welfare Immigration Centre of Excellence to advocate for children and families facing immigration and settlement issues.
- Together with our foster and kin caregivers we have been focusing on permanent homes for children and keeping families together.
- A welcome change to legislation that has enabled us to work with our partners to provide services to 16 and 17 year olds and with the help of the Peel Children’s Aid Foundation we are helping youth to achieve their educational goals.
- The official ground-breaking of our new home, scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2020. We are excited to be able to continue to serve our community from a more accessible and central location at Hurontario Street and the 401.
Looking ahead, the upcoming year will not be without challenges. The landscape of child welfare is shifting. Together the agency and the Board of Directors are preparing for changes in areas such as the scope of child protection services, funding, labour relations, restructuring and governance issues. We look at changes as opportunities to work together with our partners to serve those who need us most.
Our work could not be done without the dedication of our staff, foster and kin families, volunteers and donors. Thank you to everyone who has helped us to make a difference in the lives of children, youth and families in our community.
Rav Bains, CEO, Peel CAS and Juliet Jackson, President, Peel CAS Board of Directors