The Board of Directors of the Peel Children’s Aid Society (Peel CAS) has released its work plan in response to the findings and recommendations of the Comprehensive Review Report (the Report), led by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services and received by Peel CAS on October 1, 2021.
“We view this holistic work plan as a first step towards positive sustainable change,” said Juliet Jackson, Peel CAS Board President. “It is a living, dynamic and flexible document that will continue to evolve as work progresses. It is transformative, and will drive bold action through the involvement and collaboration of all staff.”
The work plan itemizes all the recommendations in the Report, along with the plan of action, timeline and responsibility. The Board has also chosen to include several additional items in the work plan to improve the agency moving forward. These items include providing an independent ombudsperson for staff who do not feel comfortable reporting issues to management related to harassment, discrimination, and racism; and the creation of an anti-racism policy, which will explicitly include anti-Black racism.
All the issues identified in the Report are important, however, work cannot begin on all issues at once. The work plan identifies three phases based on urgency. Issues considered integral (affecting many staff and/or specific groups, and significantly affecting the workplace environment), or urgent (time sensitive and requiring immediate attention) are being addressed first, in Phase 1. This phase is already underway and includes in-depth work on healing and restoration led by the Centre for Conflict Resolution International.
The remaining items are divided into the following phases:
Phase 2: Work begins no later than March 2022
Phase 3: Work begins no later than September 2022
The implementation of the work plan will be overseen by the Board of Directors, and guided by a new Advisory Council, which will include representatives from across the organization, reflecting a variety of professional and lived experiences. The Advisory Council will be established once some of the foundational restoration work has been done, likely by spring of this year.
“The work plan symbolizes a new beginning for our agency, rooted in collaboration,” said Rhonda Grigsby, Union President, CUPE Local 4914. “We would like to thank each and every team member at Peel CAS for everything they have done to move this process forward, and their dedication to helping build a stronger, more inclusive future for our agency.”
Acting CEO Mary Beth Moellenkamp stated: “Our success will be achieved through our collective efforts throughout this process. It is imperative that we put our people first. Together, we will ensure a work environment rooted in cultural safety and belonging for everyone.”
The work plan will be updated regularly as work progresses. Updates will be posted on the Peel CAS website.