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Accountability

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


Our Commitment 

At Peel CAS, our values drive our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). We believe that DEI is not just the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do to achieve positive outcomes for the children, youth, families and communities that we serve.

Our DEI journey began 18 years ago. With our staff and community partners we can take pride in the advancements we have made so far, including:

  • We have the lowest number of children in care per capita of any CAS in Ontario, and, notably, one of the lowest number of Black children in care per capita.
  • We do 99% of our work with children, youth and families within their own homes, with an 84% overall client satisfaction rating.
  • We are proud to celebrate the most diverse staff among all child protection agencies (62% of Peel CAS staff are racialized, with 65% of management staff identifying as racialized).*
  • As the most diverse child protection agency in Ontario, we offer an array of ethno-culturally responsive programs and service models, including Akoma, SAATH, the Child Welfare Immigration Centre of Excellence, Ujima, the Village, Awaaz, Saya and our Youth Success initiative.
  • We were the first to hire an Anti Oppressive Practice lead in child welfare to work directly with staff, foster parents, volunteers and the community, and the first CAS to hire a Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the senior management level.
  • We have created a DEI dashboard to closely monitor data to inform our DEI strategies and measure outcomes.
  • We are hiring an anti-Black racism worker to sustain and solidify the progress that we have made in continuing to center the unique needs of Black children and youth who are in care.
  • We recently completed 11 DEI and anti-Black racism training for all staff.
  • We have made tangible steps in addressing the 11 Organizational Race Equity Practices, recommended by One Vision One Voice.
  • We currently have a dedicated DEI team of community outreach workers, a DEI manager, and a DEI director.
  • We are in the process of hiring an Employee Experience Consultant. This position will work closely with our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion department to ensure all people and culture policies, programs and practices support the agency’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

 

We are grateful to our compassionate and dedicated staff, Board, caregivers, and community partners who have helped to make these achievements possible. Together, we have championed DEI for the rest of the sector and will continue to do so. Yet we acknowledge that there is always more work to be done.

We know that we must continue to advance change and foster an inclusive organization. As we move forward on this journey, we commit to:

  • Collect and analyze data to identify gaps and establish evidence-based practices;
  • Provide resources and services that meet the diverse needs of our staff and the children, youth and families we serve;
  • Conduct regular reviews to ensure our strategies meet those needs; and;
  • Expand our network of leaders, programs, and research tools to build upon our sustainable DEI strategy

 

Our Anti-Racism and Anti-Black Racism Strategy includes:

  1. Acknowledgement that racism and anti-Black racism exists today.
  2. Respond effectively to any staff reported acts of racism and anti-Black racism both within and outside of the agency in the performance of their duty.
  3. Internal capacity building consisting of continuous learning, anti-Black racism training, bias testing, self-awareness of the role of power, privilege, prejudice, building affinity groups.
  4. Use anti-racism and anti-Black racism lens to review all agency policies, procedures, practices and related actions to ensure fairness and inclusivity.
  5. Community engagement and mobilization including organizing community forums, system leaders meetings, seeking expert knowledge, working together with the affected communities and collaborating in building preventative and early intervention service models.
  6. Joint training and strategy development with the police to combat racism and anti-Black racism
  7. Engaging government and elected officials.
  8. Engaging system leaders and grassroots organizations.
  9. Ongoing development of learning platforms.
  10. Encouraging voices in the agency to speak up and take action.
  11. Engaging our Indigenous community at every level.

 

Above all, we will listen, learn, and work together to ensure that our commitment to DEI, anti-racism and anti-Black racism informs everything we do.  

To learn more, share resources and to get involved, please contact DEI@peelcas.org

 

*Staff diversity statistics based on results from a 2019 Diverse Workforce Staff Survey with 224 respondents (47% response rate)