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Supporting Black Families

 

In January 2020, Peel CAS launched the Akoma (Akan word for heart) Wraparound Program as a pilot project with Roots Community Services and the Free for All Foundation. This initiative seeks to reduce racial inequities and increase the well-being of African-Caribbean-Black-Canadian (ACB) families who are involved with the child welfare system in Peel. Developed in consultation with numerous community stakeholders, the “Akoma” service model is the result of an alliance between the Black Community Action Network (BCAN) and Peel CAS.

 

Participating youth and families are paired with an Akoma wraparound worker, a highly trained and experienced professional who integrates case management, counseling, community engagement, system navigation and advocacy, through a lens of anti-Black racism and anti-oppression principles. Through Akoma, families receive culturally-sensitive support and resources to meet their social, mental and economic needs.

 

Elements of the Akoma program include:

  • Joint visits with a CAS child protection worker and Akoma wraparound worker;
  • Afro-centric parenting and informal networking support;
  • Access to support with employment, housing, education and child care;
  • Facilitating mental health service support through community partnerships.

Peel CAS is committed to continuous improvement in its support of our region’s diverse communities. Programs like Akoma recognize the systemic barriers and oppression racialized youth and families experience, and help to address them through cultural sensitivity and community partnerships.