According to the Ontario Anti-Racism Strategy Plan, anti-Black racism is “prejudices, attitudes, beliefs, stereotyping and discrimination that is directed at people of African descent and is rooted in their unique history and experiences of enslavement”. The Ministry review has highlighted the issue of anti-Black racism in our agency. It is systemic, structural and relational and is exemplified in hidden institutional biases in policies, practices, and procedures that privilege some groups and disadvantage others. Anti-Black racism has also led to the disproportionality and disparity of services for African Canadians involved in the child welfare system.
We acknowledge that racism and anti-Black racism exists in the agency. Our agency is committed to addressing any act of racism and anti-Black racism and provide a supportive work environment for everyone.
Our goal is to be intentional and accountable, and work together with our staff to develop anti-racism and anti-Black racism strategies geared towards, dismantling, opposing, and eliminating racism in all its forms.
- Speak out against Anti-Black racism: We have and will continue to use our public and internal platforms (our website, social media, speaking engagements, etc.) to denounce racism and reaffirm our commitment to anti-racism
- Anti-Black racism sessions: We have hosted a number of community forums for our staff, volunteers and caregivers to discuss their lived experiences, allyship, and healing.
- CWICE provides expertise and assistance to children and families across Ontario who are involved with child welfare and dealing with issues related to their immigration status.
- Community Forums: We have held community forums for Black, South Asian, and Arab communities to discuss best practices during COVID-19. Forums were attended by 105 community professionals and system leaders.
- Cultural celebrations: We promote and recognize many diverse cultural celebrations and ethnic heritage months.
- Community Engagement and Education: We offer community education presentations to thousands of attendees every year.
- Cultural matching: We make every effort to ensure that children and youth in care are placed in homes within the child’s cultural community.
- Cultural Competency: We offer a variety of service models and cultural navigators to better support the diverse communities in Peel.
Staff training and support
- Training: Offering ongoing training to our staff is a priority for Peel CAS. In 2020, we offered training sessions on working with Black, 2SLGBTQ+, Indigenous, Arab, and Indo-Caribbean communities, as well as four Courageous Conversations trainings with Directors, team leaders and managers.
- Resources: We created a section on our intranet with anti-Black racism information and resources for staff to access anytime, as well as a guide to DEI questions to enhance our service delivery.
- Diversity Survey: We have conducted a diversity survey to understand the demographics of our staff.
- Employee Experience Consultant: This position works closely with DEI and staff to develop and implement staff engagement activities to ensure that the unique needs of our employees are met.
- Employee Resource Groups: In order to centre the voices of our staff and establish a sense of belonging, influence policies, and highlight staff achievement, we have developed Employee Resource Groups including:
- Black Employee Network
- Diversity & Inclusion Council
- 2SLGBTQ+ Working Group