Black History Month is an opportunity for all of us to celebrate African-Canadian culture and its contributions to Canadian society. The official launch of Hamilton’s celebration takes place on Friday, February 2, 2018 at City Hall. There will be special programs and events throughout Hamilton for the month. The Hamilton Public Library offers many different programs, and you can find a complete list at http://www.hpl.ca/season/all/black-history-month.
Here at CCASH, Black History Month is an opportunity for staff learning and reflection about anti-black racism and how to mitigate its impacts in child welfare work. We are supported in this work by our Provincial Association, the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS). They have just launched Phase 2 of the One Vision One Voice project, whose mandate is to address the over-representation and experiences of disparities faced by African Canadians after coming into contact with the child welfare system. Click here to find out more about this important project. We are proud to have participated in the development of One Vision, One Voice, and will be working to implement it in the coming months.
In the midst of national conversations about the need for changes in the way that Indigenous children, youth and families interact with the child welfare system, it’s wonderful to see that Ogwadeni:deo has successfully completed the child welfare designation process. This means that Six Nations will be served by an Indigenous agency, providing culturally appropriate child welfare services.
We were delighted to host 4 staff from Ogwadeni:deo in the fall for a month of learning and sharing, and look forward to working together with them to keep children and youth in our region safe. While much more needs to happen within the child welfare system to ensure that children are treated equitably and in a way that respects their heritage, this is a great move forward locally. Find out more about Ogwadeni:deo at their website, http://www.sixnations.ca/CWD/.
On Bell Let’s Talk Day, January 31, Bell will donate funds towards mental health initiatives in Canada, by contributing 5¢ for every applicable text, call, tweet, social media video view and use of their Facebook frame or Snapchat filter. This initiative has raised millions in support of mental health initiatives in Canada, and has given us all an opportunity to fight the culture of silence that surrounds mental illness in our society. Find out more at https://letstalk.bell.ca/en/bell-lets-talk-day.
You’ll want to attend this meeting if you are a service provider, advocate, educator, social worker, parent and anyone else who has had experience with Black children aged 6 to 11 who have demonstrated or experienced challenges with self-regulation and/or disruptive behaviour. Provide input into the adaptation of the SNAP Program for Black and African Canadian Kids on February 17, from 4-7 pm, at the Afro-Caribbean Community Association, 423 King St. E., Hamilton. Register at www.snapbackids.weebly.com.
The facilitators will share an overview of the SNAP® Program. You will share your experience and knowledge about Black children age 6 to 11 and provide your input into how the program materials could be adapted from a cultural identity and anti-Black racism lens. Dinner will be provided.
The Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton is hosting an information session for anyone who is interested in finding out more about adoption and the adoption process. There is a high need for adoptive parents who are ready, willing, and able to meet the needs of older children, large sibling groups, or those with complex medical, developmental, and behavioural needs.
DATE: January 17, 2018
TIME: 7:00 – 9:00 pm
LOCATION: Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton, 735 King St. E., Hamilton ON
REGISTRATION: Pre-registration is preferred, by calling 905-525-2012 and asking for the Adoption Unit
Every child and youth needs and deserves permanent, lifelong connections to flourish. Adoption is one of a number of options that Children’s Aid Societies consider when looking for lifelong connections for children in care. There is an extensive training and support network in place to assist adoptive parents in becoming prepared and confident to meet children’s needs.
Children’s Aid Societies across Ontario are now able to provide a full range of child protection services to 16- and 17-year-olds. This means that, if you are 16 or 17 years old and feel in need of support and protection, you may approach a Children’s Aid Society and voluntarily create a service agreement giving you all that is entitled to a youth in care. This also means that, if you suspect that a 16- or 17-year-old is being abused or neglected, you may choose to report this to a Children’s Aid Society and your concerns will be addressed.
We have been actively lobbying government to raise the age of protection for some time, and are very pleased to see this change take place, as it will increase the welfare of children in our community.
Ontario has passed the Child, Youth and Family Services Act (CYFSA). The legislation, once proclaimed, will put children at the centre of decision-making, and support more accountable, responsive and accessible child and youth services. It will also strengthen oversight for children’s aid societies and licensed residential services.
The Ministry has released the first phase of draft regulations/policy statements for public input. These regulations/policy statements will remain open for input until January 26, 2018.
The postings are available for review on the Ministry’s website at www.ontario.ca/yourvoicematters.