Equity & Inclusion
Our Commitment to Equity & Inclusion
At The Children’s Aid Society of the District of Nipissing and Parry Sound, our mission and values drive our commitment to equity and inclusion. We believe that equity is not just the “right thing to do”, it is the MOST IMPORTANT thing to do for our staff, children, youth, families, volunteers, caregivers, partners, and the communities that we serve. We respect and celebrate the diversity that we have within the North Bay and Parry Sound community and recognize that this diversity includes: class, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, language, race, culture, religion and ability.
We acknowledge the historic and present impact of colonial practices, particularly for Indigenous Peoples and African-Canadians, that have contributed to the oppression of children, youth and families. We also acknowledge the impact of our own practices on maintaining systemic barriers within the organization for these communities. As an agency we must do better and be held accountable for the results and work we do.
We thrive to change the narrative of child welfare “taking children” to child welfare working together to build communities where families are strong and all children and youth are safe and resilient. We are mindful that systemic and institutional racism disallow for some groups to advance in obtaining equal and fair treatment within society, which further impacts their life chances and their parenting. In saying this however, we are committed to breaking down these barriers, walking alongside the families, children and youth that we serve and to listening, learning and ensuring that our commitment to Equity, anti-oppression and anti-Black racism informs everything we do.
Overall, we know that we have a long way to go on our equity journey, but we are committed to walking the walk and talking the talk.
Our Equity Journey
Anti-Oppression Practice Framework
Our agency embraces the principles of an anti-oppressive practice and values working from a strength-based perspective, where every family receiving service is treated with dignity, compassion, and respect. Our Anti-Oppression Committee comes together monthly to discuss issues through an intersectional lens. With representation from every department in our agency, the committee is dedicated to breaking down barriers and ensuring that all services are equitable for the staff, the community, and the families that we serve.
Equity & Practice Transformation Lead
We have recently hired an Equity & Practice Transformation Lead who provides leadership in systemic equity and instructional practice through an intersectional lens focused on the One Vision Once Voice Race Equity Practices.
Indigenous File Reviews – Working Alongside our Indigenous Counterparts
Indigenous people in Canada experience overrepresentation in child welfare agencies at rates that are disproportionately high. To ensure culturally based equity for First Nation, Inuit and Métis families, our agency works alongside local indigenous communities to complete file reviews. CASNPS recognizes that indigenous communities are experts on their own cultures and needs. The purpose of these quarterly reviews are to ensure indigenous families have access to the same opportunities as
others that are reflective of their distinct cultural needs and take full account of the historical disadvantage linked to colonization, discrimination and residential schools. Furthermore, it provides an opportunity to ensure planning is culturally appropriate and all resources are being pulled to obtain the best possible outcome.
The committee is composed of band representatives, CAS workers and their respective supervisors. Through listening and understanding we are working together for a more equitable future for all children, youth and families.
We are currently in the process of developing an Anti-Oppression and Anti-Racism Policy that specifically outlines how we as an agency can be more equitable inside and outside of our agency.
Equity in Child Welfare Training
Embedding equity must be done from the top down incorporating a full agency approach. As such we are committed to training all staff, volunteers and resource parents in equity. We embarked on this training journey in 2021 and expect to have all areas trained by April 2022.
Identity Based Data Collection (IdBD)
The Children’s Aid Society of District of Nipissing and Parry Sound is committed to understanding the families we work with and the many cultures, identities and social locations they represent in order to address the overrepresentation of indigenous and black children in care and to connect families to the right services as best fits their needs. We collect identity data to improve program delivery and accountability to allow for more equitable outcomes.
To learn more about Identity Based Data Collection, please click here.
Equity Workplace Scan
The Children’s Aid Society of the District of Nipissing and Parry Sound is committed to looking inward to assess our own workplace culture by conducting a workplace scan to ensure that our agency is representing the multiple cultures, identities and social locations of the families, children and youth that we serve. This workplace scan will ask our staff the same IdBD questions that are asked of the families, children and youth that we work with to ensure that our workforce is reflective of the diversity of our service population and that our workforce is representative of diversity categories as proposed by the Federal Employment Equity Act.