By Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS)

Originally posted at: http://www.oacas.org/2018/10/new-one-vision-one-voice-community-engagement-workers/

One Vision One Voice is committed to addressing the overrepresentation of African Canadians within the child welfare sector.  For many years the African Canadian Community has raised concerns about the oppressive practices embedded within Children’s Aid Societies, which has led to the overrepresentation of Black families within child welfare.

Consultations with the African Canadian community found that once caught up in the system, many African Canadian families feel unsupported. To address this gap, the One Vision One Voice team has hired a Community Engagement Worker (CEW).

CONTACT: CEW@oacas.org

What will the Community Engagement Worker be doing?

  • System education for community partners – CEWs will provide workshop and knowledge transfer and exchange sessions with community partners, answering questions and building their knowledge of the intricacies of the child welfare system in Ontario
  • Support for families through African Canadian community organizations – CEWs will work directly with community organizations who are supporting families through engagement with child welfare
  • Support for the child welfare sector – CEWs will work directly with Children’s Aid Societies across the province, providing them with knowledge about Black services and educating them on anti-Black racism and racially and culturally appropriate services

Who is the CEW?

Judie Powell

“My hope is that these Community Engagement Worker roles, enable the child welfare sector to enhance their practice and better serve African Canadian families.  I work hard because youth, specifically black youth of today, deserve a chance to be leaders of tomorrow.”

Email: CEW@oacas.org

Judie joins the OVOV team from Children’s Aid Society of Toronto where she held various positions such as Intake Worker, Child Service Worker, Family Service Worker and most recently Kinship Assessment Worker. Judie was also the Interim Chair and Treasurer for the Black Education Awareness Committee and remains an active and involved member.  Judie has a Master of Social Work from University of Windsor and Bachelor of Social Work from Ryerson University. Judie will be the primary contact for Children’s Aid Societies across the province requiring support engaging with African Canadian families.