The time is always right to do what is right. – Martin Luther King Jr.

Dear Colleague,

As we enter fully into the new year of 2018, I am extremely pleased to announce the launch of Phase II of the One Vision One Voice program.

For decades, the African Canadian community has expressed concern at the overrepresentation and disparate outcomes faced when engaged with the child welfare sector. Through the persistence and support of the community, and through the leadership of OACAS Program Manager, Kike Ojo, the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services funded a program to address these issues. That program became known as One Vision One Voice (OVOV).

When the OVOV Report and Framework documents were launched in 2016, they provided an opportunity for our sector to gaze inwards and truly consider how we have been working with the African Canadian community in Ontario.

It was a time for us to reflect on our successes, examine our challenges and acknowledge areas in need of improvement. OVOV held a mirror up to our flaws, exposed the cracks and has dared us all to do better.

While addressing the challenges and harm that our child welfare sector can and has done to African Canadian communities, the report itself is really one of confidence in improvement and hope for the future.

Central to the OVOV report is the belief in our ability as a sector, to do better, to do good, to spearhead change and to leave a lasting legacy of improved outcomes for African Canadian families across the province.

Change is never easy, it is a process. But with leadership, a common will and the support of the One Vision One Voice team, I know that we can transform the child welfare system to better serve African Canadians.

This week, each member society will be receiving copies of an OVOV poster. It includes a full list of the 11 Race Equity Practices on one side and a full colour poster on the other. I invite board members, executive leadership teams at every CAS, Supervisors and Managers and front-line staff, to use the OVOV poster and the Race Equity Practices to guide your daily work.

I also encourage you to read this OVOV quarterly newsletter and share it with your peers as you begin the work to implement the Race Equity Practices at your individual societies.

Be sure to watch the OVOV Phase II launch video.

Together, we can change the Ontario Child welfare system to better serve African Canadian people.

Sincerely,


Mary Ballantyne
Chief Executive Officer

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