In addition to publishing curriculum and resource documents for Children’s Aid Societies, OACAS produces practice guides to evolve readers’ understanding of the complexities of child protection, with respect to a particular topic area. The practice guides are designed to promote critical thinking and decision making in sensitive areas of child welfare practice. OACAS also produces practice notes which are quick reference tools for child welfare professionals, and contain links and contact details if workers would like to seek additional information.
Residential Services Review
In July 2015, the Minister of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) announced the establishment of an Expert Panel to conduct a review of the residential services system for children and youth in Ontario.
The OACAS Residential Service Review Advisory Workgroup submitted its recommendations to the Panel in February 2016.
The Eligibility Spectrum is a tool designed to assist Children’s Aid Society child protection staff in making consistent and accurate decisions about a child or family’s eligibility for service at the time a society becomes involved.
The revised Spectrum (2016) contains additional scales and items to assist decision making in areas resulting from changes in legislation, current research, practice and inquest recommendations from the Office of the Chief Coroner. The 2016 version is the result of a group of dedicated Children’s Aid Society (CAS) professionals who completed research and consulted with front line staff and stakeholders throughout the province to ensure the revisions made reflect the interests and needs of the sector.
Conflict Resolution Resource Guide
In early 2013, the Youth Leaving Care Working Group released the Blueprint for Fundamental Change to Ontario’s Child Welfare System in light of My REAL Life Book – Report of the Youth Leaving Care Hearings recommendation to recognize and act on the need to fundamentally change the child welfare system to better prepare children and youth in care to succeed. One of the recommendations from the Blueprint highlighted the need for residential care providers to build the capacity of its staff to respond constructively to challenging child and youth behaviour by:
- Attempting to understand the needs behind their behaviour and,
- Addressing those behaviours in a manner that encourages children and youth to willingly accept and change their behaviour.
Specifically, it was recommended that caregivers are trained in conflict resolution, crisis prevention and de-escalation to prevent situations from escalating to the point where police are called to residences. This conflict resolution resource guide, funded by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, is intended to build the capacity of residential care providers to respond to conflict with residents in more restorative ways. It focuses on the strategies and tools that can be used in preventing and resolving conflict, building positive and healthy relationships, and building a group home culture and environment that fosters youth engagement and positive youth development.
The purpose of OACAS Practice Guides is to evolve readers’ understanding of the complexities of child protection, with respect to a particular topic area. The Practice Guides are designed to promote critical thinking and decision making in sensitive areas of child welfare practice.
- The Other Side of the Door: A Practice Guide for Child Welfare Professionals Working with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples En | Oji-Cree | Fr
- Working with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Families who have Experienced Family Violence En | Fr
- Ontario Practice Model Reference Guide En
- Fire Safety and Prevention: A Resource Guide for Child Welfare Professionals En | Fr Order hard copies here.
- Critical Connections: Where Woman Abuse and Child Safety Intersect – A Practice Guide for Child Welfare Professionals in Ontario En | Fr Order hard copies here.
- Building Bridges to Belonging: Promising Practices for Youth En | Fr Order hard copies here.
OACAS has created Practice Notes covering a variety of topics for child welfare professionals in the field. The Practice Notes are designed to be a quick reference tool for child welfare professionals, and contain links and contact details if workers would like to seek additional information.
- Safer Sleeping Environments En | Fr
- Bathtub Safety En & Fr
- Fire Safety En & Fr
- Pool Safety En & Fr
- Farm Safety Practice Note & Farming and Rural Area Safety Check List En & Fr
- Infant Mental Health En & Fr
- Youth Suicide En & Fr
- Ministry of Attorney General Programs and Services for Victims of Crime in Ontario En | Fr
- Woman Abuse Resources in Ontario En | Fr
- 2010 Revisions to the Occupational Health and Safety Act En | Fr
- Adoption Openness Provisions in the Child and Family Services Act En | Fr
- Best Practice Guidelines: Case Closure and Maternal Pregnancy En | Fr
- Obtaining Consent for the Release of Information En | Fr
- Working with Parents with Mental Health Challenges En | Oji-Cree | Fr