As the new One Vision One Voice (OVOV) program team gets ready to implement OVOV across the province. Here is what you need to know.
What’s new with OVOV?
This is an important time for child welfare in Ontario. One Vision One Voice is a program that is working to address the overrepresentation of African Canadians in the child welfare system, as well as the disparate outcomes faced by African Canadian families. The program first launched in September 2015. A Research Report and an accompany service sector Practice Framework was released on September 29, 2016.
Since that time the One Vision One Voice team has been working to get child welfare agencies across the province ready for the implementation of the 11 Race Equity Practices, identified in the Practice Framework document.
These practices are the steps that children’s aid agencies (from boards to individual workers), across the province will need to take when working with African Canadian families.
Some of how work will change for CAS agencies includes:
- Accountability to the African Canadian community
- Education of mandated referrers on systemic racism
- Work with staff to reflect on anti-black racism
- Placement of African Canadian children and youth with African Canadian kin and families (racial matching)
One Vision One Voice is a holistic view to working with the African Canadian community and the Race Equity Practices are reflective of that, addressing the interconnectedness of leadership, community engagement, partner relationships, human resources, finances and service delivery.
Who are we?
Led by Kike Ojo, Program Manager for One Vision One Voice, the program team is now fully in place. The team consists of: Jana Vinsky, Implementation Specialist, Kearie Daniel, Communications and Community Engagement Specialist, David Blatt, Data Specialist, and Erin Mensch, Administrative Assistant and Events Coordinator.
How will implementation of One Vision One Voice work?
The One Vision One Voice team will support agencies to embed the principles and values derived from the OVOV Research Report and Practice Framework at every level of your organization.
What can you expect in the coming months?
- An organizational self-assessment
- A report outlining the gaps and strengths of agencies’ capacity to implement the 11 Race Equity Practices
- Supported implementation plans sector-wide
- Capacity building
In addition, there will also be work done to engage African Canadian communities around the province and the setting up of African Canadian Advisory Committees/Councils that can act as advisors and advocates on behalf of African Canadian community in each region.
What can agencies do now?
- Start to build relationships with the African Canadian community in your region toward the development of an African Canadian Advisory Committee/Council
- Seek out opportunities to build your agencies capacity regarding equity and anti-racism
- Increase capacity and accountability for the fulsome collection of identity based data
What are the Race Equity Practices?
- Commit to courageous leadership.
- Collect and analyze data to measure racial disproportionality and disparities.
- Evaluate programs and monitor performance.
- Allocate appropriate and dedicated resources.
- Engage African Canadian parents and communities.
- Engage and educate mandated referrers.
- Establish effective internal complaint mechanisms.
- Enhance human resource management.
- Provide daily supervision, ongoing training, and supports for staff, volunteers and caregivers.
- Establish collaborations and partnerships.
- Strengthen the ability of caregivers to support African Canadian children and youth.
For more information on the One Vision One Voice project contact: Erin Mensch, firstname.lastname@example.org