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).
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?
“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.”
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.
“Anti-black racism, policies and practices rooted in colonialism play a major role in the overrepresentation of African Canadian children in child welfare. I do this work because I believe in justice, equality, and equity and I believe that everyone should have a voice and an opportunity to challenge the status quo.”
Sheehira joins OVOV from Catholic Children’s Aid Society where she was a Quality Assurance and Research practicum student. Sheehira has many years of experience working within the community with children, youth and families across the Greater Toronto Area in various capacities and settings including Early Years settings, Children’s Mental Health, Foster Homes, Schools, and within a Youth treatment program. Sheehira recently completed her Master of Social Work and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Studies minoring in Family Supports and Community Practice. Sheehira will be the primary contact for African Canadian community organizations requiring assistance supporting families engaging with Children’s Aid Societies. Sheehira will be the primary contact for African Canadian community organizations requiring assistance supporting families engaging with Children’s Aid Societies.