The Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) is pleased to announce Nicole Bonnie has started in her role as Chief Executive Officer. Ms. Bonnie is the first Black CEO in the history of OACAS and in the field of Ontario child welfare and brings with her a strong background in equity-centred leadership.
Ms. Bonnie is succeeding Mary Ballantyne, who has retired after leading OACAS for the past eight years. Ms. Bonnie comes to OACAS from the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, where she was the Director of Equity and Community Development, and prior to that she led Community Engagement and Partnerships, as well as Anti-Oppression Strategy, at Peel Children’s Aid.
Ms. Bonnie is looking forward to leading OACAS and its 48 member agencies as it embarks upon a new five-year strategic plan and enters a time of transformative change for child welfare in Ontario.
“OACAS and children’s aid societies in Ontario will continue to work hard and be guided by what we hear from the families and communities,” Ms. Bonnie said. “We are re-imagining child welfare in a way that supports all families to thrive.”
OACAS’ five-year strategic plan is focused on building a child welfare system based on the pillars of respect and empowerment, reconciliation, equity and belonging, and consistent and excellent services across the province.
“We know that on a daily basis, children’s aid societies deliver vital services that support children, youth, and families,” Ms. Bonnie said. “We also constantly strive to do better in delivering excellent services consistently and equitably across Ontario.”
The legacies of colonialism and systemic oppression act as significant barriers in the child welfare sector, and the OACAS’ five-year strategic plan recognizes these inherent issues and seeks to develop equity-informed policies and practices to mitigate their impact.
“I am confident that as we seek to be innovative, collaborative, and responsive, the child welfare sector will continue to make positive change in the lives of those we serve,” Ms. Bonnie said. “As we evolve and change as a sector, we remain steadfast in our commitment to improve outcomes. I feel honored and grateful to lead us on this journey.”
For media inquiries, contact:
Media Relations and External Communications Specialist
Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies