National child welfare dialogue taking place in Ottawa to help children and youth facing immigration and settlement issues

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OTTAWA – On Tuesday, January 28th, 2020, child welfare leaders from across Canada will meet in Ottawa to discuss current and future trends and challenges intersecting child welfare and settlement issues. Senator Victor Oh will attend to officially open the inaugural National Child Welfare Dialogue.

This event is organized by the Child Welfare Immigration Centre of Excellence and will start with panel presentations and discussions from Global Affairs Canada, Canada Border Services, International Social Services, and Ryerson University. The second half of the day will include in-depth discussions of the challenges and innovative practices in each province and territory.

“The purpose of the discussion is to identify opportunities for collaboration and partnership on a national scale,” states Rav Bains, CEO of Peel Children’s Aid (Peel CAS). “Those involved with child welfare without Permanent Resident status or Canadian citizenship face unique challenges. Provincial and Federal coordination is critical to ensuring equitable outcomes for all children and youth”.

In June of 2018, Peel CAS and the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) launched the Child Welfare Immigration Centre of Excellence (CWICE) to assist child welfare agencies in Ontario with the increasing number of complex child welfare cases that have unresolved immigration status issues. The first of its kind service model in Canada, CWICE provides consultation, research, resource development, and direct clinical services across the province for children and youth receiving child protection services in Ontario.

“OACAS is very proud to partner with Peel Children’s Aid in support of the amazing work being done at CWICE. Moving to a national discussion focused on child welfare and its intersection with immigration is a natural step forward for this work. Increasing collaboration between the child welfare and immigration systems means decreasing the chances that a youth will fall through the cracks,” said Nicole Bonnie, CEO of the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies. “CWICE is a leader in Ontario and I truly believe its ongoing work can benefit the entire country.”

Funding for this event has been generously provided by the Peel Children’s Aid Foundation. “This is the first time that child welfare leaders from across Canada have come together to discuss the challenges and opportunities around this growing concern,” said Renae Addis, Executive Director of the Peel Children’s Aid Foundation. “Peel Children’s Aid Foundation is pleased to be able to fund this innovative inaugural event that will bring increased awareness to the issue, and how CWICE can help.”

Resolving immigration status issues in a timely manner has the potential to make a significant difference in the lives of children and youth to ensure they have access to services such as education and employment.

Media Contact:
Shane Vieira
Director of Communications & Branding
Peel Children’s Aid
(905) 301-3651