On behalf of our membership, OACAS provides advocacy and government relations, public education, training, information and knowledge management, and communications services. OACAS works with member agencies, community and provincial partners, and government to support positive change to the Ontario child welfare system.
OACAS promotes child welfare service best practices, compiles and showcases current resources and research in library guides, provides change management leadership, and supports cross-sector collaboration and innovative child welfare practice.
OACAS delivers learning and training for all of Ontario’s child welfare staff, volunteers, and related sector employees, including critical, mandatory training for frontline child protection workers. We monitor emerging trends, promising practices, service tools, and regulations and legislation to provide the most up-to-date course curriculum and strive towards continuous quality improvement.
OACAS builds and maintains constructive partnerships with all levels of government and key stakeholders to support better outcomes for Ontario children, youth, and families. OACAS is non-partisan and works intensively with the provincial government to develop and respond to legislation, standards, policy, regulations, and emerging issues. OACAS works to ensure that the experiences and outcomes of children, youth, and families who interact with the child welfare system in Ontario are considered at all levels of government decision-making. We collaborate with provincial partners to support cross-sector, holistic approaches to safety and well-being for Ontario’s children, youth, and families.
OACAS consolidates and distributes key child welfare information to our members, critical stakeholders and partners, and the public to support the delivery of excellent child welfare services in Ontario. OACAS aims to advance Ontario’s child welfare knowledge and educate the public—through annual campaigns, key reports, traditional and social media, and events—about their role to keep children and youth safe and support healthy families.
OACAS works alongside Indigenous stakeholders and partners to support their work to improve outcomes for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children, youth, and families in Ontario. OACAS facilitates conversations with non-Indigenous member agencies and First Nations, Inuit, and Métis child welfare practitioners to better address the needs of Indigenous communities. OACAS is committed to supporting Indigenous member agencies and Indigenous’ communities inherent right to care for their children, youth, and families.
OACAS supports and manages several programs aimed at improving the lives of young people in and from the child welfare system. One Vision One Voice is a program led by the African Canadian community. It is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services through OACAS to address the overrepresentation and experiences of disparities faced by African Canadians after coming into contact with the child welfare system. OACAS also administers the Aftercare Benefits Initiative, the Clark Bursary Program, the annual YouthCAN conference, and Children and Youth in Care Day activities. We regularly seek the input of young people on policies, programs, and services to ensure their voices are at the forefront of recommendations or changes being implemented at a provincial level.