HOME >Spring/Summer 2010 - Volume 55 - Number 2/3

Message from the Acting Executive Director
By Virginia Rowden

The Ontario Association of Children‘s Aid Societies (OACAS) is pleased to present this Spring/Summer special edition of the OACAS Journal featuring highlights of the June 2010 Putting Children First: Making a Difference Conference.

The Conference brought together world-renowned speakers from across Canada and the United States for keynote presentations, plenary sessions and workshops for experts in child welfare and professionals working with children. The 2010 Conference included speakers from disciplines and fields outside of child welfare to broaden the content and scope. The increased value of new ideas gave participants the tools and knowledge they need to continue to strengthen Ontario‘s child welfare system, explore opportunities for systemic change, and think about current perceptions and processes.

A preliminary scan of practitioners, child welfare experts, and academics recommended that the Conference include topics on working with youth, supporting Aboriginal communities, the effect of domestic violence on children, and other hot topics in the international child welfare arena. Participants had the opportunity to learn from their peers and share their experiences with people who understand both the context and challenges of child welfare. Participant feedback noted the importance of these joint learning and networking opportunities and the impact they could have on the future of child welfare.

OACAS has responded to member requests to convene conferences and symposiums that help to build agency capacity and manage the quality of child welfare in Ontario, such as the Building Bridges to Belonging and Critical Connections symposia. The Journal will continue to provide highlights, references, and articles from these events to further build capacity on featured topics.

Included in the Spring/Summer special edition of the Journal are articles from Conference presenters along with articles on new initiatives happening at Children‘s Aid Societies. I hope the included articles help the Journal‘s readers better understand child welfare in their communities and efforts to make life better for Ontario‘s children and youth.

Virginia Rowden
Acting Executive Director

Next article: Providing S.M.I.L.E.S to Children of the Waterloo Region Whose Caregiver has a Mental Health Diagnosis

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