The Equity Forum is a hub for all the work within our diverse communities, i.e. the First Nations, Inuit and Metis community; the African/Black Canadian, Muslim, racialized communities; the 2SLGBTQIA+ community; and, other intersectional groups/communities. The forum assists in building and supporting community relations, establishing best practices in working with racialized and marginalised families, monitoring the 11 recommendations of One Vision One Voice (OVOV), and ensuring information is communicated back to The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa’s staff.
First Nations, Inuit and Métis (FNIM) Forum
The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa has been on a journey toward reconciliation with the Indigenous community for well over a decade. Part of this journey is a staff-led community advisory committee committed to reconciliation. This group works to ensure that FNIM children and their families engaged with The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa have equitable opportunities to grow up safely at home, be healthy, achieve their dreams, celebrate their languages and culture and be proud of who they are.
The FNIM Forum carries out organizational activities that support the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s call to action recommendations, as well as the eight OACAS commitments and the recommendations from the First Nations, Inuit and Metis agencies and community.
The Umoja Group is a staff-led community advisory committee that works to challenge the over-representation of Black families in the child welfare system, anti-Black practices embedded within the child welfare system and the importance of community partnerships. Umoja is the first principle of Kwanzaa and signifies unity, which is defined as “striving for and maintaining unity in the family, community, nations and race.”
Umoja aspires to create a safe place for Black staff to discuss experiences, to increase agency-wide awareness of anti-Black racist themes at The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa and to ensure that the voice of the child is at the forefront as it relates to their cultural identity.
The Queer Forum is a staff-led forum dedicated to improving traditional child welfare approaches to affirm those who identify as 2SLGBTQIA+ and create a complete picture of the identities of the children, youth and families whose lives are impacted by heterosexism and cisgenderism. The Queer Forum works to enhance The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa’s cultural competency and inti-oppressive practices with everyone including: two-spirit, lesbian, gay, trans and queer children, youth, families, volunteers, staff and community members.