Letter to the Community – June, 2018
“When the whole world is silent, even one voice is powerful.” Malala Yousafzai
The theme of the annual report for 2017-18 focused on the agency’s journey toward a more equitable child welfare service. What does this mean to the community? It means that we need to listen to First Nations, Low German Mennonite, African-Canadian families who have been saying that our traditional model of service does not meet their parenting needs and is removed from unique cultural traditions. It means we need to strengthen support to youth who identify as gay, lesbian, transgendered, questioning or two-spirited. Through courageous conversations with community partners and cultural awareness training, the board of directors and staff have come to acknowledge that our work has not advantaged all communities, families, youth and children equally.
Our equity journey has us reimagining child welfare service into one in which we are: aware of the racial and identity diversity of the community, have a board of directors and staff that reflect the cultural makeup of the community, and make space for positive disruptive change.
Thank you to our partners who have guided us in our journey, been patient when we didn’t have it all right, and encouraged us to keep going. It has been an honour to serve the community and we want to say thank you for the privilege.
Bernadette Gallagher, Executive Director
Renee VanKooten, Board President