The Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) is developing a Practice Guide, Policies and procedures and training material on how to ‘do things differently’ through understanding the connection between woman abuse and child protection. These will shape not only the way they deliver services, or the way their training is developed and delivered, but will influence the general attitudes of the staff working within Child Welfare, from management to the front-line workers.
On December 21st, WomenatthecentrE facilitated a focus group, bringing together women survivors from all over the province to help the OACAS get a better understanding of the complexities faced by women as they try to protect themselves and their children.
It was a great opportunity for us to raise the critical issues that they needed to know in order to make Child Welfare agencies more understanding and responsive to the real issues affecting us and our children, as we move our lives forward, free from violence.
They are moving forward with an awareness of the fact that they have three issues to address:
- how to protect at-risk children on the one hand, while
- working with the mothers & safety planning for women who are experiencing (have experienced) violence, and at the same time
- engaging abusive male partners and holding them accountable.
Thank you to all the amazing women who came forward and shared.