Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

CASO’s Commitment to Anti-Racism

Canadians are experiencing the ramifications of racism and colonialism linked to a history that dates back centuries; the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa (CASO) recognizes the connection the child welfare system has to this history. To move forward authentically, we must acknowledge continual racial injustice within the Canadian context, especially in the child welfare system, and identify and implement real and measurable change. 

To do this, we are stepping forward in solidarity with the Black community to create systemic change and combat racism. We are adopting a meaningful approach that uses our resources, our voice and our platform to drive action and change. In keeping with our deep commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, we are implementing four key commitments to change oppressive trajectories and outcomes for racialized children, youth and families in Ottawa:

  1. We are publishing detailed numbers identifying how many Black families we serve and exactly how many Black children are in our care. This will be reported on November 2, 2020 through our strategic plan and on an ongoing basis thereafter.
  2. We will implement the recommendations of our recent file audit to reduce the number of Black children coming into care, reduce the amount of time they spend in care, and to empower Black families and communities to make decisions for their children. 
  3. We are in the process of hiring an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Manager to oversee the implementation of a multi-year anti-racism, diversity, equity and inclusion (ADEI) strategy. This position will be filled by December 2020.
  4. We will actively demonstrate our commitment to the values of self-determination, collaboration and connection by working thoroughly with our partners who serve diverse communities to address over and disproportionate representation for the Black families we serve.

We know that we have much to learn so that we can affect change differently. We will continue to work with our Black community advisory groups to establish a future state where the following goals can be achieved:

  • That children and youth will not grow up in care;
  • That no child/youth will exit the system into loneliness; and,
  • That families are empowered to make decisions for their children/youth. 

We fundamentally believe that together we can question, reimagine and redesign our practices.  Action is necessary to make a difference. As an organization, we know we can do more, and you have our commitment that we will.

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