Peel Children’s Aid, in partnership with the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies has established the Child Welfare Immigration Centre of Excellence – a new service to provide knowledge, guidance, and services to Ontario CASs regarding immigration and settlement issues facing children and youth in the child welfare system.
“The case for early and rapid resolution of immigration status issues for children and youth within the child welfare sector is clear,” says Rav Bains, CEO, Peel CAS. “Resolving immigration status issues in a timely manner has the potential to make a very significant difference in the lives of children and youth to ensure they have access to services such as education and employment.”
Changes and trends within the child welfare sector have solidified the need for a centralized Child Welfare Immigration Centre as a long-term solution for children and youth under the age of 18 who are receiving services from a CAS in Ontario including children in care and/or children receiving kinship services.
“This centre of excellence capitalizes on Peel’s expertise in immigration and child welfare,” says Mary Ballantyne, CEO, Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies. “Being able to capture this expertise and assist other organizations and agencies across the province means a better response to children and families experiencing immigration and settlement issues.”
Since 2000, Peel CAS’s Immigration team has supported children, youth and families experiencing immigration challenges. Today, Peel CAS remains the only CAS in Ontario to have a specialized immigration team.
“The opening of the CWICE is a culmination of the hard work and expertise of this team and the agency's commitment to supporting children and families with unresolved immigration status issues (in care and in the community), unaccompanied and separated minors, and providing support for newcomers with children who are experiencing settlement issues,” adds Bains.
Children’s aid societies across Ontario can make referrals to the CWICE by phone, email or online. Learn more here.