Our workers are social justice professionals – outspoken advocates for the people and communities we serve, and champions for positive change. They seek equity for all people. They protect and ensure the safety of children and advocate for and help those most vulnerable. In truth, they are motivated by the desire to help others as well as the desire to change the world, one child, youth or family at a time.
Umaimah – Flex Team
I was born and brought up in Canada, spent my youth in Pakistan and returned to Canada when I was nineteen. It’s given me a unique perspective that led me to social work. As a child protection worker, this perspective enables me to share my knowledge about different cultures and lifestyles, while myth-busting biases to advocate for children and families.
Our community is expanding and in my job, I assist different areas of the agency wherever there is a need. I step into various short-term agency roles –whether it be a week, one month or three– and do everything from answering community calls, responding to calls from families and referral partners, working with families or youth in care, or even consulting with other staff about kin placements.
A year ago I was asked to assess a family after an initial call was placed into the agency. Liz* had four children under the age of seven. She lived in a tiny basement apartment with two bedrooms. Sure, it was cramped, but it was also unclean, strewn with garbage and overflowing with clutter, so that the little space they did have amounted to an unhealthy living environment. We worked together and agreed to strict deadlines to help Liz clean and manage her home environment. We examined her budget to look at affordable furnishings that fit her space, while I connected her with furniture banks. After two months of working with Liz, I closed her file. I love my job. Supporting people wherever they’re at in their journey and seeing them make positive changes in their lives is very rewarding.
*name has been changed
Peel CAS has two Flex Teams, established in 2017 and 2018 as a way to improve service delivery. Through the use of agency data and reviewing service volume trends, these teams anticipate and fill gaps in service before they happen, and assume responsibility for temporary child protection assignments throughout all of our departments.
The Town of Caledon is a growing area of Peel Region. While Peel Children’s Aid has always served Caledon, in spring/summer 2019, one of our two Flex Teams will move to Caledon to better serve the community’s needs and continue our commitment to strength-based and anti-oppressive practice. We look forward to creating strong community relationships and building positive child and family networks together.