Peel CAS is in the process of expanding its culturally responsive service models to better meet the needs of our region's diverse communities. Ma'an, which means "together" in Arabic, is a partnership between Peel CAS and Polycultural Immigrant & Community Services (PICS). The goal of the project is to create a wraparound service model to help provide culturally appropriate services to Arabic children, youth and families. Ultimately, we hope that the Ma'an project will improve our service delivery to this community and help to ensure that children and youth of Arabic background are able to remain with their families as much as possible.
So far, we have gathered information at community focus groups, interviews with Arab faith leaders, conducted an internal survey with Peel CAS and PICS staff, and an external survey with participants at an Arab Community Forum meeting. Our next step will be forming a committee to build strategies to address the gaps identified through our community outreach, and develop the wraparound service model.
The Ma'an Project, and others like it, are important components of the agency's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy. By working in partnership with our region's diverse communities, we can strengthen relationships, raise awareness, and dispel myths related to child welfare, while providing better service to the children, youth and families we work with.