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2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT

2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT

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Fostering at York

Fostering at York

Fostering at York

Fostering at York

Help protect a child from abuse.


Call us: 905.895.2318 | 1.800.718.3850
24 hours a day, 7 days a week



2021 Foster Parent Appreciation Week

2021 Foster Parent Appreciation Week: October 17-23

York Region Children's Aid Society extends its sincere thanks to the many devoted foster parents who provide safe and nurturing homes for children and youth! The love and support foster parents provide has lifelong impact on to children and youth's development and well-being.

During the third week of October, Foster Family Appreciation Week is celebrated by Ontario's child welfare sector to acknowledge the important role foster parents play in the lives of children, youth, and families across the province. YRCAS works in partnership with families to support children and youth at home. But when children cannot remain with their primary caregivers, and kin are not available, foster parents provide children and youth with a safe family setting during a difficult and confusing time. Children living with foster caregivers are reunified with their families once their primary caregivers' parenting skills have been strengthened with support from Children's Aid Societies and the community.

Foster parents are needed from diverse racial, religious, sexual orientation, and/or gender identity backgrounds to ensure inclusive and responsive services for children and youth. Learn more about Becoming a Foster Parent or connect with us about fostering at www.yorkcas.org/fostercare_application.asp.



becoming a foster parent

Join us for an interactive virtual information session
about becoming a foster parent

Thursday October 28, 2021
7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Please RSVP to confirm your attendance by emailing:
Fostering@Yorkcas.org
A meeting link will be sent to you to attend virtually


Ginelle Skerritt appointed new Chief Executive Officer
of York Region Children’s Aid Society

Ginelle Skerritt

The Board of Directors of the York Region Children’s Aid Society (YRCAS) is pleased to announce the appointment of Ginelle Skerritt as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective October 12, 2021.

Ginelle is an executive with over 30 years of leadership experience in the non-profit sector, most recently in the position of Vice President of Vibrant Communities and Poverty Reduction at The Neighbourhood Group in Toronto, as well as a former Regional Director at UNICEF Ontario.

“We are honoured that Ginelle Skerritt has accepted this leadership position at YRCAS” stated Tahir Shafiq, Chair of the Board of Directors. “Her demonstrated collaborative and inclusive leadership style, combined with her experience and unwavering commitment to equity and justice, will help lead our agency through meaningful, transformative change.”

As the first Black CEO in the history of children’s aid societies in Ontario, Ginelle understands the significant role that the agency plays in ensuring the well-being of children and youth. She has advocated for children's rights to identity, education, health, spiritual growth and family development and believes that effective child advocacy requires engagement with the families and communities the system is intended to serve.  Ginelle is dedicated to working closely and collaboratively with multiple stakeholders, including those responsible for health, education, community safety and justice.

Ginelle has a breadth of experience successfully leading innovative organizational initiatives to address a range of important issues that impact the well-being of children and youth. She brings valuable expertise on matters that are central to child welfare, like poverty and hunger, loss of identity, lack of emotional support, poor sense of belonging and connection to community.

With a community-centred approach and a strong grounding in equity practice, Ginelle is eager to take on the challenge of moving the work of YRCAS forward to better support our diverse community.


2021 KINSHIP AWARENESS WEEK: SEPTEMBER 19-25

2021 Kinship Awareness Week

During the third week of September, we honour the many incredible kinship families and caregivers for the vital role they play in the lives of the children and youth! These compassionate and dedicated caregivers provide love and care and ensure children live with family, in their circle of love, in their community.

In unison with the provincial government's plans to modernize the child welfare system, we strongly support a framework focused on prevention and working with families and communities to ensure children and youth are safe at home. We support innovative community supports and collaborative partnerships to support families in the least intrusive way.

If a child cannot live safely at home, their parents are supported to seek help from extended family, friends, and their community to ensure a child lives safely with people they know and trust.

If people know a family needs support, they can come forward to help the family and offer to care for a child and support the family. Research shows children do best when they have the presence of a stable, supportive, committed parent, caregiver, or trusted adult. Maintaining supportive lifelong connections for children, youth, and their families is an integral part of the work of Children's Aid Societies.

Read more about:

Kinship Caregivers: Keeping Kids Connected

Kinship Services and Family Finding

Friends and family first: keeping kids in their circle of love



Family Emergency Planning for COVID-19

York Region Public Health and Social Services are asking parents and caregivers to plan ahead and make a Family Emergency Plan for COVID-19, in the event somebody in your household gets infected with COVID-19. This plan should include arrangements for an emergency caregiver in case you cannot care for your children due to self-isolation requirements or because you are too ill or need to be hospitalized.

York Region has developed a COVID-19 Resource Package for Parents and Caregivers that includes:

•  Targeted Emergency Child Care for health care and other front-line workers

•  Telephone Support for Parents with Children (up to Age Six)

•  Information about booking COVID-19 Vaccinations (As of May 25, 2021, anyone 12+ living or working in York Region can book an appointment for their COVID-19 vaccination)


York Region Children's Aid Society - Our Work Plan in Response to
Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services'
Findings in their Operational Review

2020 Operational Review of YRCAS
In July 2020, after receiving allegations of racism, bullying, and harassment by senior management at York Region Children's Aid Society (YRCAS), the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS) initiated an Operational Review, which included a workplace assessment and review of service compliance with the Child, Youth and Family Services Act. The review included looking at all aspects of YRCAS including board governance, internal operations, human resources policies and practices, diversity, equity and inclusion practices, and service delivery. On November 13, 2020, MCCSS released the Operational Review Final Report to YRCAS's Board of Directors and staff, and made available to the public on the YRCAS website www.yorkcas.org/pdfs/operational_review_Nov2020.pdf.

Results of Operational Review: Change is Needed
The Operational Review found that YRCAS staff had been deeply impacted by "an autocratic, deficit-based culture of fear that targeted dissent and enabled oppressive behaviours."1 The workplace assessment found that staff had been deeply impacted by a culture that enabled oppressive behaviours, including racism and anti-Black racism. The file and data review identified that in service delivery there was high compliance with most service requirements assessed in the review.

Recommendations from the Operational Review included the need for a new leadership direction and actions to create a healthy workplace culture. YRCAS views the review and its recommendations as an opportunity to make changes within the organization toward a healthy, respectful, inclusive, and equitable workplace, and delivery of services. Racism, anti-Black racism, and anti-Indigenous racism, bullying, and harassment will not be accepted in our workplace.

YRCAS's 2021 Operational Work Plan
YRCAS was eager to take the steps necessary to be the healthy, equitable, and inclusive organization that staff, resource parents, board members, and children, youth, and families need and deserve. An Operational Work Plan was developed holistically by YRCAS staff and the board. It reflects YRCAS's commitment to address the 35 recommendations included in the Operational Review. The work plan is the first step toward change, with many projects, change initiatives, planning, and actions required to actualize the needed changes.

Please find English and French versions of the Operational Work Plan available here:

YRCAS Operational Review Work Plan

YRCAS Plan de travail en réponse à l'examen opérationnel

Progress Report: March 2021

YRCAS Operational Review Work Plan: Progress Report - March 2021

YRCAS Mise à jour du Plan de travail de l'examen opérationnel - Mars 2021

Progress Report: June 2021

YRCAS Operational Review Work Plan: Progress Report - June 2021

YRCAS Mise à jour du Plan de travail de l'examen opérationnel - Juin 2021

Progress Report: August 2021

YRCAS Operational Review Work Plan: Progress Report - August 2021

YRCAS Mise à jour du Plan de travail de l'examen opérationnel - Août 2021

Progress Report: October 2021

YRCAS Operational Review Work Plan: Progress Report - October 2021

YRCAS Mise à jour du Plan de travail de l'examen opérationnel - Octobre 2021

Questions about the work plan can be directed to Marci Ramcharan at MarciR@yorkcas.org.

Media inquiries can be directed to Tara Gaston at Tara.Gaston@Yorkcas.org

1 Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services; Operational Review FINAL REPORT: York Region Children's Aid Society; October 2020.

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York Region CAS is proud to be a positive space for all sexual identities.