Shared Journeys Project

In this project, we partnered with other service providers and diverse communities to share our experiences and lessons learned from the various service models that we have developed. The Child Welfare League of Canada as well as the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies have recognized that the partnership between the MRCSSI and CAS London and Middlesex as a model that should be transferred to other metropolitan centers in Ontario. We worked with the Muslim community organizations in Kingston, Ottawa and York Region to help establish working partnerships with their respective CAS over two years. We have also received interest from other cultural communities to adopt this model. The MRCSSI has also organized over a dozen public forum presentations as well as developed guidelines, training and manuals for culturally competency addressing family violence.

Outcomes of the London Experience

This collaborative model has reduced the number of Muslim children in the care of the Children’s Aid Society of London & Middlesex by 80%. This has built and supported healthier families and helped add value to community life. This outcome has been accomplished at a lower cost than if the children remained in placement. Additionally, between 2009 and 2012, there have been no new Muslim children brought into the care of the Children’s Aid Society. This model has nurtured the development of a community response to identify and intervene at an earlier stage of escalation and significantly reduced the individuals and families engagement with mainstream mandated services and de-escalated situations of family conflict.

Project Milestones

Partnerships: Key community partners were identified and an advisory committee was established. The project was officially launched to mainstream services and community partners. The goal is to develop a collaborative work plan.

Community Mapping and Situation Analysis Report: This will help to better understand the context of each territory.

Cross-training: The Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support and Integration (MRCSSI) conducted cross-training for child protection workers as well as for representatives from community-partnered agencies.

Consultation and Community Relations: The MRCSSI provides case support to frontline Children’s Aid staff related to risk factors and cultural issues. This role will also engage the community agency staff to respond and engage to the needs of specific clients in their community.

Thematic Analysis: This will help surface the common themes and the challenges of the implementation of the model in different communities.

Conference: A provincial conference took place in October 2014 to unveil the findings and plan for future direction.

This project was funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.