Centering Equity in Family Engagement


How can we prioritize meaningful and trauma-informed family engagement when supporting youth? How can we ensure that parents/caregivers feel valued as part of the care team – and that their voices are centered alongside the voices of young people?

We know that family support, engagement, and involvement can serve as a protective factor for youth mental health and wellbeing, especially when that support can be facilitated in ways that are culturally-relevant and community-based. But we may not always have the tools, resources, and supports to engage with families in intentional and meaningful ways.

Join us to learn from and with caregivers, advocates, service providers, and researchers for conversations that will explore the complexities of parenting/caregiving, as well as strategies for meaningfully engaging equity-deserving families* in youth work.

Please click Learn More to register.

Together, we will:

  • surface challenges and complexities in families and in family engagement
  • unpack assumptions, stereotypes, and biases around definitions of family, what is possible in our engagement work, and what meaningful engagement may look like
  • disrupt current practices at the individual, community, and system levels
  • explore how to create safe and accepting spaces for families abandoned by systems
  • strategize ways to empower and uplift parents and caregivers
  • cocreate inclusive, affirming, and strength-based approaches that advance the wellbeing of youth and families

This webinar will be hosted and facilitated by Dr. Carol Wade, who will deliver a keynote presentation, Strengthening Engagement with Families.

Carol has over 23 years of experience in the child welfare sector and in social work education. She is currently a sessional instructor at the Schools of Social Work at the University of Windsor and York University. Her PhD dissertation focused on understanding the impact of historical trauma on current-day parenting. She draws on this work in using critical theories and pedagogies to deconstruct and challenge oppressive practices to families and young people.

Our guests will include:

  • Lorraine Gale, Coordinator, Out & Proud Program, Children’s Aid Society of Toronto
  • Clovis Grant, Co-Founder, Sawubona Africentric Circle of Support
  • David Grant, Social Worker, Substance Abuse Program for African Caribbean and Canadian Youth (SAPACCY), Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  • Cora MacDonald, Lead Researcher, Making the Shift Youth Homelessness Demonstration Lab (MtS DEMS)
  • Debbie Miles-Senior, Executive Director, Durham Family & Cultural Centre
  • Angie Morris, Youth Facilitator, Raising Our Children, Approaches to Community Wellbeing, Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority
  • Jordan Zaitzow, Families in TRANSition Program Coordinator, Central Toronto Youth Services

*We acknowledge that there are a number of equity-deserving groups impacted by these issues and that identities are fluid and intersectional. These conversations are only the beginning of an exploration into how our practice strategies can better meet the needs of the youth with whom we work. We encourage you all to bring your own experiences and perspectives, as there will be time to share your insights and questions.

Learn more about all of our guests on our website!

Online March 24, 2022

12:30 pm

- 3:00 pm

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