The Children’s Aid Societies and Violence Against Women (CAS/VAW) Collaboration Advisory Committee in the Toronto Region has developed a planning survey in an effort to help us better understand the needs of our community and deliver the most effective solutions to remove barriers in our working collaboratively.
The CAS/VAW E-Learning Centre is an online training portal that was created to ensure increased learning, collaboration, and networking among child protection and violence against women workers in Toronto. Over the past year, 300 registered users have completed the three modules available that were created by members of the CAS/VAW Advisory Committee.
Today we are announcing that after careful consideration, we are officially closing down the site. The reality is that technology costs, escalating hosting fees and the resources needed to keep the E-Learning Centre running, have proven to be too costly to maintain.
We are eager to put our hearts into exploring new initiatives and finding ways to continue to increase networking opportunities between both sectors in the GTA in order to create greater understanding, service cohesion and positive impacts for women and children.
We want to thank The Children’s Aid Society of Toronto (CAST) for supporting the E-Learning Centre through the Child Welfare Institute (CWI).
The CAS/VAW E-Learning Centre and all its content will be officially discontinued on Monday, February 4th, 2019.
What the Shutdown Will Look Like:
Paula Wells, CAS/VAW Collaboration Coordinator
On Monday, March 5th, over 200 front-line staff from the Violence Against Women (VAW) and Children's Aid Societies (CAS) sectors came together for the 2018 CAS/VAW Annual Collaboration Forum. The annual forum provides a means to connect, increase awareness, improve communication, and emphasize shared goals between the two sectors.
Funded by the Toronto Region, Ministry of Community and Social Services and The Ministry of Children and Youth Services, the forum is held during The Woman Abuse Council of Toronto's Annual End Violence Against Women Week in Toronto.
This year's forum titled, Building Bridges Together: Child Welfare and Violence Against Women; Supporting Families with Precarious Status, provided attendees with the opportunity to learn more about the services available to women with precarious status and enhance the safety for women and children experiencing violence.
Upon arrival, attendees were welcomed by Co-Chairs Lisa Tomlinson (Children’s Aid Society of Toronto) and Fatima Valentim (Yorktown Shelter for Women). The co-chairs introduced the agenda for the day, the forum’s guiding principles and demonstrated an overview of the purpose, history, and benefits of the CAS/VAW partnership before outlining what participants would learn from the planned presentations and activities.
The forum’s first presenter was Debbie Douglas, Executive Director of the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI). Debbie shared an abundance of valuable information regarding immigration trends and policies during her riveting presentation.
Following Debbie Douglas, Carla Neto, Shelter Manager at YWCA Toronto, facilitated a panel presentation, Building Bridges Together, including four incredible presenters:
You asked and we listened!
Each year attendees are presented with a written case scenario and asked to work at their tables to find solutions for the family. Based on previous evaluations, participants were asking for a more tangible, interactive and fun way to collaborate during this exercise.
Taking past evaluations into consideration, the advisory created an afternoon exercise titled: Pathways to Solutions: Bridging the Gap. An Interactive Case Scenario Planning Exercise. The exercise included four case scenarios, an expert hub and four video intervals. Participants were encouraged to seek out experts, break down silos and to search for strategies and approaches to assist with their cases.
Participants were encouraged to utilize the experts in the room to create a collaborative, comprehensive case management plan for their case scenario.
Thank you to our experts for joining us and sharing their knowledge!
To close off the day, a table discussion was initiated between attendees to reflect on the CAS/VAW Collaboration, the connections they made throughout the day, and resources that they had learned about. Overall, the activities throughout the day were designed to enable front line staff with the tools needed to provide a more collaborative and supportive approach to the families they serve.
By Paula Wells, CAS/VAW Advisory Committee Coordinator
This summer, the CAS/VAW Advisory Committee in the Toronto Region, launched the CAS/VAW E-Learning Centre for workers in child protection (CAS) and violence against women (VAW) agencies. This E-Learning Centre provides an accessible on-line forum to increase learning, collaboration, and networking between workers in both sectors.
Through training, staff learn to better understand the work of each sector and enhance cooperation. The goal of the E-Learning Centre is to increase safety and provide outstanding service delivery to the women and children of Toronto who are experiencing violence.
The E-Learning Centre currently has three available modules:
Understanding the Collaboration Agreement
Designed for workers in violence against women and child protection agencies, this e-learning provides information and exercises on the CAS/VAW Collaboration Agreement for Toronto. The goal of the e-learning, like that of the Collaboration Agreement, is to increase safety for women and children by enhancing co-operation between workers and improving service delivery.
Children’s Safety & Woman Abuse: An E-Learning for Child Welfare Worker
This e-learning for child welfare workers looks at the impact of woman abuse on children and how to respond to families in which woman abuse is occurring. Topics include woman abuse, the impact on children, parenting issues, working with the mother and with the abuser.
Working with Child Welfare: An E-learning for VAW Workers
This e-learning for VAW workers sets out when a worker must contact child welfare about a child who may be in need of protection, how to make your report in a manner that helps to hold the abusive partner accountable, and how to a support a woman who is involved with child welfare.
Access to these training modules is limited to workers of agencies who have signed the CAS/VAW Collaboration Agreement for Toronto. Check the list of participating agencies here to see if you are eligible for training.
If you are eligible and wish to enroll in the E-Learning Centre, a $25.00 fee will give you access to all three training modules and any new curriculum that may be added. Don’t miss out on your chance….. click here for more information on how to enroll! If you have any questions regarding the E-Learning Centre, feel free to contact Paula Wells by email
Recently, staff at the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto (CCAS) participated in in-person training facilitated by the Child Development Institute (CDI). This training titled, Children Exposed to Domestic Violence: Strategies for Assessment and Intervention in CAS and VAW Practice, consisted of learning about how trauma and domestic violence impact parenting and child development, as well as the importance of collaboration between child welfare and violence against women sectors.
Topics discussed during the training included:
Training granted participants with the awareness and knowledge of many different aspects:
Preeta George, Transitional and Housing Support Coordinator of Dr. Roz’s Healing Place, shared her thoughts on the CDI training: "It was informative, interactive, and fun. We had the opportunity to share the VAW perspective with the CCAS workers and vice versa. The facilitator was well prepared and carried the session forward involving everyone to the end!"
Gemma Gilkes, Team Leader, also shed light on her experience: "I thought the training was very informative and the facilitator was very knowledgeable and engaging with the attendees. I enjoyed that the session was so interactive because it generated a lot of dialogue from the participants. In turn, valuable information was obtained and exchanged among participants that can be applied in our daily work. I look forward to continued training!"
Lisa Sura-Lidell, facilitator of the CDI training session, “really enjoyed working with the staff from both sectors and sharing knowledge to better serve families”.
Once CDI’s training was completed, all participants were asked to complete the three CAS/VAW E-Learning Centre modules. There is a huge percentage of intake, investigation and ongoing child protection staff that have received this training and are now keeping the knowledge alive by continuing to have the conversations.
Visit the CAS/VAW Collaboration website for more information on the E-Learning Centre!
We are happy to inform you that registration for the annual CAS/VAW Collaboration Forum has started. This year’s forum, titled Woman Abuse and Child Abuse: Beyond the Politics will take place on Wednesday March 8, 2017 at the Yorkdale Holiday Inn.
We are excited to announce that we are welcoming special guest speaker Dr. Gabor Maté. A renowned speaker, and bestselling author, Dr. Maté is highly sought after for his expertise on a range of topics including addiction, stress and childhood development.
Registration is taking place from February 1, 2017 to February 24, 2017 at 4:30 PM. Please note that registration is by invitation only. Follow this link to view a list of Participating Agencies.
Additional seating can be arranged, please contact Paula Wells to purchase tickets.
The Advisory Committee’s Forum Task Team has been working diligently on the 2017 CAS/VAW Collaboration Annual Forum. Please note a date change: The forum will take place on International Women’s Day, Wednesday, March 8th, 2017.
The theme for 2017 is Woman Abuse and Child Abuse: Beyond the Politics and we are delighted to have the renowned speaker and bestselling author, Dr. Gabor Mate join us as our keynote speaker. Dr. Mate is an expert on a range of topics, including addiction and childhood development. At the forum, he will be presenting a speech discussing Child Development and Parenting and the interrelation of woman abuse, child abuse, and addiction. Dr. Mate will explore the connections between addictions, resiliency, and safety and how this can impact the possible outcomes of intervention for mothers, fathers, and children. He will provide examples and insight into useful interventions for addictions, trauma, and abuse to mitigate risk and to promote healing in a holistic way for all family members, including the perpetrator.
We are also happy to have the independent bookshop, Caversham Books join us at the forum this year. They specialise in providing books for mental health professionals on a wide range of specialties including, psychoanalysis, many forms of psychotherapy, trauma, and much more. They are the official re-seller of Dr. Mate’s books and will have all four of his books available for purchase during the breaks.
Registration begins in February and we expect seats to fill up quickly so please register early! For more information or to enquire about registration, please email the CAS/VAW Coordinator
Each year the Children's Aid Societies (CAS) and Violence against Women (VAW) Toronto Region Advisory Committee prepares and develops:
The CAS/VAW Annual Forum:
A forum to ensure that sectors continue to work together to increase networking, problem solving and service cohesion.
SAVE THE DATE!
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8TH, 2017
8:30 AM -4:30 PM
Holiday Inn Yorkdale, Toronto
3450 Dufferin Street
Thanks for coming back to visit and learn about the latest updates for the CAS VAW Collaboration, Toronto Region. We've added new two new pages to our website to keep you informed of the work of the advisory.
We are highlighting two new sections that can be found from the main navigation, under Projects. Visit the Forum Page to view photos of and learn about the 2016 annual forum, Creating Connections and go to the Co-Location Page for information on this important project.
Special thanks to our volunteer photographer, Stephanie Campos for all the great photos.
We look forward to sharing more news and updates with you soon!
Notice anything different? That's right, we've given our website a new look! We are pleased to unveil this fresh, sleek design and improved navigation that will allow you to find the information you need quickly and easily. Plus, it’s mobile-friendly, so you can browse on the go (hello 21st century!).
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