CWICE and Peel CAS were pleased to participate in the 25th Metropolis Canada Conference, March 16-18 in Ottawa. Metropolis Canada is the country’s largest annual gathering of immigrant service providers, policy makers and researchers, who discuss key issues around immigration, integration, and settlement. Peel CAS’ CWICE was the only child welfare organization present at this year’s conference and was able to offer unique insights into the ways immigration matters impact children and youth across Canada.
Danielle Ungara and Liz Okai, managers at CWICE, were featured on two panel discussions during the event. The first was a presentation about a report that CWICE co-authored with Jewish Immigrant Aid Services (JIAS) concerning unaccompanied and separated children (UASC). The report, which should be released soon, calls for a national framework to better support UASC across the country. It asserts that a national service strategy is needed to address the gaps in service, and that CWICE is uniquely positioned to lead and deliver that strategy in collaboration with our government and community partners.
The second presentation was moderated by Prasad Nair, Service Director at Peel CAS, with a focus on partnerships, training, and ways to coordinate services to benefit newcomers. Representing the sector to a national audience at the conference, CWICE offered a new perspective on the possibilities for collaboration between the child welfare with immigration and settlement sectors. Many attendees from other provinces noted that such cooperation did not exist in their area, and CWICE was an enviable model that could be followed elsewhere.
As a bronze sponsor for the event, CWICE had a booth offering resources and information to attendees. Members of the CWICE team were on hand to answer questions and share details of the innovative work being done at the agency. Our team was delighted to discover many new organizations, build relationships with existing partners, and meet professionals in the field of immigration and settlement from across the country.
CWICE and Peel CAS look forward to hosting their own national conference with a focus on child welfare, unaccompanied and separated children and youth, and helping families deal with the challenges of migration and settlement. Watch for more information on this conference, coming soon!