An Anti-Oppression Framework for Child Welfare in Ontario
Funder: Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies
Principal Investigators: Dr. June Yee & Helen Wong
Co-chairs of the Anti-Oppression Framework Workgroup: Lorna Grant & Christian Hackbusch
The over-representation of particular, marginalized groups in child welfare has brought those working in child welfare to come together in a more coordinated way within Ontario’s child welfare system. What began nearly a decade ago as a modest effort to produce a diversity curriculum, the Anti-Oppression Roundtable now has a membership representing over half of Ontario’s child welfare agencies. The Roundtable aims to foster lasting change within child welfare policy, practice and administration. “Change in this context refers specifically to building agency capacity for the inclusion of anti-oppressive principles in the policies, structures, practices and relationships with both internal and external stakeholders of the child welfare system in Ontario” (Grant & Ojo, 2009).
A consultation with the field was carried out with over 100 participating staff and management members from over 40 Children's Aid Societies in Ontario. The AO Framework combines the use of an organizational change process and a logic model to help in the identification and discussion of the challenges in implementing AO, as well as the processes and mechanisms required to support anti-oppression work. It is an analytical and practical tool that can be used to help individuals, teams and agencies to systematically and consistently identify both the processes and actions necessary to achieve anti-oppression outcomes. In essence, it provides a roadmap in the form of a practical tool that is useable within a flexible, holistic and ongoing approach. It is hoped that this tool will help to better define what is anti-oppression in child welfare as well as to develop anti-oppressive strategies and approaches to address the over representation of marginalized groups of children and families in child welfare. Some child welfare agencies have already begun applying the AO Framework in different ways to reflect on and evaluate their AO practices, processes and policies.
The Anti-Oppression Framework for Child Welfare in Ontario is available at: