Every Family Has A Voice

At the earliest stage possible, we plan together with families, their supports and our community partners to help parents care safely for their children.

Every family has a voice when planning for their children. We want to work together with you as a team, and one of the ways we do this is by having family meetings. There are different types of meetings to suit the needs and diversity of your family.

If you feel the needs and diversity of your family have not been met or your family has been discriminated against because of: Race; colour; creed; ethnic origin; ancestry; citizenship; place of birth; because of your sex; sexual orientation; gender identity; gender expression; marital status; family status or disability, please contact our Director of Equity and Community Based Child Welfare at sonia.dennis@facswaterloo.org. If this does not solve the problem, you can write to the Executive Director.

Family Meetings (Based on 360 Family Engagement)

Family meetings are an opportunity for caregivers, extended family, and any other support people to come together in planning and decision-making about the well-being and safety of your children. We recognize the need to provide culturally responsive services and address the over representation of certain populations in child welfare. If you identify as Indigenous or Black, please see Serving Our Diverse Community for more information. Family meetings allow everyone to have their say and be listened to with respect. These meetings focus on bringing together the strengths of your family. For more information or to request a family meeting, please contact your worker or email 360FamilyEngagement@facswaterloo.org.

Link to 360 Family Engagement

“It was a respectful process that didn't highlight people's faults. I bragged about it after the meeting as I thought so highly of the meeting style.” Family meeting participant

Family Group Decision Making

Family Group Decision Making is a more formal process that brings together families, extended family, child protection workers and service providers to develop a plan. A facilitator helps to guide the process and ensure everyone involved feels safe, valued, and respected.

“It brought our family together and was healing.” Family Group Decision Making participant

Child Protection Mediation

Child Protection Mediation is a process of resolving disputes between families or families and child welfare service providers, with the help of a professional mediator.

A mediator works to build communication and understanding, encourages everyone to participate, and helps create options for resolving the dispute. The mediator will help to develop an agreement that addresses the concerns and conflict.

“I can’t believe that we sat around this table and actually listened to each other. Now we can all be focused on what is best for our child” A parent who was part of Child Protection Mediation

For additional information about these meetings or to participate, please contact your worker or adr@facswaterloo.org