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In support of our ongoing commitment to providing culturally responsive and effective services and to dismantle the systemic and cultural barriers inherent in the child welfare system, we have committed to implementing a formal equity strategy.

The focus of this strategy is to increase psychological safety and remove or reduce psychological harm for employees, children, youth and families involved with Durham CAS. Our goal is to create more equitable and healthy spaces. For employees, this means greater engagement in the workplace, decreased exposure to risk factors and trauma. For the community, it means greater trust and accountability and being able to engage with child welfare without the fear of apprehension and judgement.

The strategy includes five main areas of focus: leadership, policy and governance, human resources, employee engagement and wellbeing, and community accountability. Within each area, there are specific goals and actions, including increasing the representation of racialized and historically marginalized employees, improving hiring practices, reviewing and revising policies and procedures to ensure they are equitable, and integrating anti-racism content into all aspects of the service delivery.

This strategy also highlights some of the progress made towards achieving our goals, such as the establishment of dedicated staff to deliver our equity initiatives, including a Diversity Initiatives and Community Engagement Lead, the One Vision One Voice Lead and Equity Sponsors, and the development of the Employee Resource Groups.

This strategy emphasizes that this work is ongoing and that Durham CAS is committed to continuing to address systemic racism and creating an inclusive environment for all employees while ensuring communication channels with the community and establishing clear accountability measures through third-party evaluators.

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