Durham Children’s Aid Society (DCAS) is committed to Anti-Oppressive Practice (AOP), which challenges the impacts of power and privilege, eliminates systemic and cultural barriers, and inclusive of the broad range of diversity in the community. DCAS strives for the promotion of equity and inclusion within its philosophy and practice. It is dedicated to working in partnership with children, young persons, families and communities to ensure that their voices are at the centre of the Society’s efforts to ensure the safety and well-being of children and young persons with whom we engage. DCAS maintains that confronting direct, systemic and cultural oppression in the form of anti-Black racism, anti-Indigenous racism and other forms of oppression is a matter of respect for human rights.
DCAS values the importance of children and young persons being cared for by their families and understands the significant short and long-term risks posed to these individuals when placed in care. The Society upholds the guiding principles of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) of
- Non-discrimination (article 2);
- Acting always in the best interest of the child or young person (article 3);
- Ensuring the right to life, survival and development (article 6); and
The Society recognizes the implications and effects of inherent biases, conscious and unconscious, at play in the referral process with partner agencies and community members. This policy seeks to address the discrimination that ensues as result of trite reporting. This reporting often results in harm done to families, evidenced by the over-representation of Black, African Canadian and Indigenous children and young persons in the child welfare system.
The purpose of this policy is to address those circumstances where a referral is made to DCAS and it is determined
i) There is no child protection basis for the concern(s) reported; and
ii) Bias / discrimination is determined to be the reason and/or involved in the reason for the referral.
This policy applies to any DCAS staff delivering service in any department who may become aware of an incident of Trite Reporting.
The reporting of a child as in need of protection, under circumstances no individual, properly informed of the duty to report under the legislation, would consider themselves under a legal obligation to make a report to DCAS.
At the point of referral in the service delivery process, for children or young persons in the community receiving service and for children or young persons in care, the Worker with responsibility for serving the child or young person will:
- Engage in a conversation about:
i) The identity characteristics of the child, young person and family being referred for child welfare services or
ii) Record characteristics including the race of the child, young person and family into the appropriate field in the
“Person Record” of the Child Protection Information Network (CPIN);
- Ask questions to seek clarification of the motivation or rationale for the call to the Society and record in the appropriate field in CPIN;
- Ask questions to seek information with respect to the referral source and enter into the appropriate fields in CPIN;
- Actively listen to caller/referent to determine next steps, (e.g. whether or not the call is a child protection matter or can be serviced in the community by another agency);
- Make referrals to the most appropriate community services and culturally specific community services where this is determined to be the appropriate route of service;
- Provide the caller/referent with educational information about the referral process to assist the referral source in making an informed decision about reporting information to the Society;
- Worker to inform Supervisor if trite reporting is identified as a concern at any point in the service delivery process; this may be further elevated to a Service Director and consult sought with the Director of Anti-Oppressive Practice Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; –
- If trite reporting is determined to have occurred, use the occurrence as an opportunity to educate the caller/community on the effects of trite reporting;
- Write a clear rationale for the decisions made in the clinical narrative, referencing trite reporting if this was determined to have occurred and how this relates to the disposition of the matter;
At all phases of service delivery, Service Supervisors and Service Directors will:
- Incorporate discussions of bias in reporting decision-making and case reviews, ensuring that the voice of the child or young person is centered in service provision;
- Document the steps taken to seek out incidences of trite reporting and aim to put corrective mechanisms in place;
Report of Trite Reporting
Should a caller or individual in receipt of service report an incident of trite reporting, the information will be taken from the caller/individual and reviewed with the Service Supervisor to determine next steps, this may be further escalated to a Service Director and consult sought with the Director of Anti-Oppressive Practice Diversity, Equity and Inclusion;
As per the One Vision One Voice Race Equity Practice Framework, the Society will:
- Collect and analyze data as to referrals to the Society
- Provide critical feedback, engage in ongoing discussions, and provide training on reporting
- Educate and support workers in receipt of child protection referrals & provide all staff with a list of culturally specific community agencies
Katelynn’s Principle (2016)
Jordan’s Principle (2007)
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)
One Vision One Voice Race Equity Practice Framework (2016)
African Canadian Resource List
IRT Service Listing
Effective Date – February 2021