Following is a statement issued by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, and the Simcoe Children’s Aid Society Employee Association:
Ontario, Canada – November 20th, 2015 – “The one thing all children have in common is their rights. Every child has the right to survive and thrive, to be educated, to be free from violence and abuse, to participate and to be heard.” Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon (http://www.un.org/en/events/childrenday)
November 20th, 2015, marks the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is celebrated in Canada as National Child Day. It is also a date on which union leadership in Ontario salutes the commitment of those who work with children and families each and every day to protect first and foremost the safety and well-being of children in Ontario.
Unions issued a joint statement expressing thanks to their members, more than 6,000 strong, who make the protection of children their life’s work; who coax stability out of breakdown and ensure that no child is harmed or left behind.
Child protection workers represented in Ontario by CUPE, OPSEU, and SIMCASEA will wear blue ribbons to mark the day.
While many families are currently engaged with the processes and supports that keep our children safe, the work has no foreseeable conclusion.
Once safety has been assured, child protection workers continue to work with families in a culturally sensitive way to engage caregivers in solution focused planning to keep children home, within their natural families, whenever possible. Where that is not possible, to find a new place of permanency, where children can find stability, acceptance, love and can develop the familial and cultural ties that last a lifetime.
Moving forward, Ontario’s children and youth will continue to need caring, resourceful people to stand up for the youngest and most vulnerable amongst our population.
Twenty-five years ago the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention is a “promise to children that we would do everything in our power to protect and promote their rights to survive and thrive, to learn and grow, to make their voices heard and to reach their full potential.” (http://www.un.org/en/events/childrenday)
That promise made by the General Assembly mirrors the day-to-day working mandate of child protection workers in Ontario. More than 6,000 dedicated men and women take upon themselves the protection of children and youth in this Province. Children who, by accident of birth, become marginalized by poverty or on-going mental health break-down; are displaced due to substance addiction or neglect; or are victimized by physical or sexual abuse in their own families or communities.
The majority of Child Protection Workers in Ontario are represented by CUPE, OPSEU, and SIMCASEA.
For more information, contact:
Jane Kaija, OPSEU CAS Sector Chair, (705) 677-8144
Derek Widdicks, President, SIMCASEA (705) 726-6587 ext. 2665
Mary Unan, CUPE Communications (647) 390-9839