In the last year, we dealt with 227 cases involving 185 individual clients and 42 service organizations. Of the total number of cases, 43 involved family conflict and violence, 21 involved mental health and emotional issues, and 51 involved children’s behavioural issues and child protection. The Children’s Aid Society of Middlesex and London was involved in 37 cases. [MRCSSI case data Apr 1 2018 to Mar 31 2019]
“In 2007, there were 26 Muslim children in the care of the CAS.”
Our collaborative work with the Children’s Aid Society over the past decade has seen a significant reduction in the number of new cases of children entering foster care. In 2007, there were 26 Muslim children in the care of the CAS. Our involvement resulted in most of these children being able to go back to their families, and in short span of just two years, 11 children remained in care in 2009. By 2012, there were only 7 children left in care, most with complex medical and psychosocial needs beyond the capacity of their families. No Muslim children entered care between 2009 and 2012.
Our unique and highly effective working relationship was recognized by The Child Welfare League of Canada and the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies in 2012 as a model to be transferred to other metropolitan centres in Ontario. Over the next two years, the MRCSSI worked with Muslim communities in Kingston, Ottawa, and York Region to establish similar working partnerships with their respective CASs as part of the Shared Journeys Project.
Ironically, severe financial constraints and our inability to keep up with the need in the community saw new cases of placement around the same time. As much as we had been able to support the work of the MRCSSI through project-specific grants, these grants were neither guaranteed nor were they geared towards direct services that were provided by and already funded through mainstream agencies. Our work with families experiencing crisis had to be funded by the community.
In 2013, the community responded overwhelmingly, with private donations and proceeds from the first annual Nazem Kadri Charity Golf Classic tournament in London organized to support local charitable causes and initiatives like the MRCSSI. Ongoing support from the community allowed us to get back on track, and from 2016 to 2018, there were in fact no Muslim children in foster care.
Our work with children remains a priority. Currently, there are nine children in care, many from families experiencing pre-migration trauma, and we are working to reduce that number. Your continued support will ensure that we can fulfil our obligation as a community to look after our children.
Sign up online and become a supporter today. Our work is Zakat-eligible for direct services provided to clients who are otherwise unable to pay.