At PCC, we believe in using a multidisciplinary approach to help children and youth achieve their full potential. As such, our clinical team includes social workers, child and youth workers, early childhood educators, counsellors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and specialists in other disciplines. Bringing together multiple clinical perspectives improves our ability to understand the issues facing children, youth and their families so that we can develop individualized treatment plans that will lead to positive change in their lives. Our staff, encouraged by PCC’s commitment to learning, innovation and being responsive to the needs of our clients, organized numerous events throughout the year to celebrate their professions and share knowledge with their colleagues.
• In February, the Psychology Team organized events to celebrate Psychology Month, including trivia contests and a special Psychology Day, during which staff could try a sampling of brain foods and different psychological assessments designed for children.
• Also in February, the multi-disciplinary Peel Inclusion Resource Services (PIRS) model, of which PCC is a partner, was recognized by the IPAC/Deloitte Public Sector Leadership Awards program for outstanding leadership in public policy and management.
• In March, staff celebrated Social Work Week with interactive displays, videos, self-care activities, and guest speakers who facilitated round table discussions about working with youth, stigma, and exposure to stress and trauma and in social work practice.
• To mark Children’s Mental Health Week in May, staff worked together to create resources for children, youth and caregivers; host a Twitter chat for the community; and facilitate a lunch and learn about family engagement with Sarah Cannon, Executive Director for Parents for Children’s Mental Health.
• Also in May, staff organized events for Child & Youth Care Workers Week that focused on self-reflection, self-care, kindness and humour.
• September 9 marked Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Awareness Day, and staff organized a special breakfast event to educate staff on how to better support children, youth and families who are living with FASD. This year the Committee welcomed a guest speaker who shared her experiences raising two sons with FASD and supporting other families through a support group.
• Throughout the year, staff-led initiatives promoted Health and Wellness and Health and Safety in the workplace, supporting our staff to feel their best as they support our clients. PCC, along with our sister agency Nexus Youth Services, was also one of six organizations from across Canada to receive an award from GoodLife Fitness recognizing corporate leadership in health and wellness.
This year we continued to invest in array of learning priorities intended to build our cultural competence as a staff group committed to effectively responding to Peel’s diverse population.
Leveraging our internal diversity, staff-led initiatives included:
• A Chinese New Year celebration that included an array of Chinese cuisine and an overview of Chinese New Year traditions
• A series of educational events during Black History Month that used a Greater Toronto Area research project, “The Black Experience Project”, to examine present concerns within the black community
• Our 12th annual Pride Week, which included training and series of events focused on the experiences of LGBTQ youth and their families.
• A Taste of Italy event to celebrate Italian Heritage Month using food, music and “Old World” hospitality
• Clinical and community-based “Chat and Chai” sessions to help support the mental health needs of Peel’s large South Asian community, as well celebrations marking Eid-ul-Fitr, Ramadan and Diwali
• Staff also attended Punjabi Community Health Services’ annual International Women’s Day Gala, which this year honoured five female leaders who are making a difference in our community
Our commitment to continuous learning is also reflected in the two learning and development working groups established this year. The Learning and Development Working Group has developed an annual calendar of training and development workshops, with an emphasis on topics that have been identified as priorities by staff. The Trauma and Attachment Working Group has been working with an Implementation Science framework to help identify and implement a model that supports the needs of clients who have experienced complex and/or developmental trauma. Both working groups include representatives from across clinical teams. To date, a number of learning and development opportunities have been offered, including trauma-informed webinars and in-person training, Infant Mental Health Community Certificate training, and concurrent disorders training related to substance abuse and cyber addiction. Thank you to our staff for providing the feedback that continues to guide this work, and thank you to the working group members for their hard work and commitment to ensuring we provide services of the highest quality to children, youth and families.
Thank you to our dedicated, compassionate and competent staff who continue to go above and beyond for Peel’s children, youth and families. Thank you as well to our community partners, volunteers, Board members, donors, and funders for continuing to be part of our “Caring Community Working Together for Children and Youth”. Finally, thank you to the children, youth and families we serve for trusting us to help you and for inspiring our work. As we look back on 2016, we have much to be thankful for, just as we have much to look forward to in 2017. On behalf of our staff, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season!