"Parents know we’re working together, so it’s helpful for them too"

Meet Yolanda

Yolanda has been a community protection worker with the Halton CAS for over five years. She works at Woodview Children’s Centre, a children’s mental health centre that addresses parent-adolescent conflict. Woodview also has an intensive in-home program: workers go into the home with complex needs children. For parents of children receiving services at Woodview, Yolanda is the single Halton CAS contact person—and that goes for Woodview staff as well. Any file with a Woodview connection goes to Yolanda. She says being posted at Woodview keeps her in touch with the children’s needs.

“If a child makes a disclosure to a teacher, the teacher will discuss it with me. The great thing about having this partnership is that the teachers are comfortable enough to come to me and, if what a child says isn’t clear, I can talk to the child and see if it warrants opening an investigation. At that point we can advise the family as well.”

Children’s mental health is a passion for Yolanda. She enjoys working together with Woodview staff to create proactive safety plans, and finding creative solutions for children and families. “Parents know we’re working together, so it’s helpful for them too.”

“I have a case now with six community professionals—staff from ROCK, Halton Support Services, Connections Board, me from the Halton Children’s Aid, and Woodview, and we’re all focused on one thing: meeting the family’s needs.”

“Parents are often anxious about the children’s aid getting involved. Another benefit of working in the community is that staff at Woodview can explain how we work and ease their fears. Because they work with me they can say, ‘It’s okay; it’s Yolanda, and we know her.”

“Everyone in our department has a community project, and mine last year was a weekly evening parent workshop. We covered topics relevant to families in Woodview’s Linking Youth and Family program. This year I’m working on a column for the Woodview newsletter dealing with similar topics.”

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