Our Group Description:
The Child, Youth and Family Services Act (CYFSA) outline that services “provided to children and families should respect their diversity and the principle of inclusion, consistent with the Human Rights Code and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.” All children should have the opportunity to meet their full potential. Awareness of systemic biases, discrimination, and oppression and addressing the barriers these create for children and families receiving services must continue. It will inform the delivery of all services for children and families. Families, children, and youth come with various intersecting identities, including language. Identities of service recipients, including primary language(s) spoken, cannot be assumed, and exploration of identities (including language) is part of an active, holistic engagement of the family, child, and/or youth, and in this particular case, to offer appropriate language services. Whether a family, child and/or youth speak English, their language of preference must be considered when providing services.
In addition to the obligation under the CYFSA, the City of Kingston was designed under the French Services Language Act on May 1, 2009. This designation affords people the right to communicate with and to receive services in French, including those whose primary language is neither French nor English but who have a particular knowledge of French as an official language and use French at home. French is one of the official languages of Canada.
Children, youth, and families have a right to receive the full spectrum of child welfare services in French, from entry to exit. French language child welfare services must be actively offered through quality services that are accessible, visible, and provided without delay.
Our Work Plan:
For French language services to meet the criteria of “services” as defined by legislation, the agency will focus on the following:
- Development and implementation of systematic Human Resources planning to sustain recruitment and retention of French-speaking staff; and
- Collection of data that helps to establish French Language Services capacity and room for growth, such as staff French Language proficiency, requests for services, and demographics of the community and service recipients.
The agency aspires to provide services in French to a high standard and in a culturally responsive manner via:
- Embedment of French language service needs as an integral part of agency planning, budgeting, and communication activities;
- Development and implementation of systematic Human Resources planning to sustain recruitment and retention of French-speaking staff;
- Setting standards for the delivery of services in French;
- Encouragement of the use of French and respecting Francophone culture within the agency;
- Monitoring service demand and regularly assessing agency capacity; and
- Assertive advocacy for resources to give full force to the spirit of the French Language Services Act both within the agency and the community.
Our Current Focus:
French language is part of a richness of identity and should not only be offered but promoted. In order to ensure that French services are promoted, a French Language Services Committee was created and meet once per month.