At the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto (CAST), we are excited to celebrate both Pride Month and Indigenous History Month this June. These observances provide us with dedicated opportunities to honour the rich history, culture and contributions of the diverse communities we serve, while reinforcing our commitment to creating safe, inclusive and equitable environments for our staff and the families we support.

Our work with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples involves a dedicated effort to enhance our services and strengthen our relationships with Indigenous service providers and child welfare agencies, including Native Child and Family Services of Toronto. We provide our staff with training and resources to support Indigenous families, including how to integrate Indigenous ways of being into our decision-making processes.

Supporting 2SLGBTQ+ communities is also a key part of our mission. Through our dedicated ‘Out and Proud’ program, we provide staff with training, consultation and resources to ensure 2SLGBTQ+ identifying children and youth feel understood, seen and supported. Outside of our Agency, we’re building relationships with organizations and professionals that support 2SLGBTQ+ children, youth and caregivers. An example of this is our Agency’s participation in the 519’s upcoming Family Pride event happening on June 8, which provides an opportunity for us to connect directly with families from and in these communities.

This month, we are also hosting staff events that provide employees with opportunities to celebrate, learn and reflect on our work with Indigenous and 2SLGBTQ+ communities. Educational panel discussions focused on how best to support the children, youth and families we serve will be complemented with local food and entertainment. 2SLGBTQ+-identifying children and youth working with CAST, will also be invited to attend celebratory events throughout the month.

This month, and every month, we encourage members of our communities to learn more about our commitment to building a workplace and delivering our services through an equity lens. Click here for more information about our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion priorities.