Circle of Care
Are you a First Nations, Inuit or Métis family involved with the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa? You have choices, you are not alone. The Circle of Care program is here to help you.
What is Circle of Care?
Circle of Care (COC) provides peaceful resolution using traditional Indigenous approaches for self-identifying First Nation, Inuit and Métis families involved with the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa (CAS). Indigenous families, status or non-status, are eligible for this program, regardless if they are working voluntary with CAS or they are court ordered.
COC supports you on your journey with CAS, by helping you navigate through the child welfare system, connect you to community resources and create safety plans for the well-being of your child and family.
The COC Coordinator and Facilitator do not work for CAS. They work on behalf of the Indigenous community. The Circle of Care can take place at a location that you feel most comfortable and safe for your family.
How can I get started?
- Ask your CAS worker to make a referral to the COC program, or;
- Ask your local Indigenous social service or health worker to make a referral to COC by completing this form, or;
- Contact the COC Coordinator directly to schedule an intake.
What will happen?
- The Coordinator will contact you to schedule a meeting. At this meeting, the Coordinator will explain the program and how it can be beneficial for you and your family. If you chose to move forward, the Coordinator will proceed with an intake.
- After the intake is completed, the Coordinator will connect you to a COC Facilitator.
- You will meet with the COC Facilitator and discuss your goals in depth, and who you want involved in your Circle meetings (ie. family, friends, service providers, an Elder, etc.)
- You will meet with the COC Facilitator, CAS worker and supports to create a safety plan for your family. There may be many ‘circles’ like this.
- When CAS closes the file, COC will honour you and your family with a celebration lunch, with your family, friends, supports and Elders.
For more information, contact the Circle of Care Coordinator:
Gina Metallic, MSW, RSW
613-748-0657 ext. 238
COC Partners: Makonsag, Minwaashin Lodge, Odawa Native Friendship Centre, Ottawa Inuit Children’s Centre, Tewegan Transition House, Tungasuvvingat Inuit, and the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health.
Funded by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS).
Other contact information:
Margo Walsh, M.Ed, OCT
Family Systems Navigator & Staff Development Team Lead
(613) 748-0657 ext. 284
Vanessa Stevens, M.A. (candidate), C.P (Q)
Walk-in Crisis Counselor
(613) 748-0657 ext. 253