NCFST has grown to include some 300 staff working at 18 locations across the City of Toronto. This includes our main site at 30 College Street, four Aboriginal Head Start sites, four Transition Houses, the Native Youth Resource Center, the Scarborough Child and Family Life Center, two Aboriginal Child and Family Centers, a Healing and Prevention Center, a Healing Lodge, two Native Learning Centers and our Summer Camp at Grundy Lake. Across these sites, we serve more than 7,000 community members annually.
Aboriginal peoples represent the youngest, fastest growing, and most diverse population in Canada. The majority of Aboriginal people also live off-reserve. Ontario is the most populous province or territory, and there are over 300,000 Aboriginal people in Ontario (National Household Survey, 2016). At any given time there are some 70,000 Aboriginal people living or temporarily accessing services in the City of Toronto (“Project Overview & Methods” Aboriginal Health Counts Toronto, 2018 welllivinghouse.com). Whether families have lived in Toronto for generations or arrived hours earlier, NCFST offers a broad suite of services to support Aboriginal children, youth, adults and seniors/elders.
I am committed to working with our Board of Directors, staff, and community partners to continue to provide services that strengthen Aboriginal children and their families. We will achieve this by continuing to develop and implement services and relationships that are child centered, family focused, and community driven. This approach will enable us to continue to reduce the number of families entering the child welfare system through the expansion of our prevention and support services. Integrating these services into our child and family well-being teams will continue to increase our capacity to decolonize child welfare with a focus on keeping families together.