Regional Council received a delegation from Stephen Bald, Board President and Juliet Jackson, Board Member, Peel Children's Aid Society (CAS).
Peel CAS received 12,000 calls about children who may be in need of protection and investigated 7,600 reports of child abuse and neglect in the last year. They also have an extensive outreach connection with ethnic and religious groups and CAS staff and volunteers are encouraged to be involved with the community. There are currently 400 children in direct care, and essential services are provided to over 4000 children in the community.
Peel CAS is working hard to bring information and awareness of Child Abuse Prevention Month, and Go Purple Day on October 16th. Plans include a launch at a local school in order to involve community partners and media, a social media campaign, and Duty to Report presentations to be given throughout the month.
Regional Council appointed Dr. Eileen de Villa as the Region of Peel's Medical Officer of Health.
Since 2004, Dr. de Villa has served as one of Peel's Associate Medical Officers of Health, supporting the Communicable Diseases and Environmental Health programs. During that time, she has also represented Peel's interests on provincial and national committees in the areas of infectious diseases reporting, pandemic planning and urban health planning. For the last year, she has taken on the additional duties of Acting Medical Officer of Health including steering the 10-year strategic plan; providing oversight on key priorities including living tobacco-free, nurturing the next generation and supportive environments for healthy living; and guiding the local response to Ebola.
Dr. de Villa graduated from the University of Toronto with both Master of Health Science and Doctor of Medicine degrees, and completed an MBA at York's Schulich School of Business. She will be responsible for more than 650 staff that deliver a range of services and programs that focus on health protection, promotion and disease prevention. These include communicable disease control including immunization, restaurant inspections, healthy child development, chronic disease prevention and public health clinic operations.
Bill 113, the Police Record Checks Reform Act, 2015
Regional Council passed a resolution endorsing Bill 79 - Helping Volunteers Give Back Act, 2015.
Bill 113 - the Police Record Checks Reform Act, 2015 proposes reforms surrounding police record checks.
Volunteers play an important role in our communities, and many organizations require volunteers to obtain and pay for a criminal record check before they participate in the organization. Many individuals volunteer for more than one organization thereby requiring multiple criminal record checks which can become costly;
Sylvia Jones, MPP, Dufferin-Caledon, has introduced a private member's bill, Bill 79 - Helping Volunteers Give Back Act, 2015; which would allow volunteers to pay for a criminal record check once per year and access this record to distribute to multiple organizations at no additional cost to the volunteer or organization.
The Region of Peel supports that Bill 79 be incorporated as part of Bill 113, the Police Record Checks Reform Act, 2015.
Regional Council received information about the Summer Job Challenge.
The Region of Peel sponsors an annual Summer Job Challenge to provide youth with an opportunity to gain valuable work experience through the summer months. They worked for community agencies or at Regional departments. The three main types of jobs were: manual labour, administrative work, and direct service delivery.
Job coaches provided extensive supports including fostering fundamental employability skills such as getting up and arriving at work on time, as well as proper dress and worksite behaviour. Typical supports included providing basic life skills coaching, assisting the youth with transportation to work, and situational counseling.
Regional Council also heard of the positive impact the Summer Job Challenge had on one of the participants, Mahkeda Geddes-Bishop, who thanked Regional Council for supporting the initiative.
The 2015 Summer Job Challenge successfully recruited youth with multiple barriers to employment and actively supported them to successfully complete their summer employment term. The program will be expanded for 2016 to better meet the interest in the program from employers and students.