Ifarada is seeking to improve outcomes for parents, children, youth, and their families.
Over the past year, Ifarada has focused specifically on vulnerable populations, such as families with young parents, new parents, and parents who experience difficulties with child welfare, the family court system, and the legal system. We have forged partnerships with provincial associations and regional organizations that service and provide training to enrich support for children, youth, and their families.
Our ground-breaking work seeks to build on our holistic approach that is trauma-informed, culturally based, and evidence-supported. We are seeking to address disparities that occur for Black children, and also families.
What our research states…
In a report published by the Public Health Agency of Canada, entitled and quoted in Social Determinants and Inequities in Health for Black Canadians, it is noted that “Black Canadians experience health and social inequities linked to processes of discrimination at multiple levels of society, including individual, interpersonal, institutional, and societal discrimination. Experiences of interpersonal racism can be overt or subtle and pervasive in the form of daily indignities. Well-documented examples at institutional and societal levels include racial profiling; over-policing (e.g. surveillance, harassment, excessive use of force) and under-policing (e.g. under-responsiveness, abandonment) of Black communities; over-representation of Black people in the criminal justice system; over-representation of Black youth and children in child welfare systems; systemic discrimination and under-treatment in hospitals and other healthcare systems; and low representation or absence of Black people in leadership positions across institutions and systems.” (Reference: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/health-
According to the Ontario Human Rights Commission in their report, Interrupted Childhoods: Over-representation of Indigenous and Black children in Ontario Child Welfare, “Black children were over-represented in admissions into care at 30% of agencies (8 of 27).
Overall, the proportion of Black children admitted into care was 2.2 times higher than their proportion in the child population.” The report goes on to explore the complex, systemic challenges that have led to this reality, which, among others, includes that child welfare institutions in Canada evolved within a context of White supremacy and anti-Black racism and that professions in the community tend to over-report racialized families to child welfare authorities.”
Mental Health: Mental health is a critical issue that affects people of all ages and backgrounds. However, Black children, youth, and families face unique challenges. Experiences of intergenerational trauma, racism, discrimination, and social inequities all take a significant toll on mental health and well-being and the ability to advocate for themselves and their community.
In addition, the Mental Health Commission (MHC, n.d.) asserts that “Stigma (including self-stigma) can prevent people in Black communities
from discussing or seeking support for their mental health.” MHC (n.d.) reports “Studies have also found that difficulty recognizing symptoms of depression and a lack of
information about mental health prevented Black people (especially older adults) from seeking mental health services when symptoms first presented themselves.”
Parenting can be challenging for anyone, and it can be even more so when dealing with the added stressors of systemic racism and discrimination. Many
Black and racialized parents do not have access to resources and support networks that can help them develop effective parenting skills, and/or due to previous stigma and
discrimination, they are discouraged. There is a strong link between parental mental health and child well-being.
When parents have the tools to manage their mental health effectively, they are better equipped to provide stable and supportive parenting, which has a positive impact on their children’s emotional and psychological development.
prepared by AG Grant Development, Consultants.
Ifarada’s Parent-Child program for Black and racialized families will extend and expand our parent-child program for Black and racialized families that focuses on early years development, anti-Black racism, and intergenerational trauma. The program will equip parents with skills to manage their mental health while strengthening their parenting capacity.
Specific program components include:
- One-on-one counseling and support: parents are provided with one-on-one counselling to address experiences of racism and discrimination, intergenerational trauma and other mental health issues that may be impacting personal resiliency and parenting capacity. Clients also have the opportunity to discuss parenting challenges and receive guidance and support, including referrals to other community-based programs to address needs.
- Internally by team, and graduate students.
- Group programs: group parenting programs are provided to allow participants the opportunity to discuss shared parenting experiences, give and receive support, and build a positive network of support.
- Drop-in parent program
- Kuwa [to become]- new parents’ program
- Stay and play skill building: parents have the opportunity to practice their parenting skills in a playful environment with mentorship and support from an experienced early years development practitioner.
- Filial play therapy
- Drop-in parent play
- Specialized programs: due to our experience working with families, we will enhance the program service offerings to
- Online learning programs, workshops, and webinars: Intimate partner violence prevention and intervention: we will launch a series of group activities that bring parents, adults, and youth together with a focus on attachment training, support for survivors of abuse, mental health treatment, and activities that build cultural pride and reduce social isolation.
- Outreach: one-on-one support supporting women to leave domestic violence through counseling and connection to community resources.
- Mental health program: in collaboration with community partners, we will provide individual and group support for men focused on healthy relationships, partner response, co-parenting, and anger management.