Hamilton, ON – With the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, the world as we know it changed immensely and it continues to change daily. During this uncertain time, the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton (CCASH) remains committed to continuing to provide the Hamilton community with the faith-based and holistic approach to child welfare service that it has come to expect over the last 65+ years.
Children’s Aid Societies and Indigenous Child and Family Well-Being Agencies across the province want communities to know that while some adjustments to service delivery have been made in response to the pandemic, all agencies remain open. CCASH will continue to provide service to protect the safety and well-being of children and youth while taking proactive measures to protect the welfare of staff, resource providers and volunteers.
The CCASH is mandated by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services to provide child protection services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Amid the current COVID-19 pandemic, the agency continues to offer service that is child and family focused, faith informed and responsive to the varying needs of the Hamilton community. Keeping children safe at home whenever possible remains the agency’s top priority.
Working in partnership with the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies and child protection agencies across the province, as well as the Hamilton Police Service and local service organizations, CCASH continues to monitor and adapt its service delivery to accommodate the ever changing environment.
“We recognize that the safety of our community is a joint responsibility and we appreciate the contributions of our staff, foster, kin parents and community partners.” says Rocco Gizzarelli, Executive Director, CCASH.
In order to minimize risk associated with COVID-19, the majority of the agency’s internal and external training, group gatherings and meetings have been cancelled until further notice, and all community groups and programs have been suspended including access visits. The agency continues to work with foster caregivers and kin families to implement alternative communications modalities to provide opportunities to maintain connection while face-to-face interaction is suspended.
During this time of isolation, there is a heightened risk of child maltreatment. If any member of the community has a concern about the safety and well-being of a child or youth under the age of 18, they should call the Society at 905-525-2012. After hours service is available outside regular office hours by calling 905-522-8053. For those who prefer service in French, please call 1-855-550-3571.
The Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton will continue to keep the community updated and informed of any service adjustments via its website at www.hamiltonccas.on.ca.