Family Safety Project

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Family Safety Project

London, CanadaLondon, Canada
Year Founded:
2003
Organization type: 
government
Project Stage:
Scaling
Budget: 
$250,000 - $500,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

We engage the Justice System and social services to develop a customized intervention plan which balances safety of women and children while understanding and respecting their culture. The main goal of this program is to interrupt the escalation of family violence and placement of children in foster

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if we can implement an innovative anti-violence approach that focuses on the safety of the victim without compromising family ties.
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The main problem is that there is a gap between the individualistic model of intervention and the needs of individuals and families coming from a collectivist background. And this gap will result in creating barriers for those familes and individuals to gain access to the services that they require.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Developing a new framework of collaboration, outreach and service provision in a manner that actively enagages mainstream services and respected culture communities towards a culturally integrated solution. The object of this project is to interrupt the escalation of family conflicts at the beginning of continuum in order to prevent a critical event.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

We were a part of the intervention team for a new-immigrant family who was struggling with the law and family violence. A boy at the age of 16 found himself in conflict with his mother whom he ended up assaulting, the sister contacted police and the boy was arrested. We were working with the family along with the service agenies involved. We were able to place the boy with our kinship family, and avoid placement with group homes. After providing the mother with coordinated support, we were able to have the boy placed back with his family. By supporting the mother and the family we were successful in creating a safe environment for all members.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

The services that are being provided through the Family Safety Project have been successful in preventing potential placement of Muslim children in foster care. We have trained Muslim families in the London-Middlesex area who have been approved by CAS to provide homes for our children should they not be able not to remain with their families. The children can remain connected with their community in this way. As a result of this program, 80% Muslim children, previously in foster care, have been able to return to their homes. In last three consecutive years we have managed to have a total of zero Muslim children enter foster care . It is our mission to help parents understand the cultural differences and provide them with the tools and skills which can aid them in conflict resolution strategies
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

We have started to develop training manuals and cirriculums to train service providers on our culturally integrated family safety project. To build capacity with cultural communities to adopt our model. In addition, we are increasing community donations.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The traditional mainstream family violence and child protection agencies are addressing the issue of family violence however they have the individualist model which may not be culturally appropriate for families that are coming from a collectivist society.
Team

Founding Story

After reviewing the research conducted addressing the barriers of accessing services by immigrant Muslim families being affected by domestic violence it had become evident that Muslim families were not utilizing services available. The Muslim Family Safety Project was created in order to build bridges between Muslim communities and mainstream service providers. As a result of this project there was an increasing mutual understanding, and trust between Muslim community leaders and mainstream anti-violence agencies. The establishment of the Muslim Resource Centre has enabled us to build the Family Safety project on success of the collaboration of the Muslim community and mainstream anti-violence agencies to develop culturally appropriate mode
About You
Organization:
Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support and Integration
About You
First Name

Mohammed

Last Name

Baobaid

LinkedIn URL
About Your Organization
Organization Name

Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support and Integration

Organization Country

, ON, London

Country where this project is creating social impact

, ON, London

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Impact
Full Impact Potential: What are the main spread strategies moving forward? (Please consider geographic spread, policy reform, and independent replication/adoption of the idea or other mechanisms.)

We have created the Shared Journey Project in order to spread this model, this project promotes working with community organizations in Kingston, Ottawa and York Region to help establish working partnerships with their respective Childrens Aid Society over the next two years. We have also received interest from other cultural communities to adopt this model. Furthermore, we are using methods of marketing and advertisement in order create knowledge of our model. Also, we have modified the model so that it includes other collectivist cultures in order to benefit a larger volume of families

Barriers: What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

The most predominent barrier we are facing in regards to the success of this project is financial sustainability.

Sustainability
Partnerships: Tell us about your partnerships.

We are proud partners with London Cross Cultural Learner Centre, Children’s Aid Society, London Muslim Mosque, London Police, Women Shelter, Centre for Education and Research on Violence Against Women and Children, and The Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Closing the Loop
How does your project primarily ensure that feedback delivers results?

Facilitate a conversation that combines wisdom of the crowds with the perspective of experts.

Please elaborate on your answer to the above question.

We have evaluation for all our projects from the beneficiaries where people involved are asked to give us feedback. Once we have received feedback from participants we ensure that would it be integrated in our future plans.

Languages: In what languages are you able to read and write fluently?

English, Arabic.

2nd Round Questions
Thinking about your feedback loop; what information are you trying to get from whom, to whom, and to bring about what change?

What we see in terms of the feedback loop is that there are two things that begin to happen; we have a community itself is informed of the realities of the struggle that its community members are going through, and we have mainstream service providers that implement mandates which includes the police, child protection agencies and court systems which also become more aware of the realities and struggles of the community. This process with MRCSSI forms a feedback loop through the intermediary of MRCSSI. We are engaged with clients that we are providing services to and to those communities that those families reside in. First thing we look at is that with the mandate of service providers there is an inherent power imbalance, in order for feedback to occur in an appropriate way there has to be more of a balance between the power of the community and the power of the service providers. In that way we serve as intermediaries or service brokers. As a part of the work we do we enhance and develop the capacity of our community and we also work at helping mandated service providers better understand the culture. We bring them to a more balanced space so that the feedback is more accepted both ways it is more understood when it comes from community to service providers and when it goes back from service providers to community. This method enhances the relationship of communication so that when we look at dealing with mandated service providers that are able to challenge the community around their needs, and the community can challenge them around the needs of the client without either party feeling belittled. We are looking at developing the capacity of the community and enhancing the capacity of service providers through this engagement feedback mechanism.

What is the purpose of your feedback loop?

Creating broader awareness of issue/movement building

If other, please specify
What mediums or mechanisms do you use to collect feedback? (check all that apply)

Paper, Website, Physical gathering.

If other, please specify
Could you briefly describe the way you collect the feedback?

The collection of feedback is one which occurs continuously throughout the process at various stages of the project. We are in a constant feedback loop with all the organizations that we are working with because in deciding the best course of action for each individual situation
we are working together providing feedback to come to a consensus of what should be done. Mainstream service providers work with us in order to avoid having a critical event occur at which time they would be required to deal with the situation according to their mandate. The feedback is collected at each stage in order to prevent the occurrence of a critical event. We engage the community to give us feedback because at times there is a disconnect between the community and mainstream service providers, we are working to close that gap.

What mechanisms are in place to protect people from retribution?

Secured protection on information

If other, please specify
What are the immediate benefits or incentives for people to provide feedback?

Other

If other, please specify

past successes

How do you ensure new and marginalized voices are heard?

Specific targeted outreach efforts

If other, please specify
What are the incentives for the intended recipient to act on the feedback?

They understand that feedback is necessary

If other, please specify
How does the feedback mechanism close the loop with those who provided feedback in the first place?

Meetings discussing results with providers

If other, please specify
How is feedback published/transparent?

Written report

If other, please specify
Give two concrete examples of how feedback loops have brought a program or policy more in line with citizens’ desires.

In our Family Safety Project through the process of engaging with the Children’s Aid Society of London-Middlesex, the child welfare authorities in London, Ontario, we have been able to reduce the amount of Muslim children entering care. In addition to that, we have developed a successful relationship that allows us to work with any Muslim family that may require Child Welfare services. Building this relationship has been a delicate process and has evolved overtime; this agency which has a strong legal authority through their mandate have been willing to relinquish some of their power in order to contribute successfully towards positive outcomes our families in the community.

If there was one thing you could change to increase the impact of your feedback loop, what would it be?

An obligation or policy existing with all mandated service providers to engage cultural communities in the development of plans of service that would result in the successful integration of a cultural response to best meet the needs of the family. The family would be able to buy into this because it would have been developed through a customized approach taking into consideration their culture reality and their family dynamics. The common theme or bottom line agreement with the mandated service providers would always be to keep people safe from violence.

What are your biggest challenges or barriers in “closing the feedback loop”?

Lack of funding for feedback data collection

If other, please specify
Are you aware of The Feedback Store?

What are the main uses you can envision for the Feedback Store?
What is the one thing you would most like to see changed to improve the competition process?
What are you doing to make sure that feedback providers know that they are empowered by the information they can give and that they know exactly what the information they are providing?
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