Saturday, 14 March 2015

Exploring Roles in the ECE Community: Local and State Levels

Throughout my research this week for the application task I discovered many organizations dedicated to children’s services that I did not know of before. For my Capstone Project I have decided to focus on child services provided to Aboriginal children and families in my community.

Organizations and Communities of Practice in Thunder Bay

The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board


The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board (TBDSSAB) provides services to the community in general including childcare, housing and Ontario Works. In greater detail, these services include ways to access a child care fee subsidy, special needs resources and family supports and resource programs. With regards to Housing supports, the TBDSSAB offers affordable housing programs including rent geared to income, rent supplement programs, social housing programs and home renovation supports (Ontario Renovates). Finally, in supporting employment needs the organization offers financial and employment assistance, community placement programs and addiction services along with a return to work program. This organization would be extremely beneficial to any family that approached me with needs involving these three major life areas. I believe that it is extremely important that we as educators are aware of the resources available in order to support families in need. I also strongly admire the values and mission statement that the TBDSSAB promise with regards to their service. They state:

At The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board, we:
 1. Acknowledge that all people have the right to dignity, respect and quality of life.
 2. Respect the diversity of cultures, skills and abilities of all people.
 3. Work in partnership with stakeholders to find innovative solutions.
 4. Provide opportunities for life-long learning that are responsive to people's needs.
 5. Embrace open communication
 6. Effectively manage our human and financial resources.
(The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board, 2015)
I would love to work for the TBDSSAB as a support worker or as the head of the special needs department to offer support and resources to families of children with exceptionalities. In order to effectively work as the head of this department I would need to have a degree in ECE and experience working with children and families with disabilities and various special needs. I would need to have excellent communication skills, an awareness and understanding of the organization’s policies and procedures, an ability to make decisions and to lead a team of colleagues dedicated to the needs of the children and families in our care. Finally, I would need to be well connected and aware of services and resources available to families within my community. Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly (Wenger, 2006, para.3).

The Childcare Resource and Research Unit is an early childhood education and child care policy research institute with a mandate to further ECEC policy and programs in Canada. The website offers a wealth of information for all Provinces within Canada including support and resources for families and professionals. They have section headings that include Online Documents, CRRU resources, CRRU publications, CRRU Project Websites. I chose this website this week because I have just started to explore it as a result of this program. It is great because it offers                 both scholarly resources and more user friendly resources for parents and “hands on” uses. I found it very difficult to find information about career opportunities associated with this organization. I would love to be a researcher for an organization about children’s needs or support. In order to work in a position as a researcher I would need to work in collaboration with other professionals in order to discover new information. I would also need to be current about new trends in the early childhood field.

Children’s Center Thunder Bay

The Children’s Center in Thunder Bay offers free family and individual counselling and mental health support for children and families in need.
“The focus of our services is on children’s mental health issues in the context of the individual child, their family, day care, school and community. Many of the children who come to the Centre are experiencing social, emotional and behavioural difficulties which are impacting their functioning at home and at school. We work with both individual children, parents, families and other professionals to address problems and strengthen functioning” (Children’s Center Thunder Bay, 2009).

One thing that I love about this organization is that they have recently launched the program “ACTION! Mental Health” urging youths struggling with mental health issues to come forward and get support. This program is aiding in removing some of the stigma associated with mental health issues and illnesses. A career opportunity available through the Children’s Center Thunder Bay is that of the Communicative Disorders Assistant. Skills and experience required for this position include:
  1.  Knowledge and understanding of children’s mental health, family systems and developmental issues  
  2. Knowledge and experience in working with children 0 through 6 years of age who are struggling with emotional, behavioural, social and developmental issues.
  3. Excellent communication skills both oral and written   
  4. Great team work and collaboration skills


Child care Canada. Childcare resource and research unit (1997-2003). Retrieved from
Children’s Centre Thunder Bay. 2009. Retrieved from
The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board. (2015). Firedog Communications. Retrieved from:

Wenger, E. (2006).  Communities of practice: A brief introduction.  Retrieved from


Melissa Fornwalt said...

Wow! First, I would like to mention that your blog design is awesome!

I love your passion for well-being of children and their families. By the organizations you have chosen, it is obvious supporting children and families is important to you. It truly does take someone special to have the ability to connect with families and find the supports they need. If the positions were close enough to you to apply for, which one would be your first choice?

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