OACAS and Children's Aid Societies pay tribute to courageous Child Welfare Worker, Nicole Belair

TORONTO, May 16, 2014 /CNW/ - The Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies (OACAS) and Children's Aid Societies (CASs) across the Province pay tribute to Nicole Belair, a Child Protection Worker of the Children's Aid Society of the Districts of Sudbury and Manitoulin, who died in the line of duty, dedicating her life to child protection.

On Tuesday, May 13, 2014 Nicole Belair, 33-years old, succumbed to injuries following an accident on Monday, May 12, 2014. Nicole was in a multi-unit building for a home visit when an explosion/fire erupted in another unit. Nicole took immediate action to ensure the safety of her client and returned to the building to help others. Tragically, Nicole was overcome by the smoke and fire and was unable to escape.

Mary Ballantyne, Executive Director of the OACAS today said: "Nicole dedicated her career and life to protecting children and youth. She made a difference and touched the lives of so many. She will be greatly missed by her peers, colleagues and clients in Child Welfare. A shining star for so many children and youth she not only worked with, but built strong bonds, challenging and encouraging them to move forward."

OACAS and CASs across the province have joined the Children's Aid Society of the Districts of Sudbury and Manitoulin to extend condolences and support to Nicole's family, co-workers and the youth and families she served. In honour of Nicole, we recognize that every day child protection workers rise to the challenge of their work, bring passion and commitment to that work, and continue to carry out their work even when faced with obstacles.

Colette Prevost the Executive Director of the Children's Aid Society of the Districts of Sudbury and Manitoulin has been asked by the family to deliver the eulogy on behalf of the Child Welfare field to which Nicole dedicated her career and her life.  Sudbury Regional Police will also be doing an honour guard during the service and funeral procession.

About the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies: Since 1912, OACAS has represented Ontario's Children's Aid Societies in Ontario and provided service in the areas of government relations, communications, information management, education and training to advocate for the protection and well-being of children. http://www.oacas.org

SOURCE Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies

For further information: Tanzeem Parkar, Communications Advisor, (416) 987-9854 or tparkar@oacas.org