Ontario's child welfare association appoints new Executive Director

TORONTO, July 21 /CNW/ - The Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies (OACAS) today announces the appointment of Mary Ballantyne as Executive Director of the provincial child welfare association. With over 24 years experience in child welfare, Ms. Ballantyne has contributed significantly to the field in a leadership and management role.

"Child welfare in Ontario is facing challenging and exciting times with the work of the Sustainability Commission, an evolving Transformation Agenda and significant budget issues. The OACAS will continue to play a critical role in advocating for the needs of children and families across the province and in facilitating future direction and change in the critical work of child welfare. I am excited to be able to provide leadership to this important cause," said Ms. Ballantyne, incoming Executive Director of OACAS.

Beginning November 1, Ms. Ballantyne will lead the Association in representing Ontario's Children's Aid Societies (CASs) and supporting its members in working with the Commission for Sustainability in Child Welfare, government and community stakeholders.

For the past ten years, Ms. Ballantyne has served as Executive Director of the Simcoe County Children's Aid Society (Simcoe CAS). Some of Ms. Ballantyne's most notable contributions to child welfare in Ontario include developing a province-wide assessment tool for child protection, leading Simcoe CAS through pilot testing for an information management system for all CASs in Ontario and providing leadership on various provincial projects. She also brings to the Association commitment, skills and leadership in working with the Aboriginal communities.

"We are extremely pleased to welcome Mary to the Association," said Keith Sparling, president of OACAS. "Mary brings a genuine, compassionate and courageous approach to working with people and systems to improve the lives of children and families. We believe she will successfully carry forward the mission of OACAS as the voice of child welfare in Ontario."

In the interim, Virginia Rowden, Director of Social Policy, has been appointed Acting Executive Director of the Association.

About the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies

OACAS is a membership organization representing Children's Aid Societies (CASs) in Ontario. The Association has served its members, the community, the public and the government in a variety of ways since 1912. Today, OACAS provides service in the areas of advocacy, government relations, communications and public education, youth in care, information management, training, and member outreach.

SOURCE Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies

For further information: For further information: Marcelo Gomez-Wiuckstern, Director of Communications, (416) 987-9648; Marie-Lauren Gregoire, Communications Advisor, (416) 987-9685, www.oacas.org

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Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies

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