Executive Director (Halton Children's Aid Society)

Burlington, Ontario

Founded in 1914, the Halton Children's Aid Society’s mission is to “protect children and youth, strengthen their well-being and support lifelong, enduring relationships.” This is achieved through the Society’s community-based, child and youth-centred, family-focused model of service delivery. In addition to core child welfare services, the Society also provides case management support to youth who are homeless or are at risk of homelessness, through our Bridging the Gap program. The Society acts as the secretariat to the Our Kids Network (OKN), a regional partnership of organizations and agencies serving children and youth guided by research, the network collaborates to achieve alignment of services and supports to allow all children, youth and families to thrive. Halton Children’s Aid Society works in close partnership with the Children’s Aid Foundation of Halton (CAFH), a charity dedicated to helping children, youth and families receiving services from the Society. Governed by an 11-member Board of Directors, the Halton Children’s Aid Society is committed to its diversity, equity, inclusion and truth and reconciliation journey and contributes as a resilient, reliable, supportive community partner and leader. See https://haltoncas.ca for more information.

Reporting to the Board of Directors and supported by a six-member senior leadership team, the Executive Director will steward the vision, mission and guiding principles of the Halton Children’s Aid Society, providing leadership and oversight for 150 staff and a $23 million operating budget while upholding the Society’s values of wellness, empowerment, diversity and equity, integrity and accountability.
Leadership and Management
  • Leading the Society in accordance with the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, its regulations, standards, and guidelines and the policies, and directives of the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, and implementing new policies and programs in response to system demands.
  • Overseeing daily operations while protecting and maintaining assets, monitoring expenditures and achievement of goals and objectives, applying enterprise risk management and continuous quality improvement practices, ensuring departmental integration, actively creating and encouraging an inclusive environment and utilization of equity practices and ensuring ongoing implementation of the strategic plan and service plan.
  • Setting the overall direction of the Society, exemplifying and inspiring behaviours, actions and attitudes consistent with the Society’s mission, vision, values, goals, objectives and performance expectations.
  • Providing strategic direction to the senior leadership team on service delivery and guiding them to assess future needs and priorities and prepare for the impact of emerging trends.
  • Leading the Society through change as an enthusiastic champion, while guaranteeing organizational success, interdepartmental collaboration, goal achievement and client satisfaction.
  • Promoting a fair, consistent, equitable, inclusive and respectful work environment that respects privacy – confidentiality and cultural sensitivity, encourages approachability, and staff participation, fosters a sense of belonging, teamwork and positive employee relations, provides mentorship for developing leaders, while managing client’s understanding and expectations of the services to be provided.
  • Providing oversight to recruitment, onboarding, learning and development, performance evaluation, coaching, attendance, discipline and termination according to internal policies and guidelines and within the context of the collective agreement, the Employment Standards Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
  • Ensuring effective distribution and utilization of staff in accordance with desired productivity levels, program goals and guidelines and conducting annual performance appraisals that support staff in establishing and attaining their goals.
Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (EDIB)
  • Fostering an inclusive, accessible environment where all employees have a sense of belonging, and they along with service recipients and volunteers are valued and respected. Demonstrates strong knowledge, understanding and operational experience working within an anti-oppressive, anti-racism and equity lens and framework that is responsive to the knowledge and understanding of the culture, history and current oppressions experienced by racialized communities and individuals facing disabilities.
  • Ensuring that all child welfare professionals are properly educated on the culture, history, impacts of residential schools and current oppressions experienced by Indigenous peoples.
  • Championing the commitment to the implementation of the applicable Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and the nine OACAS provincial commitments.
  • Establishing as an important priority that placements of Indigenous children into care be culturally appropriate, and that all potential caregivers have the necessary cultural resources and tools prior to the placement of any children.
  • Creating and leading the Society’s EDIB initiatives and policy improvements to foster belonging, ensure healthy and inclusive policy development and practice,  enhance inclusion and encourage diverse perspectives and lived experiences while ensuring ethnic, spiritual, linguistic, neurodiverse, familial, cultural and ability-based differences are respected and acted upon in accordance with the Society's Code of Conduct and Confidentiality, Equal Opportunity, Anti-Oppression/Anti-Racism and Harassment & Discrimination policies.
  • Consulting with key internal and external stakeholders to further the Society’s EDIB and anti-oppression objectives and to ensure responsiveness and accountability to diverse communities.
Board Governance
  • Consulting with the Board on all governance matters relevant to the Society’s mandate and working with the Board’s sub-committees to ensure open communication, timely information transfer, effective governance and compliance with all policies and procedures.
  • Presenting budgets as well as applicable business plans to the Board for their approval, providing input and oversight for the overall financial management and annual audit, and implementing systems to ensure accountability and transparency.
  • Developing the Society’s strategic plan in partnership with the Board as well as goals, objectives, policies, plans and programs, incorporating equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging principles, and executing them in accordance with key performance indicators (KPIs) and community needs.
  • Assisting in the recruitment, development and education of Board members, acting as their resource for policy development and providing leadership in collective bargaining within the Board’s set parameters.
Public Relations and Relationship Management
  • Representing the Society as a spokesperson on controversial and sensitive matters involving a high degree of scrutiny to the media, public, other social services agencies, provincial ministries, and policymaking/funding bodies with a high level of confidence, sensitivity, clarity and political acuity, ensuring ethnic, spiritual, linguistic, neurodiverse, familial, cultural and ability-based differences are respected and impacts of staff and leadership are considered.
  • Representing the Society on provincial and joint CAS/community initiatives, demonstrating advanced political acuity to ensure successful representation and chairing committees as required.
  • Establishing and maintaining effective relationships with the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services and local and regional governments, funders, the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS), community partners, the Indigenous community and others to represent the Board of Directors, collectively promote the interests of children and youth, identify organizational needs, develop strategic options and plans to capitalize on opportunities for the Society and share values and opportunities for collaboration while building rapport and establishing/developing credibility of the Society
  • Representing the Society in critical situations and crisis interventions, employing exceptional problem, issue, and conflict resolution and consensus-building skills to manage and direct divergent views and to ensure the most beneficial, collaborative outcomes. Being available on a 24-hour basis, seven days per week, to respond to emergencies and mobilize resources.
  • Developing and maintaining a positive relationship with staff and labour representatives, ensuring that organizational values and equity and inclusive principles are embedded within all programs and activities and fostering a supportive culture across all divisions and locations.
  • Ensuring an ongoing productive and collaborative relationship with the Executive Director of the Children’s Aid Foundation of Halton and the Foundation’s Board of Directors.
  • Maintaining an ongoing productive working relationship with the Executive Director of the Our Kids Network, the Champions Committee, and the contributing funders of the network. As the secretariate of the Our Kids Network, provide oversight to ensure effective financial, information technology, and human resources services are provided.
  • Strong knowledge, courage and commitment to truth and reconciliation, anti-oppression, anti-discrimination, anti-racism (including anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism), equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging. Has a track record of championing and integrating equity, diversity, and inclusion into strategy and initiatives, resulting in positive transformations in culture and service delivery.
  • Understands the difference between equality and equity, between equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging (EDIB) and truth and reconciliation. Acknowledges the importance of tailoring services to diverse communities and understands the profound impact that child welfare has had on marginalized populations.
  • Understands the societal and systemic causes for the disproportionate representation of Indigenous and Black families in the child welfare system. Committed to driving systemic change aimed at reducing disproportionate representation. Understands and appreciates the values, traditions and the need to provide culturally sensitive services to rapidly growing and changing, diverse communities in Halton Region.
  • Master’s Degree in Social Work (preferred) with 15+ years of experience in progressively responsible social services leadership roles, preferably in child welfare or children’s mental health.
  • Experience reporting to and working with a passionate, committed, involved Board, advising members on issues, trends, operations, and changing client needs. Understands Board governance and can build strong relationships and trust with Board members through transparency and communication.
  • Experienced in creating a vision and a strategic plan and working with a Board and leadership team of a smaller agency to implement the plan, while adapting to changes in funding, legislation and child welfare system redesign. Is not afraid to speak up, push boundaries and advocate for the Society.
  • Authentic, visible, open, compassionate and caring, with strong emotional intelligence, values and ethical foundation. Able to build trust and practice these values and lead change with compassion while balancing operational needs and maintaining a healthy work culture through listening to staff, acquiring their feedback and providing robust in-house wellness programs and initiatives.
  • A visionary inspirational leader and strategic thinker, able to empower and motivate internal teams to work together with community partners to deliver the best possible services to the children, youth and families served by the Society. Adept in developing, attracting and retaining high-performing talent.
  • Experienced fostering positive relationships with labour unions and participating in collective bargaining. Able to listen to and interact with employees working in hybrid models, when changing or improving practices and providing strong leadership in times of crisis, and public or media scrutiny.
  • Strong financial and business acumen, with experience providing oversight to financial reporting, budgeting, internal audits and controls, and enterprise risk management. Comprehends the child welfare agency funding model, budgeting process and other financial information and is experienced in communicating strategic financial matters to a Board to ensure stability, sustainability, transparency and compliance.
  • Track record of building meaningful and mutually beneficial community partnerships, leading change and delivering quality programs and services in times of significant financial constraint, and working with community partners and families with children and youth with complex needs.
  • Familiar with child welfare redesign, provincial ministry operational reviews and financial and risk assessment processes. Able to advocate effectively to the provincial government on behalf of the Society to influence funding and policy decisions.
  • Results-oriented, but sets realistic accountability practices, policies, standards, tools, goals, objectives and measures at all levels. Establishes a sense of direction and motivates leaders to persist, overcome obstacles, develop solutions, and achieve success and quality service delivery. Understands the value of turning mistakes into growth opportunities.
  • Experienced in communicating transparently with the Board, staff, public, media, community partners, stakeholders, provincial ministries and other social services/policy agencies in providing information, negotiations, advocating for funding, exchanging expertise, developing policies and responding to controversial, emergency events.
  • Able to advocate to and collaborate with provincial ministries to directly respond to inquiries, recommendations, Ministerial directives, reviews, and transfer payment risk assessments; to be proactively transparent, address funding gaps, negotiate for funding, find alternative sources of revenue and address operational costs to ensure financial sustainability, compliance and accountability with ministry guidelines and with the Society’s financial policies and procedures. Able to leverage data, analytics, and technology to support, streamline and improve service delivery.
  • Engages internal leaders and community partners to gather and use data, evidence and persuasion to influence change and decisions at a local and provincial level and ensure positive outcomes for children, youth and families.
  • Knowledge of legislation governing child welfare including the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, its regulations, Ministry standards, Children’s Law Reform Act, Foster Care standards, Youth Criminal Justice Act and related statutes and OACAS standards.
To express interest in this exciting opportunity, email your cover letter and resume by April 30, 2024, to:
Patrick Rowan, Partner
Feldman Daxon Partners
416-515-3302 | prowan@feldmandaxon.com
Halton Children’s Aid Society is committed to fostering an inclusive, accessible environment where all employees and members of the public are respected. We are dedicated to building a workforce that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve. A diverse and inclusive workplace makes us stronger by using the collective strength of our lived experience, skills and viewpoints to deliver excellent service.
We are committed to a selection process and work environment that is inclusive and barrier-free. Accommodation will be provided in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code. Applicants need to make any accommodation requests for the interview or selection process known in advance. HR will work with you and the Interview Committee to arrange reasonable and appropriate accommodation for the selection process that will enable you to be assessed in a fair and equitable manner.     

This posting will expire April 22, 2024.