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Conference on Improving Family Policy & Practice a Success

April 4, 2019 — 

On March 27 and 28, 2019, the University of Manitoba, Faculty of Social Work hosted Poverty and Social Inclusion for Families in Manitoba as part of the Families in Canada Conference 2019 that took place in Ottawa and simultaneously at co-hosting university partners across the country.

The national theme of the conference focused on the use of both big (social indicators) and little (qualitative) data to improve family policy and practice within Canada. The local theme focused on the intersection of data with social inclusion and poverty affecting families in Manitoba. The satellite event welcomed students, academics, funders, non-profit leaders and community members.

The conference would not have been a success without the many enriching presentations throughout the two days.

Alex Singer, department of family medicine, University of Manitoba, discussed collecting data to improve the quality of care delivered to families and informed registrants on the basics of applying quality improvement and measurement methodologies to benefit the care of the families.

Noralou Roos, Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, spoke about the effective dissemination of information about available benefits to poor families.

Albert Boakye, Social Planning Council of Winnipeg and Chris Green, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, introduced the Manitoba Collaborative Data Portal, an accessible source of neighbourhood data. They showcased how the portal could potentially support evidence-informed community discussion, planning, and action.

Cheryle Dreaver, First Nations Family Advocate Office explained how poverty exacerbates an already negative relationship between CFS agencies, and First Nations and discussed ways to improve child welfare services for poor Indigenous families.

Panel presentations were given by the Coalition of Manitoba Cultural Communities for Families Inc. that presented a model of inclusion for cultural communities and families and a panel chaired by Carolyn Peters, New Directions Inc., presented on using program evaluation for social advocacy as well as accountability and evaluation. Thank for to our panel presenters: Florence Ngozi Okwudili, Shorsh Kurd Palani, Steven Feldgaier, Aynslie Hinds, Marianne Krawchuk, Cynthia Drebot, and Javier Mignone.

“It was a stimulating and useful two days and we are grateful to the local planning committee composed of colleagues at the University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority; as well as a large range of community agencies,” says planning committee co-chair Sid Frankel, University of Manitoba.

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