Work @ CCAS

Agency Commitment to Workplace Culture and Management Practices 
The Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto (CCAS) is mandated to provide social services to protect children and families in need.  We are one of the largest child welfare agencies in Canada and we work in partnership with our staff to promote an organizational culture that leverages diversity, fosters employee engagement and wellness and upholds respect and dignity and inspires professional excellence. Maclean’s Magazine has named CCAS as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers - our priority is our people.  To read more about Canada’s Top 100 Employers, click here: www.canadastop100.com 


We believe that a dignified and stable workforce provides the highest quality service to children, youth and families. CCAS supports wellness, and work life balance for all our staff, foster caregivers and volunteers.


Employment at the Society

For many years, the Catholic Children's Aid Society of Toronto (CCAS) has been working towards promoting and sustaining a workplace culture and practices that support wellness and work life balance of all individuals working within the Society. We work in an environment that cultivates leadership and a culture that leverages diversity, fosters employee engagement, upholds respect and dignity and inspires professional excellence. We recognize the work we do is critical and can be stressful. It is for these reasons the Society has implemented a number of key initiatives to meet work/life balance of our staff and to mitigate the negative effects of stress on our employees. 

MacLean’s Magazine has named the CCAS as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers, in 2014, for the tenth year in a row. In addition we have been recognized as:
  • One of Canada’s Top 25 Family Friendly Employees for the nineth year through Today’s Parent Magazine;
  • Best Employer for 50 Plus Canadians through the Workplace Institute for the sixth year;
  • One of the Top Employers in the GTA for the sixth year;
  • One of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers in 2011 by BMO Financial; and
  • One of the Progressive Employers of Canada in 2009, for leading progressive change in the Canadian workplace for working parents and their families.
Here are some of the reasons why we are one of Canada’s Top Employers:
  • We provide our employees with unpaid leaves of absences, extending from a few days to a full year;
  • We offer compassionate top-up leave (to 70%);
  • We have a Pastoral Consultant and a Pastoral support team whose mission it is to promote an environment that will keep our spirit alive by fostering the recognition and celebration of faith and spirituality in their diversity;
  • We support ongoing employee training and professional development; and
  • We have a Peer Support Team for responding to critical incidents relating to staff.

Our Staff

The majority of staff at the Society are Child Protection Workers responsible for the investigation and assessment of children in need of protection, provision of ongoing services to children and families and acting as the ‘legal guardian’ to children-in-care. 
In addition, there are also front-line workers that are responsible for the adoption and placement of children in foster homes, group homes or outside resources. These workers are supported by Health Specialists, Parent Support Workers, Social Service Assistants, Child Care Workers, Court Process Assistants, Lawyers, Law Clerks, Psychologists, consulting Physicians and Psychiatrists. There are also a number of administrative, operational, professional, technological, finance and human resource staff. To learn more about different opportunities within the Society, click here

Highlighted below are some demographics about our staff:
  • 84% are female
  • 17% are under 35 years of age
  • 37% are between 36 and 45 years of age
  • 29% are between 46 and 55 years of age
  • 17% are between 56 and 69 years of age
  • 33% are visible minorities
  • 35% are fluent in one of 46 languages other than English
  • 38% are visible minorities (up from 12.8% 13 years ago)
  • 16.5% of management staff are visible minorities (up from 13.1% since 1993)
  • 80% of Child Protection Workers have a BSW or MSW
  • 96% of Child Protection Workers have more than 3 years experience
The average years of service at CCAS is 12.3 years for front-line staff, 11 years for administrative staff and 15.9 years for management staff 

We understand and recognize the importance of leveraging our “return on experience” and we focus on various retention strategies. We have a number of proactive programs to ensure staff is properly trained and to ensure a more systematic knowledge transfer to new child protection workers. As the population at the Society ages, it has become clear that child welfare, as a sector, risks losing essential skills, and competitive advantages, through the combination of older workers retiring and less-experienced workers trying to replace years of knowledge to meet service needs. 
 

Responsible Management

The Society is committed to maintaining a workplace that demonstrates a sincere and continuing interest in the individual and collective well being of all staff and recognizes the inherent worth and dignity of every employee. The Society endorses a participative management philosophy and is committed to working with staff groups (CUPE Local 2190, ACE (Administrative Council of Employees) and MAC (Management Action Committee)) to improve the quality of workplace. Attendance at all employee committee meetings is recognized as paid time to attend. Benefits for retirees are negotiated with CUPE Local 2190

The Society has fostered a culture that frequently asks employees what they need through a number of online surveys to obtain direct input and feedback on a number of work life issues so that changes can be made. 

Surveys are usually anonymous. Some of the online surveys in recent years include a Management Study, Flex Time Survey, HR Customer Service Feedback, an Administrative Staff Training Survey and an Employee Engagement Survey. These surveys have assisted the Society in identifying various needs of employee groups, including older employees. Results of most surveys are shared with the respective staff groups and the respective staff. There is also an exit questionnaire that is given to all staff leaving the Society. 

We regularly communicate with our staff through online HR Bulletins on a wide variety of topics including benefits and pensions. 

We understand the complexity of our work and we have implemented many programs to support our employees.  We have developed: 

  • Effective Return to Work Program where we work in conjunction with the employee in a timely manner to reintegrate the employee back to work;
  • Peer Support Team where a trained staff volunteer responds to critical incidents relating to staff;
  • Pastoral Consultant who provides confidential Pastoral support to staff and clients and a Pastoral Support Team to draw on the spiritual resources of Catholic and other Faith traditions in order to encourage, inspire and support the staff and the mission at CCAS.