Meet Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag Child & Family Services

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Learn how our newest partners in coordinated service planning provide support and resources for Indigenous families in Simcoe County and York Region.

As part of the provincial Special Needs Strategy Project, Coordinated Service Planning (CSP) was introduced to support children and youth with disabilities and developmental needs and their families by a dedicated Service Planning Coordinator (SPC). The SPC connects children/youth and their families to multiple, cross-sectoral services they need as early as possible and monitors their needs and progress through a single CSP.

As the lead agency for CSP in Simcoe County and York Region, Children’s Treatment Network partners with six agencies to provide this service. Our most recent partner is Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag Child & Family Services (Nog-dah-wen-mawg) (Bin-ooh-zhee-yug) where Roger Wesley, SPC, leads the work as a registered nurse. Roger is also trained as a mental health and addiction nurse and case coordinator. He works with children and youth with disabilities and their families who self-identify as First Nations, Inuit or Métis living in Simcoe County or York Region (on or off territory).

Prior to this partnership, there were no families on the CSP caseload who identified as Indigenous, now we support 50 families and growing! Roger supports children, youth and families who have a range of disabilities and developmental needs. Some of the children and youth he works with have developmental challenges (e.g., autism spectrum disorder), mental health challenges (e.g., anxiety disorder, oppositional defiance disorder, etc.) or physical needs (e.g., cerebral palsy). Roger works tirelessly to remove systemic barriers faced by Indigenous children, youth and their families, navigating a very complex system to ensure families receive equitable service and care they deserve.

Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag Child & Family Services works differently than other agencies CTN works with. Families who are referred to this service, complete their first call (also called intake) with Roger and work with him throughout their journey. By using CTN’s shared electronic record, Roger can communicate with other providers involved, so families only need to share their story once. What also makes the work at Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag Child & Family Services unique is their philosophy and approach, following the Seven Grandfather Teachings, puts children and youth at the centre of the circle of care. They believe that all aspects of life (emotional, mental, physical and spiritual) must be considered in arriving at good decisions affecting children, youth and families. This includes:

  • Wisdom “Nbwaakaawin” – This incorporates the idea of intelligence and the idea of “putting it to good use.” Wisdom means the commitment to use what we know for the betterment of all.
  • Love “Zaagidiwin” – Love includes the selfless and non-judgemental love of all others and self-love.
  • Respect “Mnaadendamowin” – The importance of showing respect for and appreciation of others is necessary to be able to earn respect.
  • Bravery “Aakdehewin” – The willingness to “do the right thing” and to accept the consequences that flow from that, to always act with integrity.
  • Honesty “Gwekwaadziwin” – Flowing from courage is the need to always be forthright, to withhold nothing, both with others and with ourselves.
  • Humility “Dbadendizwin” – This is compassion at its most basic level. We all share the same value in the eyes of our creator and are called to reflect on that value in all of our dealings.
  • Truth “Debwewin” – We must be truth-tellers to all both those with whom we have dealings and with ourselves.

The Circle of Care (featured below) is a visual representation of Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag Child & Family Services. This Circle shows who they are, without hierarchy, and how they work together to serve those in the inner most circles, children, youth and families. Their values (the Seven Grandfather Teachings) can be found on either side of the Circle serving as a reminder to keep them at the forefront of our minds.



Roger continues to build strong relationships with partners in education, social services, health and other Indigenous communities to educate, spread awareness and help as many children, youth and families as possible.

To learn more about supports for families who identify as First Nations, Inuit and Métis, please contact Roger at rwesley@binnoojiiyag.ca.


2021-11-29


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