Advisory Committee with Lived Experience
The Child Welfare PAC has a strong team of 100+ engaged volunteers working on about ten projects. Half have direct lived experience in the foster care system; half are allies. We range across Canada and come from a variety of sectors including: academia, research, consulting, business, medicine, advocacy, the arts, law, and politics. Our diverse team is also active within sub-communities to which they belong. This includes newcomers, LGTBQ+, Indigenous peoples, people with disability challenges, Francophone, and a range of ethnicities and ages - all with in care experience.
"Since the beginning, I knew the Child Welfare PAC was an innovative results-based organization. Aside from the benchmark work they do for improving the lives of those raised by the government, I am immensely impressed with their disciplined focus on political change and accountability at the root of child protection issues. Too many advocacy organizations become caught in the weeds and struggle to affect systemic change. The CWPAC simply gets the job done."
--Rod Jackson, Former Member of Provincial Parliament
"I volunteer as the Communications Director for the Child Welfare PAC. I met our Founder while filming NEXT OF KIN. All of my films feature individuals touched by the system because I believe children in care are society’s most vulnerable."
--Stephanie Vizi, Filmmaker
"The Child Welfare PAC adds a significant voice to what is important in child welfare. As adults who grew up in the child welfare system, they know the issues that require attention. They are strategic in their focus by identifying critical issues and working with politicians and other advocacy and service delivery organizations to make the changes necessary. Already they have been influential in changes to the system. As a significant group with lived experience, PAC should continue to have the ear of those responsible for the child welfare system."
--Mary Ballantyne, Retired from Career in Child Protection
"I entirely appreciate that lived experience is a legitimate, useful source of knowledge. When it is combined with other sources of knowledge it is nothing short of powerful. Child Welfare PAC uses that power for good. Children in care have already benefited from the work of the PAC and really they are just getting started. Child Welfare PAC is a beacon of hope for change. I support it."
--Irwin Elman, Former Ontario Advocate for Children and Youth
"The Child Welfare PAC is inspiring in their vision and achievements to date. This is a pan-Canadian organization that was founded just 2 years ago, led by adults who have aged out of care. Along with allies, community members, politicians, and corporations they have begun a movement that advocates provincially & nationally for improved accountability & positive outcomes for every child & youth in government funded care. I have retired after 36 years experience in child welfare in Ontario in child protection and community development & prevention. I am proud to be an ally with the CWPAC."
--Ann Fitzpatrick , MSW, BSW
"All foster kids deserve to feel safe and loved. I support the Child Welfare PAC by donating and fundraising because the system must do better to support youth so they succeed after a life in care".
--Karla Stephens-Tolstoy, Stand Up Speak Up Apparel
"I volunteer with the Child Welfare PAC because I've personally seen just how different the developmental trajectories of youth in the system can play out. We need to do more to support our most vulnerable kids, which is what the Child Welfare PAC is advocating for. I am proud to be an ally in the Child Welfare PACs efforts to achieve better outcomes for youth in care."
--Lexi Gilmer, PhD Student, University of Waterloo
“Having worked in the child welfare system for over 20 years, I have consistently observed the need for change. This need is predicated on balancing proper information, data and evidence rather than speculation and being proactive rather than reactive. This begins with having everyone who is impacted at the table to provide their input and to listen to one another. I felt compelled to become an ally of the Child Welfare PAC because I know that if we work together and have the bigger and more difficult conversations, the future can be much brighter. I am proud to work with the many wonderful people dedicated to a much brighter future. ALL children deserve this!”
--David M. Morneau Jr., Lawyer, Advocate, Mediator and Collaborative Professional
"I volunteer because every child deserves a fair opportunity to succeed in life. I learned about the PAC when our Founder, Jane Kovarikova, presented to my political science class. I was drawn to the work being done and realised how important it is to bring change to the system so that no child is left behind."
--Jessie Dhillon, MPP Liaison, Child Welfare PAC