Each month, OCYI task group, Ottawa Collaborative for Parenting Support (OCPS), partners with Ottawa Public Health’s Parenting in Ottawa’s page for the Just ask Facebook series. Each lively event features a different topic, relevant to those caring for kids and youth in Ottawa. Expert guests, often from OCYI partner organizations, are there for the day to answer questions and provide current information.
Staying true to OCYI’s values of equity, diversity and inclusion, OCPS’s recent Just Ask guests have been organizations that support the mental health and addiction needs of children, youth, and their families.
October and November’s Just Ask events, showcased newer resources 1Call1Click.ca and the Rural Ottawa Youth Mental Health Collective, whose experts shared information about mental health and addiction resources across our city. Conversation highlights included reducing stigma and sharing of specific resources for children and youth.
Knowing that a smooth transition to kindergarten helps to support the mental health and well-being of kids, OCYI brought together all four Ottawa school boards in January to discuss registering for kindergarten. This busy session, saw lots of questions from the Facebook page followers, and the school board experts working together to help parents navigate the process. A supplemental information page has subsequently been created to capture all of the good information gathered that day.
February’s Just ask session introduced Family Services Ottawa’s Around the Rainbow program as the Parenting in Ottawa page’s first expert to share information about supporting 2SLGBTQ+ children, youth, and families. The positive and supportive conversation that day resulted in a supplemental information handout. The Around the Rainbow team also gifted OCYI with a delightful booklist, so families can continue to keep the conversation going!
March brought childcare agency experts to the Just ask series, helping families to navigate the process of finding reliable childcare in Ottawa. A key success of this Just ask session was the chance for experts to directly respond to questions about applying fee subsidies, transitioning a child to a new childcare situation, and accessing supports for those needing extra help. As this information remains timely, a supplemental information handout is now available.
The OCPS is so thankful to the experts who have participated in the Just ask Facebook series. A desire to make the most of each session’s invaluable information has resulted in the creation of supplemental information to assist more families and others in need. The series has also been a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with OCYI partner Parenting in Ottawa. Check back in on the OCYI website to see the calendar for upcoming sessions, and please remember all parents have questions, just ask!
This story was featured in the March 2022 OCYI Ovation
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