Our Structure

The Ottawa Child and Youth Initiative is made up of key players with representation from children and family services and sectors, who all agree to share responsibility, resources, and accountability.


The Initiative strives to achieve shared goals that no single entity can accomplish on its own, including in policy, system and, practice changes.

The Ottawa Child and Youth Initiative is comprised of:

Steering Committee:

The Committee acts as the executive of the Initiative. It is responsible for ensuring that there are strong linkages, communication and integration of work across the full Initiative.


The Steering Committee is comprised of approximately 20 members (maximum) including but not limited to senior executive leaders from the public, private and non-profit sectors.


The Steering Committee will provide leadership, strategic direction and oversight of OCYI deliverables as well as review the funding model of OCYI. The Committee is responsible for using their experiences, skills and knowledge of child and youth development to steer the work being undertaken by OCYI and its Task Groups.


Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Linking, integrating and communicating across the Initiative 
  • Adopting strategic goals and directions that align with the Vision and Mission of OCYI
  • Planning and facilitating meetings and events of the OCYI network, as appropriate;
  • Identify and develop strategies for securing resources to support the Initiative and its activities; Leverage investment of the Ottawa community to support children and youth reaching their full potential; and
  • Reporting progress to the community towards achieving identified goals.

The OCYI Project Coordinator

The role of the project coordinator is to perform secretariat duties including securing approval of deliverables from the OCYI Steering Committee as well as organize and manage OCYI activities. The Coordinator also coordinates meetings, resources and information. To contact the project coordinator, email info@growingupgreat.ca.

OCYI Communications Specialist

The Communication Specialist is responsible for creating communications content on behalf of OCYI. Including but not limited to reports, press releases, social media posts and website content. The OCYI Communications Specialist position is a 0.2 FTE position funded by CHEO until March 31, 2023.

OCYI Membership:

Membership to the OCYI network is open to all those that agree with our mandate and strategic priorities. Members of the Steering Committee and task groups are individuals and representatives from community organizations and networks who work with children, youth and their families and share the vision, mission and values of the OCYI.


Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Foster community collaboration;
  • Advocate for children and youth in the community and at all levels of government;
  • Represent the interests of children and youth to achieve its goals in circles of influence in the community;
  • Create linkages and connections between related activities to benefit children and youth in Ottawa; and
  • Support and assist with the work of other committees as needed and appropriate.

Task Groups:

OCYI is currently comprised of 5 Task Groups:

1. Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH) Education and Awareness Task Group

The IECMH Education and Awareness Task Group was developed to raise awareness about the importance of and to promote and protect infant and early childhood mental health.


2. Early Childhood Development Task Group

The Early Childhood Development Task Group aims to support all young children (0-6 yrs) and their families through a collective community approach


3. Critical Hours Task Group

The Critical Hours Task Group aspires to support critical hours programs and homework clubs to foster academic, social and emotional outcomes for children and youth.


4. Ottawa Collaborative for Parenting Support Task Group

The Ottawa Collaborative for Parenting Support Task Group is a community of partners working together to build resilient families that can support their children’s healthy development, feel empowered, and are able to cope with the ups and downs of everyday living.


5. Research & Evaluation Task Group

The Research and Evaluation Task Group supports the work of the Ottawa Child and Youth Initiative and its sub-committees, and ensure appropriate methods are used for quality research, evaluation and surveillance.


Roles and Responsibilities of Task Group members:

  • Identify priorities, define strategies, make recommendations and implement initiatives;
  • Develop action plans and monitor outcomes;
  • Engage and mobilize representatives with a vested interest in children and youth to develop and implement community plans;
  • Link with relevant community initiatives and networks;
  • Provide input to and support for communications and research plans; and
  • Represent OCYI at public/community events and meetings.