Protecting children by strengthening and empowering newcomer communities


Webinar Presenters

Dr. Baobaid earned his doctoral degree from the Institute of Psychology at the University of Erlangen Nuremberg in Germany. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support and Integration in Canada (MRCSSI) and adjunct professor at Western University. For thirty years, Dr. Baobaid has conducted research on families and children and youth at risk of violence, developing culturally appropriate responses in Yemen and Canada. Dr. Baobaid is the recipient of the first Arab Ambassadors’ Award, which honours the achievements of Arab Canadians in their respective fields, the 2012 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and the 2012 Attorney General’s Victim Services Award of Distinction, among others. Prior to coming to Canada, Dr. Baobaid was the head of the Department of Psychology at the University of Sana’a, Yemen.



Many service providers, including child welfare agencies, face challenges in addressing and responding to child protection concerns in newcomer and immigrant communities. The current model of child protection services in North America is dominated by individualistic social norms. Many minority-status ethno-cultural groups in North America share more collectivist traditions.

Developing more effective and culturally meaningful intervention strategies for identifying and responding to child protection concerns in diverse populations will keep children safe and preserve families. This requires building mutual understanding and trust between the child welfare system and many other communities, especially those who are racialized and marginalized, and this necessitates working together to develop culturally meaningful child protection strategies that are child-focused and family and community-friendly.

This presentation aims to share lessons learned from MRCSSI’s model of collaboration with the Children's Aid Society of London and Middlesex, which led to a dramatic reduction of Muslim children in care. This was achieved by working together to use the Culturally Integrative Family Safety Response approach, which provides space for MRCSSI as a culturally-based community organization to be part of the intervention plan.

The main questions that will be addressed in this presentation are:

  1. What are the challenges mainstream service providers face in responding to child protection concerns in newcomer communities?
  2. What are the limitations of current strategies and approaches that child protection services use to respond to these challenges and address this gap?
  3. How does MRCSSI address and respond to these challenges?