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What is the Student and Family (S.F.A) Program?

The Student and Family Advocate Program (SFA) is a Black community based program designed to support Black families and students and they engage with the education system. 

Student and Family Advocates are systems navigators. This means that no matter your socio econmic status, no matter where you live, if your child or family is experiencing anti-Black racism in the education system (or other systems) a Student and Family advocate can help you.

There are 17 Black led organizations with SFAs across Ontario, all here to support and advocate on behalf of Black families. 

Rebuilding the Village:  The SFA program is  ‘Systems Navigation’ by another name. We are your village

Black families have supported each other in attending school meetings, writing letters and even speaking on behalf of neighbours and friends for decades.    Systems Navigation formalizes that process.  We’ve always been advocates for each other.  Now we are standing together…for you.

As SFAs we acknowledge, understand, and address Anti-Black Racism and its impacts on Black families and students through:

Advocacy

Advocacy

Accountability

Accountability

1

Transformational Change

Transformations Change

When should you contact a Student and Family Advocate? ?

Anti-Black racism can take many different forms in the education system.  It can be subtle, like a teacher consistently sending notes home about your child, or it can be direct like your child being racially bullied or beat up because of their race.  Here are some questions to consider when deciding if you should reach out to a Student and Family Advocate:

Does your school disproportionately suspend and expel black students?

Does your school disproportionately refer Black students to the police?

Is your child punished more harshly or more frequently than white students?

Are notes coming home from your child's school focused on their perceived negative attributes with no mention of their positive qualities?

Is there a lack of a sense of belonging for Black students within your school region?

Is your child being called names because of their race, excluded from school yard games or generally doesn't feel like they belong?

These examples all include but are not limited to acts of Anti-Black Racism that impact our Black students within the education system.

What Happens When You Contact a Student and Family Advocate?

U

Search

Step One:

Find the Student and Family Advocate for your region

l

Document

Step Two:

You’ll be assed to complete an intake form (each SFA organization is a little different)

Connect

Step Three:

Someone will contact you to talk about what your child or your family is experiencing. They’ll create a plan of action and will work to wrap around and support you.

Who are the S.F.A.s?

Britannica Woods Community House

Britannica Woods Community House

Advocacy supports and case management, school navigation supports, and community information sessions benefitting Black students (ages 6-15) and parents from low-income communities in Ottawa-West.
Centre for Resilience & Social Development

Centre for Resilience & Social Development

Advocacy/"Cultural Broker" supports and services, capacity building workshops and mentoring, and Cultural Broker Community Program targeting Black students (ages 6-25) and families from marginalized low-income communities in southern Ottawa.
Delta Family Resource Centre

Delta Family Resource Centre

Advocacy supports, culturally relevant mentorship, navigational supports and referrals, and sessions on anti-Black racism benefitting Black students (ages 6-25) and families in Toronto's Rexdale, Firgrove/Jane-Finch, and Kingsview Village neighbourhoods and the Municipality of Brampton (Peel Region).
Early Childhood Development Initiative

Early Childhood Development Initiative

Advocacy supports/services, capacity building and system navigation, and initiatives in collaboration with schools/boards and other community groups benefitting newcomer Black West African children ages 6-12 and their families in Toronto's York South-West and Humber River-Black Creek communities.
Empowered Squared

Empowered Squared

Advocacy supports/services, navigational supports and resources, leadership and consultation on anti-Black racism and culturally relevant workshops benefitting newcomer students ages 10-20 in Hamilton.
For Youth Initiative in Toronto

For Youth Initiative in Toronto

Advocacy supports and 1:1 case management, social programming, and community education sessions benefitting Black youth ages 13-25 and their families, including newcomers and those experiencing poverty, in Toronto's York South-Weston, and Oakwood-Vaughan communities.
H.M. Youth Foundation

H.M. Youth Foundation

Anti-Black racism training/education, advocacy and pathway planning supports, mentorship and career/leadership skills development, and youth/family roundtable talks benefitting Black youth (ages 13-18) and families in Mississauga.
Malvern Family Resource Centre

Malvern Family Resource Centre

Advocacy supports, capacity-building and system navigation supports, culturally relevant learning and career/pathway exploration opportunities, and food/childcare supports for Black students (ages 6-12) and families, including Caribbean, East/West African Canadian born and single parent/caregiver families and families with no/limited post-secondary education, in Toronto's North-East Scarborough and Malvern communities.
Markham African Caribbean Canadian Association

Markham African Caribbean Canadian Association

Advocacy supports/services, capacity building, and navigational/research resources targeting Black children (ages 4-12) and adolescents (ages 13-19) in and leaving care, and/or their families/caregivers in York Region.
Midaynta Community Services

Midaynta Community Services

Advocacy supports, 1:1 culturally relevant mentoring, drop-in mental health and wellness supports, and community information sessions targeting Black students ages 6-18 and their families, including those living in low-income households, in Toronto Northwest and Etobicoke.
Parents of Black Children Canada

Parents of Black Children Canada

Advocacy supports/services and system navigation resources and workshops benefitting parents of Black children and young people between ages 6 and 25 residing in the Greater Toronto Area.
Patches 360 Inc.

Patches 360 Inc.

Advocacy support, enrichment and tutoring, and parent engagement initiatives targeted to Black students ages 6-12 from low income families, lone parent/single households, and new immigrant families living in Mississauga and Brampton. Complemented by app to track performance measures and individual goals.
Roots Community Services Inc.

Roots Community Services Inc.

Advocacy supports/services and case management, culturally relevant programming, referrals, and workshops targeting Black children and youth and their families, including those with child welfare involvement, in Peel (ages 6-18) and Halton (ages 6-23).
Side By Side Family Centre

Side By Side Family Centre

Advocacy supports, pathway planning and culturally relevant mentorship programming, and anti-Black racism resources for teachers and administrators benefitting Black children ages 6-12 and their parents in the Pickering, Ajax, and Whitby communities of Durham Region.
Success Beyond Limits Education Program Inc.

Success Beyond Limits Education Program Inc.

Advocacy supports/services, mentoring and academic supports, and community information sessions targeting Black youth ages 13-21 and their parents/families in Toronto's Jane and Finch neighbourhood.
Urban Rez Solutions Social Enterprise

Urban Rez Solutions Social Enterprise

Advocacy supports for parents, skill-building and positive Black identity programming (e.g. R.E.A.L. School program) and community information sessions benefitting youth ages 11-17 in Toronto's East Scarborough community.
Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre

Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre

One-on-one culturally/gender responsive navigational/advocacy supports, student-, family- and community-centred workshops, and community-level training opportunities to address barriers to educational attainment for African, Caribbean and Black-identified women in downtown Toronto, North York, and Scarborough. Community information sessions will also be open to organizations and families residing in the regions of Peel and Durham.
Parents of Black Children