Dr. W. Gigi Goary is the founder and Chief Executive Officer at NuChoice Counselling and Assessment Services Inc (NuChoice). Since NuChoice’s inception in 2011, she has ensured that all counselling and assessment services are rooted in equity, inclusion, strengths-based practice, self-determination, and self-empowerment practices. Prior to this, Dr. Goary was a Regional Clinical Supervisor at the Office of the Children’s Lawyer. In this role, she supervised 25-35 clinicians in assigned regions across Ontario who conduct clinical investigations of behalf of the Ministry of the Attorney General. In addition, she was a founding member of the Collective Hands Committee at the Durham Children’s Aid Society where she advocated for the rights of African Canadian youth in foster care and addressed the overrepresentation of African Canadian youth in out-of-home care through research, program evaluation & development, education, direct intervention, and advocacy.
Furthermore, Dr. Goary was a Senior Program Analyst at the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS). With the goal of ensuring positive outcomes for children and youth in extended society care in Ontario, she led provincial child welfare project teams in residential services, education, adoption, and LGBT2SQ portfolios to ensure positive outcomes for children and youth in care. As the Implementation Specialist at the OACAS on the One Vision One Voice: Changing the Ontario Child Welfare System for African Canadian project (OVOV), she researched and analyzed child welfare programs and trends, provided leadership and advice on child protection programs, evaluated provincial and agency-specific programs, and critically analyzed child welfare guidelines and legislation in order to eliminate systemic anti-Black racism and discriminatory practices that lead to racial disparities and disproportionality in the child welfare system for African Canadian communities. As a course instructor at the University of Toronto, Dr. Goary taught graduate social work courses called Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities and Social Policy and Social Welfare in the Canadian Context through an equity and anti-colonialism lens. Her career includes over 20 years of direct social work experience working with individuals, couples, youth/children and their families in areas of child welfare, health care, in-patient mental health, community mental health, custody and access, and education. In these areas of social work, she provided assessment, investigation, evaluation, counselling, advocacy and community and individual engagement and relationship building skills.
In 2018, Dr. Goary completed the Ph.D. program in Social Work at the University of Toronto. Her research examined how the institution of child protection organizes Black female child protection workers’ (re)construction of their role as carers in child protection and the uncovering of the institutional social processes that maintain colonialism, unequal power dynamics, and interlocking structural barriers for Black female child protection workers in Ontario.