Ujima Project is a one-stop model of access to services for vulnerable and isolated young parents and their children. An initiative of the Ontario Association of Young Parent Agencies (OAYPA), Early Childhood Development Hubs have been established in 9 member agencies, all applying standardized, evidence-based screening tools and interventions. The project team includes Early Literacy Specialists, Family Navigators, Advisory Committee and an implementation team that supports the development of core competencies amongst project staff through training, coaching and mentorship, standardized implementation of project components and the evaluation of clear outcome measures over time. The ultimate goal – to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable and isolated young parents and their children by:
- Increasing secure attachment between parent and child
- Increasing literacy and school readiness among children
- Increasing self-esteem and social connection amongst young parents
- Supporting staff with health/mental health/developmental consultants and educators
This presentation will provide an overview of the core components of the Ujima Project, our implementation process, the impact of the project on participants and our goal to elevate capacity and access across the sector.
Tamar Meyer is Director of Ujima Project at the Massey Centre for Women. She has a commitment to building strong and meaningful partnerships and collaborating with internal and external stakeholders. Tamar holds a Masters of Sociology from York University.
Gillian Thompson, Nurse Practitioner, Team Lead of the Young Families Program at SickKids, Health Consultant to the Ujima Project. Gillian Thompson is a Nurse Practitioner in the Young Families Program in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at the Hospital for Sick Children where her clinical activity is focused on adolescent parents and their children. She has a clinical appointment with the University of Toronto, Faculty of Nursing. She is an advocate of Social Pediatrics, and a contributor for the integration of a collaborative care and education models within the health care system and community settings.
Jane Kenny, MSN RN, Vice President, Ontario Association of Young Parent Agencies, Executive Director, Rosalie Hall