Executive Director

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Governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and regulated by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS) and the Ontario Child, Youth and Family Services Act (CYFSA), the Durham Children’s Aid Society is mandated to provide child protection services to children and youth under the age of 18 and their families living in Durham Region. They work with families and community partners to help children grow up safe, healthy, and happy, and in most instances, they keep children safe in their family homes by working with parents to address any challenges they may be facing. The Durham Children’s Aid Society strives to ensure the safety and well-being of children and youth in the community, with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. They partner with parents, caregivers, and the community to provide a safe environment for children and youth, through equitable, culturally aligned services.



Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will set strategic direction and provide leadership to 309 staff and oversight of a $50M operating budget. Supported by the Leadership Team, the Executive Director will direct daily operations, ensuring the delivery of services according to applicable legislation and standards, and alignment with the strategic plan and anti-oppressive and equity practices and policies.



Strategic Alignment

  • Work with the Board, employees, stakeholders, and other system leaders to guide the development of a strategic plan to shape and articulate a compelling vision and a clear strategy with an equity lens that reflects local and provincial priorities. Focus on inspiring staff and leading them to work towards a clear mission while demonstrating confidence and appreciation of their commitment to children and families.
  • Ensure the development of appropriate policies, procedures, budgets, and strategies to meet the quality and quantity of services and recommend and present these concepts to the Board of Directors for approval.
  • Communicate within the Society and with various government levels and the community to enhance awareness, understanding and support of the Society’s goals, objectives, services, programs, and performance.


  • Drive operational planning, program evaluation and decision-making, ensuring the effective and efficient management of day-to-day operations and the delivery of the Society’s services. Ensure that all appropriate operating policies, procedures, and systems are in place, and work to effectively manage expenditures and assets while applying risk management and quality improvement initiatives and ensuring ongoing implementation of the strategic plan.

Resource Management

  • Execute people and culture strategies to create a healthy and equitable workplace and to build skills and competencies for the future. Communicate clear and measurable performance expectations and accountabilities and give the leadership team and staff the opportunity to have input into decisions that affect them and support them to meet their performance standards. Commit resources and energy to support employee development.
  • Foster an inclusive, equitable and respectful culture within the organization as well as the community and system while building commitment to continuous improvement and service excellence. Establish a culture that reflects the organization’s values and principles, including a commitment to equity, diversity, anti-oppression and anti-racism principles and practices.
  • Ensure effective and secure information systems are in place to support the Society’s business requirements. Provide oversight into the development of the annual budget for approval by the Board and provide reports as required. Ensure that programs are delivered within the approved budget and systems are developed to monitor and control expenditures within the approved budget.
  • Develop strategies to assess and mitigate risks to the organization. Maintain an appropriate level of information and support to the Board that satisfies the requirements of proper Board Governance.

Equitable Outcomes

  • Cultivate effective relationships and trust with the Board, Ministries, other agencies, community, and community partners. Initiate community and sector-wide strategic development, collaboration, and partnerships locally and provincially to achieve positive and equitable outcomes for children, youth, and families. Advocate for equitable outcomes in the organization, system-wide and in the community.
  • Establish a results-driven, accountable, solutions-focused culture and a framework for accountability to the Board and the Ministry. Ensure that sound systems and practices are in place to support fiscal accountability for public funds and optimization of organizational resources.
  • Ensure ongoing review of operations, organizational structure, and budget to manage deficits without disrupting service to the community in an environment of need due to lack of affordable housing, impoverishment, food insecurity and demands related to mental health and addictions.

Community and Ministry Relations

  • Represent the Society to the public, other social service institutions or agencies, the Ministry, as well the media, especially regarding issues of a highly controversial or sensitive nature.
  • Collaborate and partner appropriately with other health and social services agencies and community groups in the development and coordination of sound child welfare programs and other related children and family services in the community. Develop a collaborative approach with other social service agencies to allow for robust forums for input from Society clients and to promote seamless and effective delivery, advocating for family first/kinship placements and finding efficiencies through quality improvement processes while building relationships with foster families.
  • Build and maintain confidence in the integrity of the Society with service recipients, employees, collateral agencies, courts, the public, other authorities, and respective levels of government.

Accountability to the Board

  • Advise, assist and attends, as appropriate, Board-called meetings (such as advisory committee meetings) as an advisor/representative. Develop and present short and long-term strategies and tactical plans, policies and budgets that fulfill the Society’s mission and strategic direction as advanced by the Board.
  • Provide recommendations to the Board on policy and/or directional development and assistance and support to the Board in their deliberations.
  • Maintain an effective working relationship with the Board Executive and President, keeping the Board informed on a regular basis, particularly with respect to activities or events that may have a major or unusual impact.



  • Master’s degree in social work or another relevant field of study. Eligibility for membership in the College of Social Workers would be considered an asset.
  • 10+ years of progressively responsible and inspirational leadership experience in a unionized child welfare or social services environment with at least three (3) years in a senior role (i.e. departmental leader, director, vice-president) and 5+ years of experience in financial and people management.
  • Engaging, visionary, compassionate, collaborative, energizing leadership style with experience in crisis intervention and navigating complex relationships with stakeholders (Board, Ministries, community partners, media) to influence and support of the goals of the Society.
  • Authentic leader that builds trust and values the creativity, knowledge, skills, and experience of staff, and is courageous to challenge the status quo in order to build a more integrated, streamlined, accessible system for children, youth and families in Durham Region that is navigable and founded on equity, diversity and inclusion principles.
  • Experience in setting a vision and strategic planning and leading substantial change management initiatives with a balance of focus on quality-of-service delivery, modernization, staff well-being, and optimization of financial resources and culture.
  • Emotional intelligence and considerable experience in implementing anti-oppressive and equity practices and demonstrated experience in applying evidence-informed research in achieving and measuring progression toward organizational goals and objectives.
  • Lived experience through personal understanding of the realities and concerns of priority communities and equity-deserving populations such as Indigenous, Black, or racialized, 2SLGBTQ+, persons with disabilities, or other under-represented communities would be considered an asset.


  • Vision and Strategy
  • System and Community Leadership
  • Strategic Change and Adaptability
  • Accountability and Results
  • Equitable Outcomes and Practices
  • People Management and Development
  • Engagement
  • Service and Operational Excellence
  • Leadership Character and Authenticity



To express interest in this exciting opportunity, email your cover letter and resume to:

Patrick Rowan, Partner

Feldman Daxon Partners

416-515-3302 | prowan@feldmandaxon.com


Durham Children’s Aid Society is committed to maintaining a workforce that is reflective of the diversity of Durham Region and strongly encourages applications from all qualified individuals. We welcome applications from racialized persons, women, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals and those from diverse backgrounds and lived experiences.

Durham Children’s Aid Society is committed to a selection process and work environment that is inclusive and barrier-free. Accommodation will be provided per the Ontario Human Rights Code. Applicants who may require accommodation during the selection process are encouraged to notify the Human Resources Department when contacted for an interview. Human Resources will work together with the hiring committee to arrange reasonable and appropriate accommodation for the selection process, which will enable you to be assessed in a fair and equitable manner. We appreciate all applications received. All communications will be held in strict and professional confidence. Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

We thank all applicants for their submissions.