- Get Involved
- Connect with Leaders
- Leadership Stories
- Research and Tools
Listen to Julia Moulden’s original full interview with Tammy Ward, Board President, and Patrick Lake, Executive Director, York Region Children’s Aid Society:
Since 2007, Patrick Lake has been the Executive Director of York Region Children’s Aid Society, a recognized leader in the child welfare sector. With more than 31 years experience, Patrick himself is a recognized leader in this sector.
A changing region
In the past decade York Region has rapidly diversified, and continues to grow and evolve. Patrick believes that being aware of and responsive to changing demographics is important for any organization. This is especially the case for a community organization: “York has undergone some pretty dramatic changes as a community over the last decade…. As a result, there was a recognition that we needed to better reflect our community, in both its operations and its governance.”
How best can an organization strengthen its capacity to work with increasingly diverse communities?
According to Patrick, communities change, shift and adapt to the world in which we live, and new communities continue to come to York Region, creating an ever-changing environment. “Diverse communities are not museum pieces. You don’t take one look at a community and say ‘Now we understand it.’” At the same time, the community is rich with knowledge about itself and interested in working with local organizations. Recognizing and taking advantage of that fact, combined with a real commitment to being culturally competent and being open to the changes happening in the Region, means that York Region Children’s Aid Society better serves its entire community.
“I don’t know anyone in an organization who’s gone down the road of broadening their representation, brodening the scope of the people they have at the table, who would ever want to take a step back.”