Meet the Provincial Advocate
In October of 2007, the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth was established with the passage of Bill 165 by the Legislature of Ontario. On July 14, 2008 an all party panel of the Legislature appointed Irwin Elman to provide leadership to the new Provincial Advocate Office as it strives to promote the voice of children and youth across Ontario.
The duty of the Office, as simply stated in the Bill, is to:
1.”provide an independent voice for children and youth including First Nations children and youth and children with special needs by partnering with them to bring issues forward”; and
2.”encourage communication and understanding between children and families and those who provide them with services”; and
3.” educate children, youth and their caregivers regarding the rights of children and youth”
Irwin brings to this position an extensive background as an educator, counsellor, youth worker, program manager, policy developer and child and youth advocate. In working with young people in our ‘systems’, he has carried out these roles with respect – borrowing from the courage and hope of the young people he served to create innovative approaches for youth in Ontario, Jamaica, Hungary, and Japan.
For over 20 years, Irwin was the Manager of the Pape Adolescent Resource Centre in Toronto: a program of the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto and the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto. More recently, he was the Director of Client Service at Central Toronto Youth Services: an innovative children’s mental health centre.
As the Provincial Advocate, Irwin will be responsible for how the Office conducts its work. The Office is built upon a foundation rooted in the strength and wisdom of the children and youth it serves. The Office is driven through the efforts of talented and passionate staff who, every day, strive to improve the lives of children and youth in Ontario.
As part of our commitment to transparency and accountability, we have voluntary posted the Provincial Advocate’s travel and hospitality-related expenses. This information is updated quarterly and available here.