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Decade Report - Making Change

By: Centre for Families, Work and Well-Being

The Decade Report: Making Change, chronicles the Centre for Families Work and Well-Being's activities and accomplishments in the first ten years of operation.

The growth of the Centre for Families, Work & Well-being has paralleled the explosion of interest and appetite for new knowledge on how Canadians manage work and family care. New avenues for scholarly and community investigation have opened, with an increasing emphasis on policies, practices and institutional processes which recognize and address the diversity of family formations and paid and unpaid caregiving. These new questions have challenged us to reach through and beyond strategies for work life balance conceptualized as participating in the workforce while balancing childcare, to responding to more particular challenges of precarious and contingent work, attention to geographies of providing care over time and distance, the interactive effects of rural locations on families economic and social livelihoods, the intricacies and uncertainties of eldercare, and the importance of understanding ethno-cultural realities locally, regionally and internationally. This broader conceptualization around work and family issues has provided the ground for dramatic contributions to understanding of diverse families and how women and men provide care in a multitude of ways that are both similar and different, and to the understanding of the myriad of ways that work environments are organized.

The last decade has also seen an emergent emphasis on university research to be socially relevant and accessible - a challenge we have embraced. Centre research engages community partners as team members, allowing us to incorporate community involvement at various stages of research from development of research questions through to knowledge mobilization, with many explicitly driven by community research agendas for change.

The Decade Report: Making Change celebrates our achievements specifically in areas where the collaborations among community, faculty, staff and students contributed to social change. Numerous paths to change are described in the report, including the role of centre researchers serving as experts to decision makers at multiple levels of government, influencing policy development and implementation. Through long term partnerships, we have supported change in workplaces and community organizations, in ways that programs are developed and delivered. Through our engagement in new processes and ways of interdisciplinary learning, we have also contributed to changes in the academy - both at the University of Guelph and with partner institutions. Finally, we have worked to ensure that scholarly research is relevant, useful and reaches audiences through community outreach, a strong internet presence, and publications in popular media as well as peer reviewed publications.

Success of the centre can be attributed to the engagement of new faculty, students and community partners, the ongoing passion and commitment of researchers and community partners who have developed and delivered research agendas through the Centre for 10 years, and the support of the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences and its academic departments from which we draw our expertise. Attribution of success also includes the numerous donors and funders of research who recognize the importance of excellence in community engaged scholarship. We celebrate all of our achievements, and look forward to the building the next decade of impact.

For the full report click here.