Fearless R2W is a volunteer group of community helpers and parents who provide opportunities for learning about child welfare in Manitoba, build community and provide advocacy when possible.
The name Fearless R2W originated after various conversations with community parents at Meet Me at the Bell Tower indicating there was a desire to remove the fear around asking for help in terms of child welfare. Community helpers who didn’t have children also expressed a desire to help and we have since developed a unique volunteer based, parent oriented advocacy group. The idea was to work together so families could be Fearless.
The R2W is a postal code in Winnipeg’s North End comprising roughly Arlington St/Smithfield Ave/the Red River/the CP Tracks. This postal code has an alarming rate of child apprehension; confirmed by the Minister of Child & Family Services in 2016 to be at least 1 in 6 children in the neighbourhood in the care of child welfare.
We are a Circle of Support because we value each other as one family and encourage everyone to find and share their gifts with us. We believe that it is all of our responsibility to take care of all of the children all of the time.
Fearless R2W began in January of 2014 at Meet Me @ the Bell Tower. There were several events focusing on “Family” where grandparents identified some of the supports they felt were required to keep their families intact and away from the grips of CFS. In the time that followed many community members continued talking about CFS and wondering about what we could do as a group after we decided that a group was needed.
Finally, January 2015 was the beginning of the regular meetings that have continued ever since. We have since developed the Government and Community Recommendations, connected with the Minister of CFS, MB Foster Family Network & more.
In May of 2015, the Fearless parents clarified a position around our original focus areas for our team.
1. Addiction support
3. Traditional Family Parenting
We developed a system of SHARING circles and LEARNING circles that would alternate in providing peer support to parents and providing space to ask questions about the system and legislation. We found that there was a large group of people willing to connect and work with us over the years, understanding that we are volunteers in those areas. However, we did find some difficulty in maintaining such a broad focus across all 4 areas and found ourselves mainly providing referrals in the areas of addictions, housing and traditional family parenting.
We opted at a visioning session in the fall of 2016 to simplify our focuses and do what we do well with a renewed focus on EDUCATION and ADVOCACY.
Today we’re a team of volunteer advocates and families who work together on a variety of fun and informative community education initiatives and also engage in 1-on-1 parent advocacy.
Fearless R2W operates on a weekly basis out of Turtle Island Neighbourhood Centre at 510 King Street. This City of Winnipeg facility provides a stable and consistent location for our families and advocates to gather, receive guests and also plan future activities. Our current activities include: