Our Theory of Change

The Child Centred Model was documented during the first year of the project with the help of community leaders, knowledge keepers, and the Point Douglas neighbourhood. We believe that if the CCM was implemented across all systems, we would see a dramatic shift in outcomes for our children and families.


Child centred model diagram
ccm venn diagram

It is community wisdom

The model was developed through a deep dive into the vast knowledge base of local residents – a community that best knows how to define success for their children and what they need to achieve it.

It is guidance

The model provides specific guidance on how we can all support a child’s healthy development in this community. Anyone whose work affects their community should seek to understand and respect this wisdom.

It is reconciliation

The model prioritizes developing meaningful relationships and acknowledges community members as the experts in their lives. This way of working is the foundation of the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

It is wholistic

The foundation of the model is interconnectedness, in the sense that you cannot change one aspect of a child’s life without also affecting all the other parts of their life.



The body, mind, and spirit are interconnected parts of a whole person. Likewise, systems, communities, and people are interconnected and interdependent. Work toward supporting the whole person, not only specific parts of their life.
In action, this means…

  • Working towards addressing underlying causes of crisis and toward maintaining healthy lives
  • Promoting natural support systems as sustainable resources for individuals and families
  • Fostering each individual’s sense of belonging and identity


Focusing on strengths gives people energy to grow; regardless of an individual or group’s situation in life, they have strengths. Value and nurture these strengths.
In practice, this means…

  • Welcoming all people and meet them at whatever stage they are at in their journey, without judgement
  • Providing supports that honour individual worldviews and culture

Basic Needs

Access to basic needs such as food, shelter, and safety is a right for all, and must be provided prior to addressing any other challenges a person might face. Provide access to basic needs for all.
In practice, this means:

  • Providing access to restorative care and respite which is needed for healing but often denied to people in poverty
  • Providing specialized services and increased support for those who have greater need


When people are supported by others they gain the strength to return that love and support. Foster this interdependence.
In action, this means…

  • Providing opportunities for community members to become mentors for their peers
  • Support secure attachment between child and caregiver
  • Taking care to develop relationships and build trust with individuals and families


Provide opportunities for self-determination. Allowing individuals to make choices to attend to their needs will lead to them being able to support family and community. Encourage self-determination.
In practice, this means…

  • Providing choices and options for individuals and families, and respect the choices that are made
  • Acknowledging individuals and families as experts in their lives

Children are Sacred

It is all of our responsibilities to support success for children. Support not only the child, but the whole community, history, and culture around them.
In practice, this means…

  • Acknowledging that a child cannot excel in areas of their life such academics or skill building if their basic needs are not met
  • Recognizing that the whole community supports the development of a whole child
  • Providing supports not only for children, but for all those who care for them

Read more about the Child Centred Model

Ways of Knowing, Being, Doing and Feeling: A Wholistic Early Childhood Development Model

The Child Centred Model Report – November 2017
Download PDF

Working with the Child Centred Model

Knowledge Transfer Tools

Download Brochure

Download 2 page Summary