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About the Network

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Developing the vision

The Inspiring Healthy Futures network is focused on improving the health and well-being of children, youth, and families. It helps people, organizations, and networks working in this area to connect and collaborate. Our goal is to make a big impact for kids in Canada through coordinated research, advocacy, and implementation.

We believe we can build a health and well-being ecosystem that fosters collaboration, equity, and resilience through a coast to coast to coast commitment to ensuring every child, youth, and family in Canada has the opportunity to thrive.

The Inspiring Healthy Futures framework was created between September 2020 and March 2021, when four co-sponsors came together to engage a diverse group of over 1,500 youth, parents, service providers, youth-serving agencies, cross-sector experts and researchers, and others in a co-design process.

▶︎ Read more about the development of Inspiring Healthy Futures.

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We envision a future where racial and gender equity and belonging can be taken for granted, where everyone has access to the basics of life, where climate change and clean environments are priorities, and where the voices of children and youth are fully engaged in shaping decisions.

About the team

Our work is grounded in the belief that every child deserves a supportive, equitable, and nurturing environment to thrive. We achieve this by fostering collaboration among people, organizations, and networks working in this space, advocating for impactful policies, and supporting innovative research. Our collective efforts are driven by a commitment to equity, inclusion, and community engagement. By bringing together diverse voices and expertise, we aim to create a future where all children and families can reach their full potential.

MANAGING DIRECTOR, INSPIRING HEALTHY FUTURES

To ensure alignment, Inspiring Healthy Futures is supported by a Managing Director. Ryan Voisin comes from 10+ years leading transformative co-design initiatives across children and youth, healthcare, and research. As the Managing Director, Ryan supports a number of strategic projects, with a focus on fostering partnerships to drive the vision of Inspiring Healthy Futures. Ryan brings a deep commitment to equity, creativity, and collaboration.

Ryan Voisin

Under the guidance of the founding co-sponsors, Ryan aims to mobilize communities, influence policy, and support impactful research to address diverse needs of children, youth, and families across Canada.

FOUNDING PARTNERS OF INSPIRING HEALTHY FUTURES​

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UNICEF Canada is working to make Canada the best place in the world to grow up in. As the global UN agency for kids, UNICEF has worked to improve conditions for every child around the world for 75 years, and has saved more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization. We bring that work to Canada by measuring child and youth well-being and advocating for the right to a childhood.

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Children’s Healthcare Canada is a national association representing health service delivery organizations serving children and youth across the continuum of care. Through purposeful partnerships, we accelerate excellence and innovation in health systems caring for children and youth.

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The Pediatric Chairs of Canada represents the Department Heads (Chairs) of Pediatrics within the seventeen Canadian medical schools. Collectively, we provide national leadership in research and education to promote the health and healthcare of children and youth in Canada.

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The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is Canada’s federal funding agency for health research. Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health (IHDCYH) is one of 13 CIHR institutes and supports research that ensures the best start in life for all Canadians and the achievement of their potential for optimal growth and development. We support researchers located in universities, hospitals and other research centres, and creates linkages across Canada.

About our approach

Inspiring Healthy Futures serves as a national network that connects diverse community-level networks. We act as a node within this “network of networks,” finding new connection and encouraging collaboration. Our participants are united by a common mission and collective goals, driven by passion and mutual support. This approach ensures that our efforts are solely focused on creating a healthier and more equitable future for all children, youth, and families.

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Five guiding principles emerged from early engagement, capturing a multi-dimensional ethos of inclusion, of true respect for diversity, of equity, of decolonization and indigenization.​

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Recognize all children and youth as rights-holders.​​

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Fully include diverse child, youth and family voices in co-designing policy and programs.​

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Ensure equitable access to income protection, food security, housing, clean water, safe environments, education and healthcare.

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Work toward racial and structural equity, nation-to-nation relationships with Indigenous peoples, and full valuing of diverse worldviews.

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Embed child and youth needs and environmental sustainability into all policy and decision-making.

​Against this backdrop, participants repeatedly stressed that structural equity and reform can only come about if we create the space and skills for everyone to reflect on and situate themselves in allyship, in anti-racist practices, and in authentic learning. These principles have been woven into the vision, and are intended to guide decision-making for the network.​

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▶︎ See how this approach informed our updated Acceleration Agenda.

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