Ida Grainger worked for CCIS for 33 years. She was born in Peru and studied Social Work at San Marcos University in Lima.
She immigrated to Canada in 1980 and started working for CCIS in 1987. Although she started out as a settlement worker, much of her work at CCIS was in community development – her professional passion. She brought a community development approach in addressing accessibility barriers and fostering inclusion for immigrants and refugees.
One area of focus in Ida’s work has been related to family violence. Over the years, she worked diligently to see services become more accessible and effectively delivered to immigrant women. In this process, she provided forums for immigrant women to dialogue with women’s shelters to develop recommendations relating to cultural competency; she was involved in the development of Homefront (specialized court); and brought diverse voices to the table in the government’s introduction of the Protection Against Family Violence Act. She also developed a family violence protocol for CCIS.
In a similar approach, she tackled the issues related to child welfare, policing, and the school system, in an effort to support immigrant families who had expressed serious concerns in their experiences with these systems.
Ida’s commitment to the social work profession prompted her to offer practicum placements to students. She worked with dozens of students over the years from both U of C and MRU, shaping their knowledge and professional practice in community development.
Ida expressed that she’s proud of her work in bringing cultural groups and service providers together to dialogue, promote understanding, and work towards change. She feels that this approach is integral in encouraging cultural communities to articulate their needs and feel heard by and included in the broader community.
Her work as brought recognition including being a recipient of the Jerry P Selinger Award; Women of the World Gala Excellence Award; and nomination for the Immigrants of Distinction Awards.
Ida retired from CCIS on July 31, 2020 to enjoy time with her family, in particular, her grandchildren, and to pursue personal interests including gardening and travel.
Thank you for 33 years, Ida.