The Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies (OACAS) and Children's Aid Societies (CASs) across the province are paying tribute to child protection worker Nicole Belair, who died from injuries sustained while in the line of duty.
Belair, 33, succumbed to injuries on May 13 following an fire on May 12. She was in a multi-unit building for a home visit when a fire erupted.
She took immediate action to ensure the safety of her client and returned to the building to help others, said the OACAS in a news release.
Tragically, Nicole was overcome by the smoke and fire and was unable to escape, said Mary Ballantyne, executive director of the OACAS
"Nicole dedicated her career and life to protecting children and youth. She made a difference and touched the lives of so many. She will be greatly missed by her peers, colleagues and clients in child welfare. A shining star for so many children and youth she not only worked with, but built strong bonds, challenging and encouraging them to move forward."
OACAS and CASs across the province have joined the Children's Aid Society of the Districts of Sudbury and Manitoulin to extend condolences and support to Belair's family, co-workers and the youth and families she served. In honour of Belair, we recognize that every day child protection workers rise to the challenge of their work, bring passion and commitment to that work, and continue to carry out their work even when faced with obstacles.
Colette Prevost, executive director of the Children's Aid Society of the Districts of Sudbury and Manitoulin, has been asked by the family to deliver the eulogy on behalf of the Child Welfare field to which Belair dedicated her career and her life.
Greater Sudbury Police Service will also be doing an honour guard during the service and funeral procession.