November is Adoption Awareness Month It’s About Lifelong Connections


Every child and youth needs and deserves permanent, lifelong connections to flourish.

The primary goal of Children’s Aid Societies is to support children to live safely with their family of origin. When that is not possible, we look for alternate caregivers, preferably known to the family (kin) who can provide a safe and nurturing environment in which the child can grow up and flourish.

There are many paths to lifelong connections, which may be different for every child. Adoption is one of several options that the Society considers when looking for lifelong connections for children in care. Kinship service, kinship care, customary care, legal custody and transitioning to adulthood are other permanence options considered when making decisions about what is the best setting for a child or youth. Pathways need to be shaped to meet the needs of the child.

There is a need for families to provide foster, kinship, adoption and customary care for children and youth in our community, specifically older children and teens, sibling groups and children with complex special needs.

Adoptive parents can be individuals or couples, parents who already have children and want to add to their growing family, as well as adults whose first choice for building their family is through adoption. We welcome and value diversity in our fostering and adoptive community and know that families come in all different shapes and sizes.

When children and youth leaving care have a permanent family, they experience better outcomes, such as graduating high school and learning independence skills. Hope and support are created for generations to come. Eight adoptions were finalized in Haldimand and Norfolk in 2019-20. We thank all our caregivers: our foster, kin and adoptive parents; for the care, compassion and unquestionable commitment to the children and youth they openly welcome into their hearts and homes. We cannot do this work alone.

For more information, please contact: The Children’s Aid Society of Haldimand and Norfolk, 1-888-227-5437

Haldimand Press – Recognizing caregivers for their compassion and commitment

Recognizing caregivers for their compassion and commitment
DUNNVILLE—Ruth Anderson received her gift basket from the Children’s Aid Society of Haldimand and Norfolk for Caregiver Appreciation Week. —Submitted photo.

By Sheila Phibbs

The Haldimand Press

DUNNVILLE—The week of October 17 to 23, 2020 has been designated “Caregiver Appreciation Week”. To mark the occasion, the Children’s Aid Society of Haldimand and Norfolk (CASHN) is delivering gift baskets to foster and kinship care families for opening their homes and hearts. One such recipient is Ruth Anderson of Dunnville, whose decision to become a foster parent 40 years ago has made a big difference in the lives of many children.

For Anderson, becoming a foster parent was an easy choice. She says, “I just wanted a big family,” and recalls thinking “it sounds like a good thing to do.”

She and her husband Jim had two daughters when they were in full agreement to become a foster family. A social worker conducted a preliminary assessment and asked what age group they wanted. Initially, their preference was to have ‘little ones’ but their very first placement was five siblings. Since then, the most they have had at one time is three. Approximately 80 children, from infant to teen, have been welcomed into their home over the past four decades. Their own family also grew by one as Ruth and Jim adopted their third daughter.


Original Article:

Haldimand Press

Simcoe Reformer – 40 years of fostering celebrated


DUNNVILLE—Ruth Anderson received her gift basket from the Children’s Aid Society of Haldimand and Norfolk for Caregiver Appreciation Week. —Submitted photo.

By Ashley Taylor

Simcoe Reformer


Expect the unexpected.

That’s the advice long-time foster parent Ruth Anderson would give herself if she could go back 40 years.

“We didn’t have a clue, we thought you just bring kids into your home, but there’s so many other scenarios to this,” she said. “It’s not just daily care, it’s medical care, it’s working with biological families, it’s an adventure.”

Anderson and her late husband, Jim, were approved as foster parents in June 1980. The couple had two biological children of their own before beginning this journey. Since being approved, 69 children have been through the Anderson household in Dunnville on a full-time basis, and another 14 on a relief basis.

“We just thought we’d do it for awhile, until our kids were grown up, and it has gone beyond that,” Anderson said about hitting her 40-year mark.

After Jim passed in 1995, Ruth decided to continue fostering on her own, and plans to do so for the foreseeable future.

Ruth was one of several people honoured as part of Caregiver Appreciation Week.

The third week of October is celebrated annually by the Children’s Aid Society of Haldimand Norfolk with a dinner event. This year, in lieu of the annual dinner event, gift baskets were delivered to the caregiver families.

The children that spent time with Jim and Ruth have been from all different age ranges, and with different behavioural, emotional, and medical needs.

Anderson explained that today there is more training and preparation for foster and kin families than there was 40 years ago. She added that those considering fostering need to think about it for a long time, it can’t be a decision made on a whim.

During a phone interview with the Reformer, Anderson expressed pride in watching the children that have gone through her home become adults.

“One of the girls we had, they gave up on her and she has turned out to be a fabulous mom,” she said. “There is hope. Now she’s raising three kids of her own and doing a great job.”

CAS staff are thankful for all of the caregivers.

“In normal years it is important to acknowledge how important it is for families to open up their homes and their families to children and youth who need this,” said Jennifer Mels, foster care supervisor at CAS-HN. “This year in particular has been so challenging for caregivers. It is essential that we have people to care for the community’s children when for whatever reason, they (parents) are unable to. Add the layer of the pandemic, and this year they are our small town heroes for sure.

“I am so honoured to be part of this and very proud of our Haldimand Norfolk foster and kin caregivers for all that they have done always and this year in particular.”

There are 80 approved kin and foster homes across Haldimand and Norfolk. CAS is always accepting applications for new homes. Visit for more information.


Original Article:

Simcoe Reformer – 40 years of fostering celebrated

Dress Purple Day October 27, 2020

Every October, Children’s Aid Societies across Ontario raise awareness about the important role that individuals and communities play in supporting vulnerable children, youth, and families through the provincial Dress Purple Day campaign. The campaign is more important than ever, since the COVID-19 pandemic has created additional stressors for families, and in some cases has increased risk for the well-being and safety of vulnerable children and youth.

This year, Dress Purple Day will take place on Tuesday, October 27, 2020. 

We are calling on all Ontarians to wear something purple to show children, youth, and families that they are here to help!

Adults need to step in and help kids who are dealing with neglect, physical and sexual abuse, gender-based violence, dating violence, and emotional abuse, including racism, intolerance, prejudice, and discrimination. This right applies everywhere – at home and in the community.  If you have a concern for the safety or well-being of a child or youth or know a family in need of support, please call your local CAS.

Please join our campaign and… 

  • Dress Purple on Tuesday, October 27 to show children, youth and families that you are HERE TO HELP!
  • Post a picture on social media wearing purple on October 27 and use the hashtag #DressPurpleDay2020
  • Create and post a video explaining why you will wear purple and how you help children, youth and families facing challenges
  • Share your video on social media using the hashtag #IDressPurpleBecause
  • School and child care staff can educate students about their right to safety and well-being and networks of support using Dress Purple Classroom resources (see link below)

For resources and to learn more about how you can support the campaign on October 27 visit or contact us for more information.