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Adoption Services

Adoption is the legal process through which a child becomes part of a new family. It is intended to provide the child permanence and security. The CFSA (Child and Family Services Act) regulates the adoption of children in Ontario and protects the rights of everyone involved in an adoption; the child, the child’s birth parents and the adoptive parents.

Are you thinking of adopting a child?

Parents who adopt must be mature and flexible to meet the needs of children who come from a variety of backgrounds. They may also need to develop awareness and special skills so the child feels comfortable in their new family. When you contact the CAS about adoption you will be provided with an information package and subsequently an adoption worker will attend your home to discuss the process and answer any questions you might have. If you decide to proceed, a Home Study will be conducted. Participation in training is required. Working through this process assists in the decision whether adoption is right for you and what type of child best fits into your family.

Are you thinking about placing your child for adoption?

It may help to discuss your options with a CAS worker to make the best plan for your child. The decision is still yours, whether you keep your child or choose adoption.

About Adoption Disclosure

In May 2008, the Ontario legislature passed an adoption information disclosure law called “Access to Adoption Records Act, 2008” which gives adopted adults and birth parents more rights to information and privacy through the Adoption Disclosure Register.

For more information about adoption, please call the CAS-HN at 519-587-5437 or 1-888-CAS-KIDS to speak to an adoption worker; or visit the Ministry of Children and Youth website at: www.children.gov.on.ca

Helping Children and Youth find their Forever Families

Adoption is an option for over 8,000 children and youth in Ontario

November is Adoption Awareness Month in Ontario and all over the province, the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) and Children’s Aid Societies are spreading the message that all children and youth deserve to have forever families and lifelong connections they can count on.

What is a forever family? It’s a lifelong, permanent connection to an adult through adoption, legal custody, kinship care (care by a relative or someone known to the child), or customary care. Having this connection is extremely important as it provides an adult to turn to through all of life’s celebrations and challenges; it’s a safe place to come home to, and a sense of stability all of which are so important to the development of a child. Last year, more than 830 children were connected to their forever family by adoption through the public system. Over 3,000 children found permanency through legal custody, adoption, kinship care, or customary care.

There are more than 8,000 children and youth in the care of Ontario’s Children’s Aid Societies who are looking for their forever family. The majority of these children and youth are between the ages of 13 and 18, yet they represent a small percentage of those being adopted. Last year, children between 13 and 18 represented 61% of the 8,000 children needing permanent families, yet only 3.6% of these children were adopted through Ontario’s public adoption system. Regardless of their age or situation, all of these children need a permanent connection. To help support these children and youth, the government of Ontario announced subsidies to families, who adopt or become legal custodians to sibling groups, and/or youth over the age of ten years in June. Visit http://bit.ly/SVRE9z to read more about the announcement.

Some of the children needing forever families are siblings looking to stay together. For Farion and Tracy they knew they wanted to grow their family but didn’t know how special the connection to their children would be. “Although we are grateful to have each other, somehow we felt that something was missing from our lives. Like a puzzle that isn’t quite complete without the last piece. That is until we met siblings Katie and Barry.”

“Having these children to share our lives with is such a great gift. At the end of the day we want our children to know that they will always have a place where they feel safe and loved. We’ve found the piece that was missing from our puzzle,” said Farion and Tracy.

Other children needing forever families are children with special needs. For Becky and Mitchell*, adoption came as an unexpected surprise. “One of the students in a special needs class I came to work at was living in a foster home, the same home he had been living in since he was a year old. When the placement suddenly became disrupted he was abruptly moved to a new home, and his world turned upside down. David returned to school after this a very scared and confused little boy. He would make comments about just wanting a family to love him, and didn’t want to go “home”. Mitchell and I knew David had to be a part of our family.”

“Later we met Sam who has cerebral palsy. Of course, Mitchell and I couldn’t resist falling for Sam as well, and we started making inquiries about adopting him in the fall of that year. We wouldn’t change the path that led us to be the parents of these amazing people. They are happy, healthy, secure, and loved with us, and that makes all the difference to them and us.”

The Haldimand and Norfolk Children’s Aid Society is looking for people who are open to parenting special needs children, sibling groups and/or older children. “For us, adoption has always been a natural process for creating a family….Older kids are awesome, especially once they hit an age where they have distinct personalities,” said Elizabeth, adopted mother of an older child with special needs.

For more information on adoption contact The Children’s Aid Society of Haldimand and Norfolk at 1-888-227-5437.

Recognizing our Foster Families


Thank you Foster Parents.

Last week, on October 20, 2009, The Children’s Aid Society of Haldimand and Norfolk recognized the contributions of our foster parents through an annual dinner. The occasion was marked with acknowledgements to several foster families for esteemed service and their continued commitment to children and youth in Haldimand and Norfolk by reaching 5, 10, 15 and 25 year milestones.

Haldimand Mayor, Marie Trainer who attended the dinner commended the work of foster parents as being, “very important to the community.”

At this time, The Children’s Aid Society of Haldimand and Norfolk has approximately 323 youth and children in care. Many of these children are being provided homes and support by 102 foster families in our communities.

The care of youth and children is the utmost responsibility of everyone in the community. Foster families and individuals have an essential role by providing stability and a caring home that encourages a child or youth’s growth and development.

If you have ever considered fostering please contact us at 1-888-227-5437.




Annual General Meeting: Nurturing the Lives and Dreams of Children


Last night the Children’s Aid Society of Haldimand and Norfolk held its 15th Annual General Meeting and Recognition Awards.

During the meeting the Society very proudly celebrated and honoured the academic achievements of 25 youth which included:

Graduation from high school;
Acceptance to a college, university or trade school;
Recipients of bursaries and scholarships;
Successful completion of courses and programs at college and university

The number of youth in care graduating high school and continuing their education has risen dramatically in the past decade. The difference has been the result of a visionary blueprint by CASHN and its Board of Directors in dedicating staff and resources to older youth whohave asked us to use a, “what would a good parent do” test of every service we provide them.

As one example, the Society has responded by working hard to ensure every child graduates high school and obtains a post secondary education. Educational achievement is one concrete way to end the cycle of poverty.

The “doing what a good parent would do” commitment to youth is not only proving to be a success locally, it is being duplicated across the province by other Children’s Aid Societies with the endorsement of the Ministry of Children and Youth Services.

CASHN and its Board of Directors also recognized the hard work and contributions of CAS staff who donate over $8,000.00 a year to the Fresh Air Fund to help children in the community.

Various organizations, individuals and groups from the community were also formally honoured for their valuable contributions as donors who helped “elevate the dreams” of children in care.

CASHN see their donors as a perfect example of their vision in practice of a community that nurtures the lives and dreams of children. CAS community donors help children and youth through the Fresh Air Fund and bursaries for post secondary education.

For those seeking more information on how they can become involved with helping children in Haldimand and Norfolk please explore this website.



Protecting the rights of children in Ontario during a sluggish economy


 This from the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies:

TORONTO – Today (November 20th), on National Child Day, the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) and its member agencies remind Ontarians to make our most vulnerable children and families a priority.

Many children and youth are denied the basics of a safe home, adequate food and clothing, necessary community supports and opportunities to develop.

  1. 40% of food bank clients in Ontario are children.
  2. One in six children in Ontario live in poverty.
  3. Over the past year, more than 77,000 allegations of abuse and neglect were investigated by Ontario’s Children’s Aid Societies (CASs). More than 27,000 children were in CAS care.
  4. Almost 40% of women assaulted by spouses said their children witnessed the violence; in many cases the violence was severe.
  5. One-third of children seeking mental health services in 2007 were still waiting at the end of the year.

“Today, we recognize the rights of all children to be protected. Despite the current economic environment, we must remain committed to securing a prosperous future for our children,” said Jeanette Lewis, Executive Director, OACAS.

Children’s Aid Societies support families when parents cannot provide proper care, housing and nutrition for a child. CASs must respond when a downturn in the economy affects children and families. Job loss, family stress, poverty and depression are among the causes of child abuse and neglect. Community social service programs and initiatives designed to support families coping with these stresses need to be sustained, especially during a slowing economy.

“When families face increasing hardships like unemployment, extreme financial need and housing crises, the programs and services they rely on must be available to support them,” added Lewis. “As Canadians, we all promised to protect children from harm and ensure their safety. It is time we kept our promise to our most vulnerable citizens.”

For more information, visit www.oacas.org or contact the Children’s Aid Society of Haldimand and Norfolk at 1-888-CAS-KIDS.

November is Adoption Awareness Month


During Adoption Awareness Month in Ontario, The Children’s Aid Society of Haldimand and Norfolk and other member agencies of the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) remind those in our communities that many children and youth in care need adoptive families.

“All children and youth need loving families to flourish. Many children in the care of Children’s Aid Societies dream of being adopted into their forever family”, said Jeanette Lewis, Executive Director, OACAS. “We know children develop better in the stable setting that an adoptive family offers and that’s why more families are needed for adoption of older children, youth, sibling groups and children of diverse culture and heritage.”

People from diverse backgrounds, single people and those who believe themselves ineligible are encouraged to consider adoption.

At March 31, 2008, there were approximately 9,200 children in care who could be adopted in Ontario. Of them:

  • 12 percent were children in the age group 0 to 5
  • 32 percent were children in the age group 6 to 12
  • 56 percent were children 13 years and over

Last year, The Children’s Aid Society of Haldimand & Norfolk finalized 16 adoptions while provincially, Ontario’s Children’s Aid Societies finalized 822 adoptions; but there are many more children and youth who can still be adopted.

Children’s Aid Societies provide a free, public adoption system in Ontario and are always looking for permanent homes for children and youth of all ages. “A strong and free public adoption system, available and easily accessible to Ontarians, is important and necessary to ensure parents looking to adopt can give children in care, who dream of being adopted, their forever family,” added Lewis.

The Children’s Aid Society of Haldimand & Norfolk and other Societies across the province provide adoptive parents and children with ongoing support, training and education. Financial supports and subsidies may also be available to adoptive parents to help them meet the needs of their adopted children.

In addition to adoption, The Children’s Aid Society of Haldimand & Norfolk provides services and supports to help build stable families. Working with community social agencies and the government, we want to help create and sustain safe, nurturing environments for children.

OACAS encourages full and continued support for all services for children in need, to ensure they are not adversely impacted by the current economic situation. Especially during times of economic uncertainty, child welfare agencies act as safety net for children and their families. More services, supports, temporary and long term care such as foster and adoptive families, are needed to protect children and assist families.

If you are considering adoption, please call the Children’s Aid Society of Haldimand and Norfolk or visit www.cashn.on.ca and also www.oacas.org

For more information contact:

Janice Robinson
Executive Director, The Children’s Aid Society of Haldimand & Norfolk
(519) 587-5437

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