• 1-888-CAS-KIDS

Santa delivers some magic for children in care

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Pictured above: Magician Owen Anderson pleases the crowd with audience paticipation 

 

Last Sunday, November 29th, The Children’s Aid Society of Haldimand and Norfolk held its Annual Child and Youth Christmas Party in Cayuga.

In recent years, the party has been hosted by the Cayuga Kinsmen who provide the hall, drinks and food at no cost. Kinsmen, Marc Smith stated, “This is an important event for us because Christmas is really about kids, especially for those that don’t have families.”

The Child and Youth Christmas Party has developed into a community event that has been supported for the past several years by various organizations and individuals stretching across both Haldimand and Norfolk Counties.

Highlights from this year’s party included a special appearance by Santa, magic show by Owen Anderson, cookie making activities, arts and crafts tables, pizza and pop. 304 children, youth and foster parents were in attendance.

Thanks to the following groups and individuals that helped make this year’s event so special: the Lynn Valley Lions Club in Simcoe, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Simcoe, Zellers, Walmart, the Poirier Family from Caledonia, The Cayuga Kinsmen and Laidlaw Carriers.

If you are interested in supporting or contributing to this event or others please contact the Society at 519-587-5437 or 1-888-227-5437.


Recognizing our Foster Families

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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.

 

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Protecting the rights of children in Ontario during a sluggish economy

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 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

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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


More Foster Families Needed in Haldimand and Norfolk

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FOSTER FAMILY WEEK
October 19-25, 2008

During Foster Family Week (October 19th to October 25th), The Children’s Aid Society of Haldimand & Norfolk recognizes families who give of their time and themselves by nurturing vulnerable children and youth as foster parents.

On October 22, 2008 the Children’s Aid Society of Haldimand & Norfolk is honouring our foster parents through a special Foster Parent Dinner. On this evening, we will be expressing our gratitude to all our families who make personal sacrifices to provide safe homes to children in need from our communities. Haldimand and Norfolk CAS will also be recognizing the work of foster parents who have reached five and ten year service milestones.

Foster families provide a precious gift to children in care. They share their love, their home and their family with our most vulnerable children. Foster Family Week is a good time to recognize those caring families who open their homes and their hearts to children who have suffered maltreatment and need a stable, loving home.

Last year, 38% of children in the care of Haldimand and Norfolk were placed with a foster family while 11% were placed in group homes, 2% with adoptive families, 10% with kinship families and 28% were living on their own. With 119 foster families in Haldimand and Norfolk, there are still not enough homes available to provide temporary shelter to all the children coming into care who cannot remain with their families.

More foster families who can provide safe, loving, secure homes to the vulnerable children who come into the care of The Children’s Aid Society of Haldimand and Norfolk are needed. There is a greater need for foster families for teenagers, as 43% of all youth in care aged 13 to 15 years are in a foster family setting as opposed to group care or living on their own. There is still a need for foster families for younger children and sibling groups, as well as families from diverse backgrounds and ethno-cultural communities.

Fostering brings caring and compassionate people and the kids who need them together. Fostering is a rewarding experience, a chance to make a difference one child at a time. We need more extraordinary people to consider becoming foster parents, to be a safe harbour to children and youth in need.

The Children’s Aid Society of Haldimand and Norfolk works very hard to help children remain with their families. Last year, more than 2, 608 families received child welfare services and parenting supports from Haldimand & Norfolk CAS to overcome difficulties.

When children cannot remain at home because of serious concerns about their safety and protection, they come into the care of a child welfare agency that makes every effort to give a family and a home to every child in need of protection. Last year, The Children’s Aid Society of Haldimand and Norfolk provided substitute care for 303 children and foster parents cared for 115 children and youth.

Foster parents work with Haldimand & Norfolk CAS as part of a team to develop a plan to care for each child, which includes reunification with their family, adoption or long-term foster care. They work closely with Haldimand & Norfolk CAS to provide temporary care to children for a few days, a week, several months or possibly years. Haldimand & Norfolk CAS support foster families through assessment, training and education, ongoing assistance as well as financial supports for the child’s care, food and clothing.

If you are considering fostering, please contact Haldimand & Norfolk CAS for more information at 1-888-CAS-KIDS.


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