• 1-888-CAS-KIDS

Adopt a child or youth from your community

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Adopt a child or youth from The Children’s Aid Society of Haldimand and Norfolk

News Release:
OACAS AND ACO LAUNCH ADOPTION AWARENESS MONTH

Every child deserves a family and that is why the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) and the Adoption Council of Ontario (ACO) are partnering to advance “one day, every child in Ontario will have a family.”

During November, the OACAS and the ACO are promoting Adoption Awareness Month to remind Ontarians that adoption is an option for many children and youth in care.

“There are more than 9,200 Crown wards in Ontario and every one of them deserves a permanent family,” said Jeanette Lewis, Executive Director, OACAS. “There are a number of ways to help children and youth find a family and adoption is one very important option.”

The campaign aims to raise awareness of adoption and increase the number of children adopted. Resources and information for service providers are available to help improve families’ experience of adoption; to make the connection for children in care to families looking to adopt; and to support families after they have adopted. The campaign will feature a public service announcement, brochure and on-line resources.

Children’s Aid Societies (CASs) work with children and families and are responsible for placing children for adoption. The Adoption Council of Ontario works with CASs and adoption practitioners and other organizations, providing information and a service which helps match prospective parents to children waiting for families. “Adoption is ‘the best’ word you can hear because it means long-term and you no longer have to worry about always having to switch places,” Advises Jessica Widmer who was adopted at age 8. *

At March 31, 2009, CASs placed 865 children with adoptive families, of them:
• 628 children aged 0 to 5
• 217 children aged 6 to 12
• 16 youth aged 13 to 15
• 4 youth aged 16 to 18

Last year the Children’s Aid Society of Haldimand and Norfolk placed 16 children and youth with adoptive families. At this time, teens and school age children are in the greatest need of adoptive homes in Haldimand and Norfolk.

The Children’s Aid Society of Haldimand and Norfolk is part of a free, public adoption system in Ontario, which includes support, training and education. CASs are always looking for permanent homes for children and youth of all ages and offer many options including adoption, kinship care arrangements, legal custody and long-term foster care.

Those interested in adoption are encouraged to contact The Children’s Aid Society of Haldimand and Norfolk at 1-888-CAS-KIDS (227-5437) for more information about the process, orientation or information evenings. AdoptOntario is also a valued resource for information that will help match people interested in adoption with waiting children.


OACAS and ACO launch Adoption Awareness Month in Ontario

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 PRESS CONFERENCE:

 TORONTO – The Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) and the Adoption Council of Ontario (ACO) are launching a campaign to increase awareness about the thousands of children and youth in care who are waiting for a family.

The OACAS and the ACO are promoting adoption for children in care, through the Adoption Awareness campaign during November, because “one day, every child in Ontario will have a family.”

When: Tuesday, November 3, 2009 at 10:00 a.m.

Where: 75 Front Street, Toronto, Ontario, 3rd floor, major intersection Church and Front streets.

What: OACAS and ACO will launch Adoption Awareness Month with guest speakers:

Robin Cardozo is an adoptive parent and was a member of the Ontario Government’s Expert Panel on Infertility and Adoption.

Paula Schuck is an adoptive mother and freelance journalist from London, Ontario, cofounder of the London Coalition of Adoptive Families and the Canadian Coalition of Adoptive Families.

Aleisha Jane Murray Deece-Cassidy is a Grade 8 student who loves math and enjoys speaking publicly about adoption. She hopes to make many people aware of the joys and challenges associated with the adoption process

Please contact your local Children’s Aid Society of Haldimand and Norfolk for more details at 1-888-227-5437.


October is Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month

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Last Year, Ontario Children’s Aid Societies investigated 77, 089 referrals concerning the safety and well-being of children and youth at risk of abuse and harm. 1,824 referrals were received by The Children’s Aid Society of Haldimand and Norfolk. 

Child abuse and neglect are societal and family issues. The goal of the Child Abuse Prevention Campaign in October is to raise awareness that public education and prevention are the best ways to end the neglect and abuse of children. It serves as a reminder to all of us that reporting suspected child abuse and neglect is everyone’s responsibility.

Visit us at the Caledonia Fair (October 1 – 4, 2009) and at the Norfolk County Fair (October 6 – 12, 2009) where we will be distributing free wrist bands and buttons to raise awareness and provide information about child abuse and neglect.

The Children’s Aid Society of Haldimand and Norfolk will also be fundraising for the Fresh Air Fund and providing information about adoption and fostering at our exhibit booth.


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.


Report on Children in Care Across Ontario

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OACAS Report regarding Ontario’s Children in Care, Released October 1, 2008

Introduction

Child abuse remains a serious concern as many children and youth are at risk of abuse or are suffering from lack of proper care. Children’s Aid Societies protect children from abuse and neglect, help parents and caregivers build healthy families and provide a safe, nurturing place for children and youth to grow up and realize their full potential.

Children’s Aid Societies can only act to protect children from harm when a concerned citizen or professional calls to report their suspicions or a parent calls for assistance. More education is needed to remind the public that everyone has an ongoing responsibility to protect children by reporting suspected child abuse.

According to the Child and Family Services Act, Section 72.1, everyone, including professionals who work with children has an ongoing obligation to report promptly to a Children’s Aid Society if they suspect that a child is or may be in need of protection. A child is in need of protection where there is a risk of sexual, physical or emotional abuse from an adult, caregiver, family friend or stranger or when a caregiver fails to provide proper care or deprives a child of support and affection.

There are 53 Children’s Aid Societies in Ontario. They are incorporated not-for-profit agencies governed by volunteer boards of directors elected from the local community and funded by the Province of Ontario.

Child welfare agencies are exclusively mandated by the Child and Family Services Act to protect children from abuse and neglect employing clinically trained child protection workers who are guided by the provincial regulations and standards, Child Protection Standards and Tools in Ontario and the Ontario Child Welfare Eligibility Spectrum to determine the kind of support and service needed to keep children safe and families stable in situations involving child abuse and neglect.

Ontario’s Children in Care

Over the 12 month period from April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008, Ontario’s Children’s Aid Societies provided child welfare services to communities across Ontario. The Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) collected information from 51 of 53 mandated child welfare agencies in Ontario to prepare this report on services provided during the fiscal year. OACAS also collected information on the number of children in the care of Children’s Aid Societies as of March 31, 2008.

Under the Child and Family Services Act, Children’s Aid Societies are required to:

  • investigate allegations of abuse and neglect;
  • protect children and provide guidance, counseling and other services to support families
  • to help them care for their children
  • provide care or supervision for children assigned to their care
  • place children for adoption

Investigation and child protection

Children’s Aid Societies investigate allegations of abuse and neglect from concerned citizens, neighbours, health care professionals, educators and police. Whenever possible, Children’s Aid Societies work to keep children at home with their biological families, but when children cannot remain at home or live with relatives safely, societies offer a variety of substitute programs and also facilitate the adoption of Crown wards (permanent wards of the province).

In 2007/2008:

  • 77,089 allegations of abuse and neglect were investigated by Children’s Aid Societies
  • 27,816 children were in the care of a Children’s Aid Society for protection from child abuse and neglect

Of the children who were cared for by a society during the year, 9,468 came into care upon completion of abuse investigations:

  • 6,565 children had not previously been in care
  • 2,903 children were returned to care due to new child protection concerns
  • Less than 1% of Ontario’s 3 million children were in the care of Children’s Aid Societies last year
  • Of the 3 million children in Ontario, 3 in 1,000 care of Children’s Aid Societies last year

The number of childrencoming into care each year has continued to decline, in line with the general downward trend in Ontario’s child population. In 2007/08 9,468 children came into care, a 26% decline compared to 2003/04. The rate of admissions into care was 3 childrenper 1000 of Ontario’s children population.

Supporting families

Children’s Aid Societies also provide assessments, crisis intervention, counseling and services to prevent child abuse and neglect. In addition, Children’s Aid Societies help vulnerable families protect and support their children. Many prevention programs are offered in partnership with other community agencies. Child protection workers also work to support families in crisis where their children are not in need of protection. A child protection worker remains involved with the family to ensure the appropriate supports and community services are in place.

In 2007/08:

24,955 families received ongoing support from Children’s Aid Societies where a child was in need of protection.

Caring for children and youth

Ontario’s Children’s Aid Societies provided substitute care for children in need of protection from physical, emotional, sexual abuse or neglect. Fifty-one Children’s Aid Societies responded to the annual OACAS survey of children in care as of March 31, 2008.

Legal status:

Children come under the care, supervision and protection of an agency through a court order or an agreement with their parent or caregiver. Children who are Crown wards or society wards are cared for by an agency which becomes their legal guardian.

On March 31, 2008, 17,945 children were in the care of agencies as:

  • 9,199 Crown wards* (51.3%)
  • 2,383 former Crown wards age 18 to under 21* (13.3%)
  • 1,563 society wards* (8.7%)
  • 4,079 children in the temporary care of a society (22.7%)
  • 536 children in customary care* (6.2%)
  • 125 children placed for adoption (0.7%)
  • 60 children with special needs in care under a special needs agreement (0.3%)

Definitions

Crown wards – permanent wards of the Crown, province has legal guardianship.
Society wards – temporary wardship, Society has legal guardianship for 12 months.
Former Crown wards- youth ages 18 to under 21 who have agreements with their Children’s Aid Society for supports as they transition to adulthood
Customary care – status Indian or native children are cared for in an agreement according to the custom of the child’s band or native community.

Aboriginal:

  • 2,512 children in care are of First Nations or Aboriginal ancestry (13% of all children in care)
  • 1,960 are Aboriginal as defined by the Indian Act
  • 552 are of First Nation or Aboriginal ancestry

Francophone:

  • 446 Francophone children in care
  • 384 Francophone children were placed in French-speaking foster homes
  • 426 foster homes were able to provide care and service in French

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