• 1-888-CAS-KIDS

More Foster Families Needed in Haldimand and Norfolk

foster parent week

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.


Report on Children in Care Across Ontario

%image_alt%

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

Reporting Abuse

Kids say the darndest things [ Video: courtesy of York Region CAS ]

Reporting child abuse and neglect – It’s your duty

We all share a responsibility to protect children from harm.

Anyone who has reasonable grounds to suspect that a child is or may be in need of protection must promptly report the suspicion and the information upon which it is based to the Children’s Aid Society. (Child and Family Services Act, (CFSA), section 72)

A child in need of protection is defined as a child who is or appears to be under the age of 16 years and who is or appears to be suffering from abuse and/or neglect. The abuse could be physical, sexual or emotional. Neglect includes child abandonment, refusal to provide medical treatment, inattention to the child’s developmental condition or the parent’s unwillingness to provide services or treatment to a child who has committed an illegal act.

It is not necessary for you to be certain a child or youth is need of protection to make a report. “Reasonable grounds” refers to the information that an average person, exercising normal and honest judgement would need in order to make a decision to report. This protects you from civil liability. professionals are exempt from the rules of professional confidentiality when making a child protection report. Only solicitors may not divulge privileged information about their clients.

The CFSA also states that a person has an ongoing duty to report known or suspected child abuse. If you have any additional information or concerns regarding the safety of a child about whom you have made a report to the CAS you need to contact the Society again.

Referrals can be made 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year at (519) 587-5437 or 1-888-CAS-KIDS


Employment Opportunities

%image_alt%

.

Director of Finance

Clinical Access Facilitators

.

The Children’s Aid Society of Haldimand and Norfolk is committed to anti-oppressive values of equity, inclusion and respect. We value a diverse workforce and encourage applications from qualified individuals with varied backgrounds. We are committed to creating an accessible environment for all. Please let us know if you have any accommodation needs. We thank all applicants; however, only those considered for interviews will be contacted.

If you are interested in a career in child welfare please contact us.  Please feel free to submit your queries and resume to the attention of:

.

Human Resources

The Childrens Aid Society of Haldimand and Norfolk

70 Town Centre Drive

Townsend, Ontario N0A 1S0

email: lynn.tessaro@cashn.on.ca

Fax: 519-587-3627%image_alt%


Font Resize