• 1-888-CAS-KIDS

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.


Purple Ribbon News Release on Child Abuse and Neglect

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In a recent report, the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) indicated that last year more than 27,000 children and youth under the age of 16 years received services for protection from suspected child abuse and neglect.
The report released today indicates that

  1. 1 in 100 of all of Ontario’s children received services from Children’s Aid Societies
  2. 152,879 allegations of abuse or neglect were received by the Societies
  3. 27,816 children were served by Children’s Aid Societies
  4. 24,955 families were supported by the Children’s Aid Societies to help them protect and care for their children

Child abuse is a concern for all Ontarians because many children are at risk of abuse or suffering from lack of proper care. “This societal problem needs everyone’s attention because too many families are coping with stressors and challenges affecting their ability to provide a safe, secure home for their children with insufficient services and support,” states Jeanette Lewis, Executive Director on the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies.

Everyone has an ongoing duty to report when they see or hear that a child is suffering from any form of abuse from a parent, caregiver or adult whether physical, emotional or sexual. Everyone also has a ongoing duty to report if they learn that a child is living in appalling conditions, has no place to sleep or enough food to eat. All Ontarians have a responsibility to protect children by reporting suspected child abuse and neglect to their local Children’s Aid Society.

Children that are physically abused may have obvious bruises or marks on their body. Children abused emotionally or sexually may exhibit behavioural indicators and children who are neglected may be malnourished, appear unkempt or inappropriately dressed.

Ontario’s Children’s Aid Societies are launching the Child Abuse Prevention Campaign on October to remind the public about everyone’s responsibility to protect children by reporting suspected child abuse because, as this year’s campaign states, “kids shouldn’t have to live with abuse.” Ontarians are encouraged to learn more about the signs of abuse, how to recognize it and report it to their local children’s Aid Society at
www.useyourvoice.ca

To read the report recently released by the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies, Ontario’s Children in Care, visit www.oacas.org or www.cashn.on.ca


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