• 1-888-CAS-KIDS

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.

Kinship Service

Family Finding
When children cannot be cared for by their parents or guardians, the next best placement for them is within their extended family or their community network. The Society seeks extended family (kin) or members of the child’s community to provide safe, nurturing, alternate living arrangements for children and young people at risk of neglect or abuse.  This reduces stress for children coming into care, maintains family and community ties and increases the likelihood of the child’s reunification with his/her primary family.

Kinship Service
Kinship service is support provided for children not in CAS care, but who are living with kin as they are unable to remain with their family due to protection concerns. If you believe there is a situation where you could help as a kinship caregiver, please contact the Society. A screening process will be completed to assess your home environment and whether you and those you live with can provide care and a safe home environment for a child experiencing difficulty at home.

Kinship Care
Kinship care is provided for children who are in the care of the Society and are placed with a member of their extended family or community member who may have a significant relationship with the child. These families are assessed the same as foster or adoptive caregiver applicants and are required to successfully complete a Home Study process, as well as attend training.  Kinship care families receive ongoing agency support to assist them in caring for the child.

Customary Care
Customary care is part of the continuum of care options for Aboriginal children.  It incorporates the unique traditions and customs of each First Nation.  It is a traditional method of caring for children, premised on the belief that a child is a sacred gift from the Creator and as such is the collective responsibility of the community.  Customary Care Agreements are used when protections concerns in a family require out-of-home placement.

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