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Ministry of Children and Youth Services Announces New Supports for Youth Leaving Care
Ontario is helping young people leaving the care of Children's Aid Societies find the right supports and services by creating 50 Youth-in-Transition worker positions across the province.
The province is also investing in a new Aftercare Benefits Initiative for eligible young people ages 21 to 24 who were previously in the care of a Children's Aid Society.
Click here to learn more.
OACAS delivers 2014-15 Pre-Budget Consultation submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs
On January 20, OACAS delivered its 2014-15 Pre-Budget Consultation submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. OACAS was invited to present to Standing Committee at its hearing in Kingston on January 23.
The submission includes the following advocacy priorities:
- Funding & funding model: Recognize the real cost of protecting children in Ontario.
- Aboriginal children, families and communities: Address the faults of funding model for CASs serving Aboriginal communities and designate and resource Aboriginal agencies ready to take on child protection.
- Northern framework for child welfare: Support development of a new direction for children’s services in the North, recognizing realities of isolated and remote communities.
- Youth: Raise the age of protection from 16 to 18 years, encourage a ‘stay at home’ policy agenda, and extend adoption and permanency subsidies and health and dental care for older youth.
- Permanency & adoption: Review subsidy program to ensure it properly enables families to adopt children and youth with disabilities, and remove disincentives to adoption of children and youth from care.
- Fund critical services to support families in high risk situations: Resource services to prevent escalation of family problems to the point where child protection concerns exist, invest in youth and adult mental health, address partner violence and substance abuse treatment.
Click here to read the OACAS Pre-Budget Consultation submission in more detail.
OACAS releases new practice note: Educating Parents on Safer Sleeping Environments for Infants
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other infant deaths that occur during sleep are recognized as major public health concerns by the Public Health Agency of Canada. Researchers have identified risk factors in the infant sleeping environment that may contribute not only to SIDS, but to deaths from suffocation due to overlaying or entrapment. Factors associated with unsafe sleeping environments include infants sharing a sleeping surface with an adult or another child, and the presence of soft bedding (www.publichealth.gc.ca/safesleep).
Simcoe Muskoka Child Advocacy Centre opens for victims of abuse and their families
The Simcoe and Muskoka region’s first Child Advocacy Centre, one of three in Ontario, opened its doors to the community in January. Working in partnership with a number of community and government agencies, the non-profit organization coordinates the investigation, prosecution and treatment of child abuse, offering victims and their families all the help they need- in one place.
Services offered by the centre include coordinated forensic interviews, child examinations by medical professionals, victim advocacy (including court preparation and support) and trauma assessment and counselling.
The centre services all police agencies in Simcoe and Muskoka as well as the Children’s Aid Society of Simcoe County and Family Youth and Child Services of Muskoka.
Get involved with your Children’s Aid – become a volunteer!
More than 4,000 Ontarians volunteer at their local Children’s Aid to support children, youth and families. Volunteers have a wide range of skills. Some offer skills that can be used in working directly with children and youth, others offer their expertise to provide leadership and guidance to their local Children’s Aid as members of the Board of Directors working with the administrators of the agency.
Check out the following volunteer opportunities:
- Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa is seeking volunteer drivers
- Durham Children’s Aid Society is seeking volunteer parent mentors, drivers, child mentors, pre-natal mentors and more
- Family and Children’s Services of the Waterloo Region is seeking volunteer tutors, mentors and parent/family aides
- Family and Children’s Service of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington is seeking volunteer drivers
More opportunities exist- contact your local Children’s Aid and make a difference in the lives of vulnerable children, youth and families.
Child welfare sector releases recommendations
The Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) today released the 2013 Child Welfare Report, providing recommendations to the government to help improve and advance child welfare in Ontario. The priorities speak specifically to the recommendations arising from the report of the Commission for Sustainable Child Welfare, Realizing a Sustainable Child Welfare System in Ontario, and signal recommendations to help the sector move forward in the areas of sustainability and modernization - key focus areas of the Commission’s work since its mandated work began, from November 2009 to September 2012. Click here to read more.