OACAS - The Voice
November 2009

In This Issue

November is Adoption Awareness month, an opportunity to learn more about the adoption process in Ontario. The November edition of The Voice features articles on finding permanent homes for children, how to adopt, a successful Fire Prevention week, sexual exploitation of children and the Journal.

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November is Adoption Awareness Month!

The OACAS and Adoption Council of Ontario (ACO) launched Adoption Awareness Month on November 3 to remind all Ontarians, especially those interested in growing their family, that the adoption process in Ontario offers many possibilities for potential adoptive parents.

Children’s Aid Societies provide adoption services to find permanent families for the children in their care. Your local Children’s Aid Society provides supports, training and advice as a free, publicservice. If you are interested in adopting a child or youth in care, please contact your local Children’s Aid Society.

AdoptOntario provides important information, resources and links to help match people interested in adoption with waiting children.  Visit the Adopt Ontario website at www.adoptontario.ca for more information.

Click here to read more.

More Ontarians Build Families Through Adoption

On August 26, 2009 the Expert Panel on Infertility and Adoption released its final report which makes recommendations related to public, private and international adoption services. The Panel supported the key recommendations put forward by OACAS, Children’s Aid Societies (CASs) and youth advocates, to improve opportunities for children and youth to have “forever families”, including the need for:

  1. a fully funded, provincial system, centered on the child
  2. a new philosophy – through public education and awareness – to communicate that every child and youth is adoptable
  3. removal of legal barriers which stand in the way of adoption for many, many children by requiring them to break ties with biological family members in order to be adopted
  4. subsidies to enable families to adopt, and for children to have families

CASs are committed to work with the government and stakeholders to enhance and streamline the adoption system in Ontario in order to find a permanent home for every child and youth. 

Click here to read more.

Fire Safety Top of Mind During Fire Prevention Week

Fire Prevention Week 2009 was observed this year from Sunday, October 4th through to Saturday, October 10th. The theme for this year’s event was: “Stay Fire Smart! Don’t Get Burned©.” Fire Prevention Canada has released The 2009 Fire Prevention Week Kit, which is available for free on their website. In support of Fire Prevention Canada, OACAS encourages the public to take a few moments to browse through the complementary list of Fact Sheets on the website.

Residential fire is the leading cause of unintentional death for young children at home and the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury related death overall. Factors that increase a child’s risk for fire-related injury and death are broad and numerous, and have been shown to include environmental, behavioural and social conditions.  Identifying risk factors for fire deaths in children is key in the implementation of fire prevention programs.

Click here to read more about fire safety for children.

Protecting Children From Sexual Exploitation

The sexual exploitation of children and youth is a disturbing issue that crosses all social and economic boundaries. Sexual exploitation includes the luring of a young person via the Internet for sexual purposes, the prostitution of someone under the age of 18, and distributing, selling or making child pornography. Education is a parent's best weapon against sexual exploitation; you can never know too much when it comes to protecting your children.

There are several websites for parents, with information and tips on how to keep children safe. Canadians Addressing Sexual Exploitation (C.A.S.E., www.c-a-s-e.net) is dedicated solely to protect children against sexual exploitation. The Canadian Centre for Child Protection is also a valuable resource for parents and children, offering a personal safety education program (Kids in the Know); a national tip line to report online sexual abuse of children (Cybertip.ca); and a program to help organizations prevent child sexual abuse (Commit to Kids).

Click here to read more about keeping kids safe from sexual exploitation.

Articles wanted for the Winter 2010 Edition of the Journal

Articles from researchers, universities, institutes and child welfare agencies on programs, projects and initiatives to improve child well-being are welcomed for the next edition of the Journal. Published quarterly, the OACAS Journal is the best source of information on child welfare research and practice and is distributed to 4,300 readers. The next edition of the Journal will be published in winter of 2010. Deadline for articles is November 30, 2009. Subscribe to the e-Journal.

Click here to read the submission guidelines.

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