Rising Up & Embracing Our Differences

Supporting the leadership and individuality of youth in care at the 2017 YouthCAN Conference

Every summer, YouthCAN hosts a conference for youth in the care of Ontario’s Children’s Aid Societies (CAS). The conference goal is to expose high school youth in care to post-secondary options and career opportunities. Through workshops, information sessions, and social activities, the conference connects youth from across the province, while providing them with valuable skills and experiences they take with them when they leave.

On the heels of a comprehensive review of the YouthCAN program, this year’s 11th annual conference had a particular focus on being for youth, by youth. For a second year in a row, the three-day event was held at McMaster University, in partnership with the McMaster Student Union. The theme, Rising Up & Embracing Our Differences, was chosen to encourage youth to be leaders and advocates in their own unique way. Two-hundred and nine youth, supported by 73 CAS staff members, and representing 38 Children’s Aid Societies from across Ontario attended this year’s conference.