The Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) is a provincial membership organization representing 48 of Ontario’s 50 Children’s Aid Societies and Indigenous Child and Family Well-Being Agencies, and two pre-mandated agencies. Our members work seven days a week, 365 days a year to support vulnerable children, youth, and families. During the pandemic, when so many important social services were no longer available in-person, our members continued to work directly in community with children, youth, and families to support their safety and well-being. Child welfare was, and continues to be, #HereToHelpON.
However, the child welfare sector cannot succeed in its work in isolation. The families receiving services from child welfare need a whole host of robust, well-resourced services in their community in order to thrive. This election, we are asking all political parties to show Ontarians that they are truly #HereToHelpON’s most vulnerable children, youth, and families by adopting these three priorities if they form government:
- Prioritize admission prevention, early intervention, family-based care, and community supports to help avoid entry to the child welfare system, whenever possible.
- Invest in reconciliation, equity, diversity, and inclusion supports to help repair the harm done by decades of systemic racism.
- Strengthen services and supports for older youth and youth aging out of care to help them to succeed.
The Ontario child welfare sector is committed to working alongside community partners and government to bring about a redesigned child welfare system that fully integrates across systems and sectors to provide a holistic approach to supporting vulnerable children, youth, and families.