Dress Purple Day 2022: Be part of the community that cares for Ontario children, youth, and families

This year’s Dress Purple Day campaign, taking place on October 27, 2022, will continue to look a little different than it has in the past. Like last year, this year will focus on reminding Ontarians that individuals and communities play an important role in supporting the safety and well-being of children, youth, and families—as opposed to more narrowly child abuse prevention.

We invite our members, our government partners, local service providers, and individuals across the province to wear purple on October 27 and share how and why they support the children, youth, and families in their community through the #IDressPurpleBecause social media campaign. We want anyone facing challenges to know that there are resources, supports, and services available, and that no one is alone. Landmarks across the province will also be lit purple in recognition of the day, including the CN Tower and Niagara Falls.

“It’s important for young people and adults alike to know where they can turn to when they need help,” said Nicole Bonnie, CEO of OACAS. “That’s why we invite our members and partners across the province to join us on Dress Purple Day each year. We want them to share about the resources they offer so when someone is struggling or when they know someone who is, they’re prepared to reach out.”

The campaign also emphasizes the community’s responsibility to speak up for every child and youth’s right to safety and well-being in all spaces. Not just their physical safety and well-being, but also their right to have their intersectional identity, such as their culture, race, ability, sexual orientation, ability, gender identity, and gender expression protected and supported. This right extends to the home, at school, and in the community. It is our collective responsibility to keep our community’s children safe, and helping young people to build an understanding of their networks of support and how they can get help, can lessen their vulnerability to harm.

“We need to understand that organizations and systems can also create harm,” said Nicole Bonnie. “They can have patterns of behaviour, programs, and policies that don’t respect the rights of certain groups of people, and that includes Children’s Aid Societies. Dress Purple Day is an opportunity to demonstrate the ways the child welfare system is working alongside community partners and stakeholders to do better for the communities they serve.”

And even if the campaign is no longer focused on child abuse prevention education, we still want adults to know that they have a responsibility to call their local child welfare agency if they have a concern about a child or youth.

So, join us on October 27 for Dress Purple Day 2022 and wear purple to show your support for Ontario children, youth, and families. Learn more about the campaign and share its messages with your networks. Show them that you are part of the community that cares and that you are here to help.