OACAS Launches ‘There to Care’ Campaign to Recruit Foster Caregivers Across Ontario

Images of a diverse group of people with the logo "there to care campaign" in English and "présent au bon moment" in French

For Immediate Release
June 5, 2024

Available Foster Homes in Ontario Have Dropped by 33.6% Since 2020
OACAS Initiative Urgently Seeks Foster Caregivers Amidst Critical Shortage in Ontario

Toronto – Amidst a steady decline in foster care placement availability, the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) releases the provincial ‘There to Care’ Campaign. With the need for foster caregivers now greater than ever, this initiative aims to underscore the vital role of foster caregivers, emphasizing their profound impact on children, youth, families, and communities. By dispelling misconceptions and rallying community support, the campaign seeks to address the critical shortage of foster homes across Ontario.

Child welfare agencies, who are responsible for finding temporary homes for children and youth when they cannot stay with their primary caregivers or with kin, are facing a crisis. With a staggering 33.6% decrease in available foster homes since 2020, the safety and well-being of children, youth, and families is at risk. The demand for these compassionate individuals and families has never been higher.

Foster caregivers go beyond providing temporary homes; they also provide essential support in maintaining connections with extended family and community members for children and youth while they are in care. In Ontario, finding suitable placements that match the unique identities and needs of children and youth is paramount. Child welfare agencies strive to match foster caregivers based on their experience and the needs and identities, including the cultural background, of the children and youth. There is an urgent need for placements supporting sibling groups, older children and youth, infants, and those with complex needs.

“Fostering is about more than the children and youth you provide a temporary home to. It’s also about facilitating connections and reunification with families and communities, and ensuring children and youth stay connected to their culture and identity. It’s about providing real, tangible support to your community.” – Solomon Owoo, Interim CEO, OACAS

Join us in this critical effort to provide a supportive and nurturing environment for vulnerable children and youth. Your community needs you now more than ever. To learn more about how you can be there to care, please visit theretocare.ca.

About OACAS: The Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) is a provincial membership organization representing 47 of Ontario’s 50 mandated children’s aid societies and Indigenous Child and Family Well-Being Agencies, as well as 2 pre-mandated Indigenous Child and Family Well-Being Agencies. We support our members by providing practice tools, educational opportunities, and training, as well as communication and advocacy support to help achieve improved, equitable outcomes for children, youth, and families. Learn more at oacas.org.

About Children’s Aid Societies and Indigenous Child and Family Well-Being Agencies (child welfare agencies): Child welfare agencies have a legal mandate to keep children and youth safe from abuse and neglect. Their goal is to keep children and youth at home and in their communities by connecting families with culturally relevant resources, supports, and networks that strengthen their family unit. They are governed by the Child, Youth, and Family Services Act, 2017 and are regulated by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services. To learn more, visit oacas.org/childrens-aid-childprotection/ or locate an agency at oacas.org/locate.

Media Contact
Brynn Clarke (she/her)
Interim Manager, Communications and Government & Stakeholder Relations
M 437-216-8587
Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies
75 Front St. East, 3rd Floor, Suite 308, Toronto ON, M5E 1V9