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Jo Dutra Memorial Tennis Tournament March 24-25

Jo Dutra Memorial Tennis Tournament The annual Jo Dutra Charity Memorial Tennis Tournament returns to the Burlington Fitness and Racquet Club March 24-25. The tournament comprises 46 players with matches starting on the Friday evening with first-round play, followed by the remainder of the tournament the next day. Following the tournament there will be a dinner at 6:30 p.m. and an exhibition match with some past Davis Cup players, as yet unidentified, playing at 8 p.m.   Read More

Discover Our Kids Network’s Many Resources this Family Day

Discover Our Kids Network’s Many Resources this Family Day

Halton iparent provides one-stop-shop of information and support for families

 

Every year as we approach Family Day (Monday, February 20), Our Kids Network reaches out to remind parents, other caregivers, and the rest of us that strong families are an essential part of a healthy community. Our Kids Network (ourkidsnetwork.ca) is a Halton-wide partnership of organizations and agencies serving children and youth. One of the ways OKN supports kids and the people who care for them is through the Halton iparent website (haltoniparent.ca).

 

“Whatever the size and shape of your family, the Halton iparent website is for you,” says Our Kids Network director Elena DiBattista. “Through all the ages and stages, families need different kin ds of information and support. Along with our partners, we developed iparent to make it easier for people to find the right programs, services, and resources at the right time.”

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Bikes for Kids in 12th year of giving

Bikes for Kids in 12th year of giving

Bikes for Kids, a program to provide new bikes for children in the care of Halton Children’s Aid, is now in its 12th year.

Founded by Burlington's Greg Pace of PACEperformance, the initiative started with Pace distributing two bikes in Year 1.

Since then, more than 500 bikes, athletic equipment and activity gear has been donated to the cause.

For many, 2016 has been a tough year for a number of reasons.

 “I am always buoyed by the energy and passion of kids, their joy of movement, their ability to just play,” says Pace.

“I have this sense, and a hope, that when a child wakes up Christmas morning to a shiny new bike, a light turns on, a joy that is hard to define, and really only gets defined over the year and upcoming years,” Pace adds.

 

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'It was so hard living in poverty'

'It was so hard living in poverty'

 

“I hated poverty,” said Sharon (not her real name), a single mother from Milton who fled an abusive relationship with her two children.  “I was living by the penny, saving up to pay for rent, not eating so that my kids could eat, hoping McDonald’s would have a free toy for them. It was so hard living in poverty. I hated it.”

She is not alone.

Angela is a mother of three. As a child, she grew up in poverty and was determined to make her life better come adulthood. However, her dream of escaping the cycle of poverty would be just that — a dream.

According to the Halton Poverty Roundtable, 19.5 per cent of single parent families live in poverty, along with 21 per cent of single people and 5.6 per cent of couple families.  Throughout the country, nearly one in five children lives in poverty, reports Campaign 2000, the cross-Canada public education movement to build awareness and support for the House of Commons’ resolution to end child poverty in Canada by the year 2000.

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Our Kids Network joins international campaign to recognize children’s rights

Our Kids Network joins international campaign to recognize children’s rights

 

On November 20th each year, International Children’s Day is celebrated around the world to recognize the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. As one of Halton Region’s foremost champions for children, youth and families, Our Kids Network is encouraging everyone to learn more about the Convention and talk to children about the rights they share with children around the world. 

In 1993, the Canadian government proclaimed November 20th as National Child Day to commemorate the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child in 1959 and the UN adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989. It means that Canada is committed to ensuring young people are treated with respect, have a voice, are protected from harm and have the opportunity to reach their full potential. 

Elena DiBattista is director of Our Kids Network. She says the Convention is a powerful document that needs to be shared. “The Convention reminds everyone, from children themselves, to members of the community, to governments, that children are vulnerable and deserve our attention, respect and care. It covers everything from the right to be protected from abuse, to the right to education, to the right to be heard.”

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Assisting children, youth and families is a rewarding and fun experience!

Assisting children, youth and families is a rewarding and fun experience!

The Children’s Aid Foundation of Halton (CAFH) is the charitable arm of the Halton Children’s Aid Society (Halton CAS). Through fundraising and donations, both organizations assist children and youth who have experienced significant trauma as well as families experiencing serious challenges. Our goal is to enhance the holiday season by providing necessities and gifts to the children, youth and families we serve in Halton. 

Our trained, professional workers identify where there is a need for support. Together with families, they determine the needs and long-term benefits of assistance not just what is required during the holidays, but all year round. With your help, we can do it! 

To sustain programs and provide support all year long, we rely on financial donations from the community. Please consider making a contribution. We are especially grateful to individuals who sign up for monthly or annual gifts. Our monthly donors are true Community Champions making an immediate, lasting and meaningful impact on the lives of children and youth in need. 

Other items include gift cards for teens, toys, games, puzzles, crafts, comfort kits, holiday hampers, new clothing, pajamas, personal hygiene products and life start kits. CLICK here to learn more about our Seasonal Program and how you can help. 

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November is Adoption Awareness Month

 

Children’s Aid Societies advocate for life-long relationships for children and youth in care, while addressing the myths about public adoption

During November, Children’s Aid Societies (CAS) across Ontario, including the Halton Children’s Aid Society, are promoting Adoption Awareness Month to raise awareness about the importance of life-long relationships for children and youth in care.

 

“We have seen over and over again how finding the right match between a child and family is one of the most beautiful, life-changing events that can happen to a child in care,” says Mary Ballantyne, chief executive officer of the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS). “But making these matches is very challenging.

 

During Adoption Awareness Month we will educate the public about the unique profile of the children in care for whom adoption has been identified as an option. We will also use the month to highlight the strengths and skills that we are looking for in prospective adoptive families in the hopes that we can prevent disappointment in the application process.”

 

One of the biggest misconceptions that prospective families bring to their adoption search is that they will be easily matched with a child who is under the age of five. “Child welfare works very differently today,” says Morag Demers, Senior Policy Analyst at OACAS. “Seventy-five percent of Crown Wards in Ontario who have been in care for two years or more are over the age of 14 – and that age range describes the majority of the children for whom we are hoping to find permanent, long-term relationships.”

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Break the Silence for Child Abuse Prevention Month

Break the Silence for Child Abuse Prevention Month

 

On Wednesday, October 19th, the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS), Children’s Aid Societies (CAS) and key partners will mark Child Abuse Prevention Month (CAPM) with a provincial GO PURPLE DAY to raise awareness about how it takes a community working together to prevent child abuse. The provincial hashtag for the campaign is #iBREAKthesilence.

 

This year boards of education and schools across the province are joining the GO PURPLE DAYinitiative by dressing in purple and participating in various “iBREAKthesilence” activities. Participating boards of education are tracked on this interactive map. Both the Halton District School Board and Halton Catholic District School Board are participating.

 

“Schools have a unique window into the lives of children and youth and so play an important role in keeping children safe,” says Mary Ballantyne, CEO of the OACAS. “We are excited to see the GO PURPLE DAYinitiative spread to schools across the province.” 

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‘Skid Row CEO’ to arrive in Halton this month in walk across Canada

‘Skid Row CEO’ to arrive in Halton this month in walk across Canada

It’s late afternoon on September 26, Day 149 for Joe Roberts. He has just trekked past the majestic Parliament buildings in the nation’s capital, to reach the 3,000-km mark of his cross-Canada journey. Six thousand kilometres to go.

“Every single day since we got into Ontario has been extraordinary,” said Roberts, the driven man behind The Push for Change, a grassroots initiative that is slowly making its way across the country, literally one step at a time.

It will take Roberts, known as the Skid Row CEO, 17 months to complete his walk, but much longer to accomplish his mission to end youth homelessness; he admits, it may not happen in his lifetime.

His goal is to immerse all stakeholders – law enforcement, educators, governments, all Canadians – in a conversation as a means to end the crisis of youth homelessness.

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Are You Driven to Volunteer?

Volunteer Drivers Needed

We are seeking mature and responsible volunteer drivers to transport children, youth and families to appointments throughout the Halton Region. Drivers are needed most in Acton, Georgetown and Milton.

Volunteer drivers are required throughout the day, evenings and on weekends. Some drivers do specific week drives (one or two), others drive on a daily basis and some just once a month.

Volunteer drivers play a valuable role in the lives of our children, youth and families. They become the familiar and friendly faces our clients can depend on.

Do you have a few hours a week to spare, enjoy driving and are good with children and youth? This may be the volunteer role for you!

Why be a volunteer driver? Gain the satisfaction of know you have made a positive difference in the lives of children, youth and families.

CLICK here to learn more.

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Call 9-1-1 if you see children left alone in a hot car

Over the last few weeks, a number of children across the province have been left alone in vehicles in scorching temperatures. The Halton Children’s Aid Society offers the following tips for parents, caregivers and the general public to prevent more tragedies.

 

The facts are simple.

·     The temperature inside a parked car can exceed 50oC within 10 to 20 minutes on a typical Canadian summer day

·     Opening the window(s) slightly DOES NOT reduce the temperature

·     Heatstroke occurs at 40.50C

·     Young children, especially infants, are three to five times more sensitive to heat than adults

·     Rising temperatures inside a car can cause a child to suffer from heat stress, dehydration, shock and, in extreme cases, even death

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May 14, 2016 is Children and Youth in Care Day

Recognizing the strength, bravery and resilience of children and youth in and from care

In late March 2014, the Honourable David Onley, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, granted royal assent to Bill 53, an Act to Proclaim Children and Youth in Care Day. This Act recognizes May 14th of each year as Children and Youth in Care Day, acknowledging the enormous contributions current and former Crown and Society wards make, as well as the strength, bravery and resilience they show in the face of adversity.

Youth in and from care play an increasingly important role in influencing Child Welfare and how it works. They are involved in peer support and give advice to their Children’s Aid Societies (CAS) on projects and programs to improve the lives of all children and youth in CAS care. More and more they are also helping to change provincial policies and even laws.

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Fast Forward…

To celebrate Mother’s Day this Sunday May 8, OKN director, Elena DiBattista shares her thoughts on children and grandchildren, and the relationships that shape them as they grow up.

“What kind of adult do I want my child to be?” This is an important question for every mom, especially as our children are growing up. Do we want them to be happy, self-assured, creative, fun, and honest? Will they have solid, supportive relationships, a strong sense of belonging and be reliable, good people? Do we want them to have strong connections to family and friends, be independent, make solid decisions, and handle the bumps and barriers? These are questions that I asked myself when my eldest child was a toddler, and that have also helped me determine how to respond in the many situations and scenarios that involved parenting my children.

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Entire Halton community shares responsibility of helping children thrive: OKN

The entire community — including government, and businesses — share the responsibility of helping children thrive, said Our Kids Network (OKN) director Elena DiBattista. "We know it takes a village to raise a child and that's really the premise of our work," she said at Halton Region's Health and Social Services Committee meeting April 12.

 

DiBattista was there to update the committee on OKN and its work in the community.

OKN is a Halton-wide partnership of more than 90 agencies and organizations serving children, youths and their families.

 

It has eight protocol partners: the Children’s Aid Society of Halton, Halton District School Board, Halton Regional Police, Halton Catholic District School Board, Reach Out Centre for Kids (ROCK), Halton Region, ErinOakKids and the Halton Multicultural Council (HMC).

 

These partners, along with the agencies, work together on OKN's mission to promote the healthy development, security and safety of all children, youths and families through collective action.

DiBattista said ‘Halton 7’ has been created to outline seven conditions the community should keep at top-of-mind for the well-being of children, families, and the community as a whole.

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National Volunteer Week 2016

National Volunteer Week, which takes place April 10-16, 2016, is a time to recognize, thank and celebrate Canada’s 12.7 million volunteers. The Halton Children’s Aid Society encourages you to join us in taking the time to thank the many volunteers who do so much in our communities.

 

The theme of National Volunteer Week 2016 is ‘Volunteers are the roots of strong communities.’ As noted by Volunteer Canada, “Through volunteering people also become rooted in their communities, connecting to the people and places where they live.”

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Oakville Community Foundation dishes out more than $120,000 in grants for special projects

The Oakville Community Foundation announced last Friday (April 8), it would be directing more than $120,600 towards special projects intended to help those in need in the community.

The registered charity, which directs funds donated by philanthropic families and organizations towards helping build a vital community, noted funds were made available on the condition local organizations worked together on projects to combat local issues.

“We know the importance of collaboration, and never more so in the charitable sector,” said Wendy Rinella, Oakville Community Foundation CEO.

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Halton CAS recruiting foster parents

As Family Day approaches, the Children’s Aid Society is asking that people take a moment to remember those who don’t have a family with whom to share the celebration.

In Halton, approximately 123 children and youth are living in care, 43 per cent of them age 13 and over.

“Youth on independent living receive a fixed income of $900 per month. The majority are going to school, often working part-time jobs to supplement their income and trying to cope with everyday life,” according to a CAS Halton press release.

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Appreciating Family

Families come in all shapes, sizes and configurations and on Family Day in Ontario — Monday, Feb. 15 — it’s a time for everyone to appreciate their family — and give some thought to those who don’t have any.

The face of today’s family is constantly evolving — single-parent, two-parent, foster, adoptive, same-sex, heterosexual, grandparents, relatives... from many ethnic and religious backgrounds.

Despite the differences, family units represent love and support, a shelter along the journey of life and a cheering section, no matter what.

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How to fix Ontario’s fragmented child welfare system

It isn’t surprising that people get passionate debating the best way to protect vulnerable children. Unfortunately, as the emotional fervour rises, the general public’s understanding of child welfare is shaped by provocative language and melodramatic snapshots that create an inaccurate and incomplete picture. Such is the case with the ongoing debate around how to improve Ontario’s children’s aid societies.

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Jo Dutra Memorial tennis tournament in February

The eighth annual Jo Dutra Memorial tennis tournament and gala will be held by the Burlington Fitness and Racquet Club next month.

Proceeds of the event will be directed to the Children’s Aid Foundation of Halton (CAFH).

Dutra was a member and tennis pro who had worked and played at the club since 1973. His legacy lives on year after year as the club donates the special day to raising cancer awareness and supporting a good cause.

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2016 Census is staffing 35,000 jobs across Canada

The next census will take place in May 2016. Statistics Canada will be hiring approximately 35,000 people across the country to assist in the collection of the census.

Period of employment is March to end of July 2016 with a rate of pay of $16.31 to $19.91 per hour (plus authorized expenses). Hours of work are flexible, but individuals must commit to at least 20 hours per week. To be elibible you must be 18 years of age or older and eligible to work in Canada.

Go to www.census.gc.ca/jobs to apply.

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Don’t ‘blow up’ Ontario’s child welfare system

Children’s aid societies welcome feedback on their work with those Ontario families who struggle with overwhelming challenges related to poverty, violence, addiction and mental health issues. The Ontario child welfare model which relies on community involvement does indeed reflect Ontario’s history of local accountability; it has many demonstrable advantages.

 

Adding to a series of critical articles in the Star, Martin Regg Cohn, the Queen’s Park reporter with no apparent background in child welfare, has called for the current system to be scrapped and replaced with a more centralized model. However, given the recent issues reported in both the B.C. and Manitoba child welfare systems (which use a more centralized system), we question how Mr. Cohn arrived at his prescription.

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rejoice!

Help keep this holiday season merry and bright by making environmentally friendly choices to help fight climate change and keep Ontario's air, land, and water clean.

·     Choose energy-efficient holiday lights and put them on timers to save on electricity bills.

·     Reduce waste by sending holiday greeting cards electronically, or pick cards printed on recycled paper.

·     Choose a real, Ontario-grown Christmas tree from a local tree farm or retailer.

·     Make your holiday travel as green and safe as possible. Carpool or take public transit to holiday parties. If you have to fly over the holidays, consider purchasing carbon offsets.

·     Make your festive dinners environmentally friendly while supporting local businesses. Choose from Ontario's wide range of local foods available in December.

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Child Welfare Sector Response to Auditor General Report 2015

The Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) and it members welcome the 2015 report of the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario (OAGO). The safety and protection of children and youth is the first priority of Ontario Children’s Aid Societies (CASs). As noted by the Auditor General, child protection services are mandatory. Children and youth cannot be placed on wait lists. Ontario CASs are committed to the provision of quality services and excellence through a culture of organizational learning and continuous improvement. This is done through internal case audits, program evaluation and client/stakeholder engagement with the findings identifying best practices and supporting improvement initiatives.

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Burlington sports equipment drive benefits First Nations youth

Make some room in your house or garage by donating new or slightly used sporting equipment to a good cause.

The Winch Group Benefits Consultants Inc. of Burlington is holding its 6th Annual Community Sports Equipment Drive on Saturday, Nov. 14, from 9 a.m-1 p.m., at Mainway Arena, just east of Walker’s Line.

Volunteers will be accepting new and gently-used sports equipment and cash donations.

The equipment is packed into trailers provided by the Ontario Provincial Police for transport to Northern Ontario First Nations communities.

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Halton CAS marks Adoption Awareness Month in November

November is Adoption Awareness Month. Celebrated by the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) and Children’s Aid Societies across the province, it’s an effort to educate the public about the importance of lifelong connections for children and youth in care.

“Every child and youth needs and deserves permanent, longterm relationships,” said Mary Ballantyne, CEO of OACAS. “Adoption is one very important way in which this kind of relationship can be nurtured. It is also important to realize there are many paths to lifelong connections and there is no one right answer for every child.”

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October is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Did you know a phone call to Children’s Aid can prevent abuse?

 

October is Child Abuse Prevention Month and this year the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) and the Halton Children’s Aid Society (Halton CAS) will highlight how calls from the community play a vital role in preventing child abuse in Ontario. Last year over 171,000 Ontarians reached out to Children’s Aid with concerns about the safety of a child, an indication of the extent to which the community safety net is working. In Halton, we received over 4,400 requests for services and completed over 2,000 investigations.

 

But leading child welfare researchers say there needs to be more education about what a referral to Children’s Aid means because many people feel guilty after they make that call. “There is a public misconception about what child welfare services do,” says Nico Trocmé, Director of the School of Social Work at McGill University. “People are concerned that Children’s Aid Societies are child snatchers. They do not realize connecting to Children’s Aid means getting access to a level of in-home, on-site services that no other social service will provide the way Children’s Aid Societies (CAS) do.”

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Call 9-1-1 If You See Children Left Alone in a Hot Car

With the hot, hazy days of summer in full swing, the Halton Children’s Aid Society has some valuable tips for parents, caregivers and the general public about car safety.

 

The facts are simple.

  • The temperature inside a parked car can exceed 50oC within 10 to 20 minutes on a typical Canadian summer day
  • Opening the window(s) slightly DOES NOT reduce the temperature
  • Heatstroke occurs at 40.50C
  • Young children, especially infants, are three to five times more sensitive to heat than adults
  • Rising temperatures inside a car can cause a child to suffer from heat stress, dehydration, shock and, in extreme cases, even death
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Burlington Home Depot customers helping to end youth homelessness

By purchasing a paper door for $2, Burlington and Milton Home Depot customers raised more than $43,000 in 36 days for the Children’s Aid Foundation of Halton's (CAFH) Bridging the Gap program.

CAFH will use all proceeds from Home Depot's Orange Door Project to provide accessible support for Halton youth between the ages of 16-24 who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

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Burlington Home Depot launches Orange Door Project for homeless youth

As part of its commitment to help end youth homelessness in Canada, The Home Depot Canada Foundation launched its annual The Orange Door Project fundraising campaign today, which collects $2 donations from customers and gives 100 per cent of the proceeds to local youth-serving organizations.

Customers shopping in Burlington Home Depot stores can donate $2 at the checkout in exchange for a (paper) Orange Door. All proceeds stay in the community and go to support the housing and life-skills development programs at Bridging the Gap Halton. The campaign runs until July 2.

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Youth celebrate Children and Youth in Care Day on May 14 while

On Thursday, May 14, the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS), YouthCAN and Children’s Aid Societies across Ontario will be paying tribute to the children and youth in their care on the province’s annual Children and Youth in Care Day.

“As a former youth in care, May 14 is particularly meaningful to me,” says Brian Van Du, who leads the Ontario Youth Communications Advocacy Network (YouthCAN), which represents youth in care. “The day reminds us that children and youth in care are unique, valued, and important. It also reminds us that the stigma for youth in care needs to be challenged.”

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National Volunteer Week 2015

National Volunteer Week, which takes place April 12-18, 2015, is a time to recognize, thank and celebrate Canada’s volunteers. We encourage you to take the time to thank the volunteers who do so much in our communities.

The theme of National Volunteer Week 2015 is ‘Volunteers are part of the ripple effect.’ As noted by Volunteer Canada, “A volunteer action is like a stone thrown in a lake: its effect has a direct impact. At the same time, like ripples, volunteer efforts reach out far and wide to improve communities.”

At the Halton Children’s Aid Society, our volunteers annually contribute more than 12,000 hours of their time in various roles including mentors, volunteer drivers, summer camp support, food for life program assistance, tutoring and so much more.

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How Should You Refer to the Youth in Care You Work with in the Child Welfare Setting?

Who are we today? Are we a case number? We really hope we aren't. Are we drug addicts? Well, none of us recall ever abusing drugs, but even if we had experimented with drug use, we do not believe labelling us drug addicts is very accurate. There is so much more to us than what you read about in the notes attached to our files. We are YOUTH and we are okay with you referring to us as 'your youth' since the reality is that we are youth growing up in care.

 

At a recent YouthSAID meeting, we had a conversation about families, children and youth involved with the children's aid society being referred to as 'client' or 'service users.' We are cringed at the thought of existing as a 'clients' or 'service users.' We feel strongly that these two terms are very degrading and impersonal and SHOULD NOT be used when working with children, youth and families. How are workers going to get to know the individuals they work with if they are looking down on them and simply referring to them as a client or service user? We are so much more than that! We are people!!

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Thank you for your support!!!

Our 2014 Seasonal Program, in conjunction with the Children's Aid Foundation of Halton, has now wrapped up.

As in previous years, we are extremely overwhelmed by the generosity of the Halton community.

There were 148 donors who provided toys, clothing, gift cards, bikes, helmets and locks to over 600 individuals and families.

Thank you so much for your support and helping the children, youth and families in Halton thrive!

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Our Kids Network tells stories of three Halton families who have faced challenges and thrived

As the 20th anniversary of the International Year of the Family comes to an end, Our Kids Network is releasing personal stories of three unique Halton families. Their experiences highlight how families in Halton are meeting everyday challenges while also addressing the question of what makes a family.

Our Kids Network is a Halton-wide partnership of organizations and agencies serving children and youth. Director Elena DiBattista says that profiling the lives of these three families has already had an impact. “We knew we would learn things about their experiences in the community, and we know the power of a personal story,” she says. “These families are not just ‘numbers’ served by community agencies, they are our neighbours and friends.”

Each family has been through its own struggles and each has found ways to find help and push through to positive outcomes. Our Kids Network has produced a video of interviews of the three families, hosted by Bob Cowan of CHCH Hamilton. The video can be viewed online at http://bit.ly/13yRqi1

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Milton pop-up shop to provide free winter clothing for kids in need

Milton pop-up shop to provide free winter clothing for kids in need

 

Nelson the Giant’s third annual kids’ winter clothing drive is partnering with Shoeless Joe’s restaurant and other Milton groups to set up a free pop-up shop for families in need on December 10th, 11th and 17th.

 

Milton Area Female Entrepreneurs, Milton Mompreneurs, Our Kids Milton Hub and the Halton Region Health Department will all participate in the town’s first pop-up shop, which will be located at Our Lady of Victory Elementary School.

 

Nelson the Giant is the fictional titular character from the story-song created by Milton anti-bullying activist and co-founder of Friends for Harmony, Sandy Gemmill.

 

Families can come in and “shop” for free items for kids in need. None of the items have a price tag; it’s all for the sake of families who can’t afford to purchase winter clothes for their children.

 

The clothing drive will also accept canned food donations, which will be given to the Milton Salvation Army Food Bank.

 

The shop will be open on December 10th, 11th and 17th from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

 

For more information on the pop-up shop and clothing drive, visit www.facebook.com/NELSONTHEGIANT.

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Deck the Halls with Holiday Fire Safety Tips

Protect Your Family with Help From the Ontario Fire Marshal

Before roasting chestnuts on an open fire, learn how to keep your family safe with holiday fire safety burning bright in your mind.

As part of the Holiday Fire Safety campaign, the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management offers simple tips to enjoy a fire-safe holiday season:

  • Install and test smoke alarms on every storey and outside all sleeping areas of your home. Don't forget about carbon monoxide alarms if you have a fuel burning appliance or an attached garage.
  • Blow out candles before leaving the house.
  • Make sure everyone knows two ways out of your home. Develop and practise a home escape plan with family and holiday guests.
  • Ensure woodstoves/fireplaces/chimneys are maintained and in good working order.
  • Keep Christmas trees away from ignition sources.
  • Stay in the kitchen while cooking -- especially if using oil or high temperatures.
  • Designate a meeting place outside your home, such as a tree or a lamp post, where everyone can be accounted for.
  • In case of fire, call the fire department from outside the home, from a cellphone or neighbour's home.
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Burlington Fire Department offers safety tips for winter

The Burlington Fire Department is offering fire safety tips for the winter.

With the arrival of the cold, residents are reminded to help keep homes and workplaces free of snow and ice. “Having unrestricted access to your home in the event of an emergency is very important,” said Joe Wintar, Burlington’s chief fire prevention officer. “Clearing snow build-up away from hydrants, house numbers as well as vents on the outside of your home are a just few ways to stay safe during heavy snowfall.”

A fire hydrant in front of one home may protect properties on either side of a street. Wintar says neighbours should consider sharing the responsibility of clearing the hydrant, maintaining a one-metre clearance for firefighter access.

Residents are also encouraged to ensure house numbers are visible, especially in rural areas where there can be blowing snow. Checking in on elderly or disabled neighbours to help with snow removal is also encouraged.

Winter is a time of increased fire-related risks, Wintar said. “Many people don’t realize that some decorating materials can be extremely flammable. Consider opting for safer alternatives for lighting like battery-operated candles.”

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Seven thousand children in CAS care waiting to be adopted

Halton couples who adopted children share their stories

Two Halton brothers were separated before they were old enough to walk. Another teenager lived in more than 20 different houses before he finally found a home. These three boys had faced deprivation, neglect and emotional trauma in their lives. Now, they eat healthy dinners, go on vacations and, most importantly, they rest their heads on their own pillow every night. “They now have a family connection. They’re finally home,” said Lynne Rheault, adoption supervisor with the Halton Children’s Aid Society (CAS).

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Children’s Aid Society of Halton. November is also Adoption Awareness Month. To celebrate, adoptive parents have come forward to share their special stories. One story centres around two boys who were separated for their own welfare before the age of two and placed into foster care for neglected children. The abandonment they had faced required them to receive individual attention. This meant separate homes.

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Oakville firefighters launch annual toy drive

Oakville firefighters launch annual toy drive

The Oakville Professional Firefighters Association (OPFFA) will launch its 22nd annual toy drive Saturday, Nov. 15 at the annual Oakville Santa Claus Parade.

“We are proud to continue this holiday tradition and call on all of Oakville to help local families and children in need,” said Phil Cartwright, vice-president of the OPFFA.

“Oakville firefighters are committed to supporting our community, and we know that Oakville residents and businesses will come together to bring holiday gifts to every child in our town.”

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Adoption is an Option: Help Children and Youth Create Lifelong Connections

Adoption is an Option: Help Children and Youth Create Lifelong Connections

November is Adoption Awareness Month

In recognition of Adoption Awareness Month this November, the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) and Children’s Aid Societies (CASs) across Ontario are raising awareness that all children and youth need and deserve a family to love and nurture them always. Mary Ballantyne, executive director, OACAS said, “Every child and youth needs a forever family that provides support, unconditional love and a safe, loving home.” When parents or caregivers are unable to provide a safe living environment for their children, Children’s Aid makes every effort to provide them with support so they may remain safely in their family home. If the safety of a child or youth cannot be ensured and they come into the permanent care of Children’s Aid, a plan for their extended future is begun immediately. This plan relies on finding a lifelong, permanent connection for the child or youth – a family.

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Celebrating the Role of Foster Families in the Lives of Children and Youth in Care

Celebrating the Role of Foster Families in the Lives of Children and Youth in Care

October 19-25, 2014 is Foster Family Week and the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS), along with Children’s Aid Societies (CASs), are celebrating the vital role of foster families in the lives of children and youth in care.

Mary Ballantyne, Executive Director of the OACAS today said:“Foster parents provide stability to children during a difficult time in their life and a caring home that encourages growth and development. Foster Family Week reminds us of the dedication, love and commitment of foster families to the children and youth in CAS care, while serving as a reminder of the need for suitable families to come forward and foster teens and sibling groups.”

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Winch Group, OPP helping First Nations youngsters

Winch Group, OPP helping First Nations youngsters

New and gently used sporting equipment and monetary donations will be accepted when a local company hold its annual community equipment drive.For the fifth straight year the Winch Group Benefits Consultants Inc. of Burlington will transport trailers filled with used sporting equipment to remote northern Ontario First Nations reserves to benefit young people. Trailers are provided by the Ontario Provincial Police.

Equipment and funds will be collected by volunteers Saturday, Oct. 25 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Mainway Arena, 4015 Mainway, near Walker’s Line in Burlington.All corporate donations and proceeds from the barbecue on the day of the drive will be directed to the Halton Children’s Aid Society to help fund sport and extra-curricular activities for local children in need.

Thousands of pieces of used sporting equipment have been donated to the cause since the program’s inception.Participation in sport and recreation at a young age builds confidence and self-esteem, studies show.

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Keeping Ontarians Safe from Carbon Monoxide--Alarms Now Mandatory in All Homes

Keeping Ontarians Safe from Carbon Monoxide--Alarms Now Mandatory in All Homes

Ontario is taking another step to keep families and homes in Ontario safe by making carbon monoxide alarms mandatory in all residential homes.

The new regulation, which comes into effect October 15th, updates Ontario's Fire Code following the passage of Bill 77 last year. These updates are based on recommendations from a Technical Advisory Committee, which was led by the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management and included experts from fire services, the hotel and rental housing industries, condo owners and alarm manufacturers.

Carbon monoxide detectors will now be required near all sleeping areas in residential homes and in the service rooms and adjacent sleeping areas in multi-residential units. Carbon monoxide alarms can be hardwired, battery-operated or plugged into the wall.

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Working Smoke Alarms Keep Families Safe

Ontario Helps Launch Fire Prevention Week 2014

Otario is helping launch Fire Prevention Week 2014 and encouraging families to test their smoke alarms to make sure they are working. The theme of this year's Fire Prevention Week, which runs from October 5 to 11, is "Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month". Communities and fire services across the province, as well as the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management, will be hosting a number of events to help raise awareness and keep people safe.

This year's campaign features a video developed by the Burlington Fire Department called "Test Yours Today" that reminds everyone about the importance of maintaining and testing their smoke alarms monthly.

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It Takes a Community to Keep Children and Youth Free from Fear, Harm and Violence

October is Child Abuse Prevention Month and children’s aid societies (CASs) across Ontario are calling on the community to help protect children and youth from fear, harm and violence and to support families in crisis.

For over 100 years, the Halton Children’s Aid Society has worked with the Halton community to help children, youth and families thrive. This month we are spreading the message that child and youth safety and family welfare depend on the involvement of the entire community. It is every Ontarian’s responsibility to protect children and youth, the most vulnerable members of our community and report any suspicion that a child or youth may be in need of protection.

The Honourable Tracy MacCharles, Minister of Children and Youth Services said, “Our government believes that every child in Ontario deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential. That is why I am joining the members of the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies in urging those who may have witnessed abuse or neglect to report it. It’s the right thing to do.”

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Seatbelts, Child Car Seats Save Lives

Ontario Annual Seatbelt Campaign Reminds Drivers, Passengers to Buckle Up

Ontario is launching its annual seatbelt campaign to remind drivers and passengers to buckle up and make sure children are properly secured in the right child car seat or booster seat.

Police, fire and emergency services workers, health care professionals and road safety groups across the province are participating in the campaign, which runs until Oct. 10. It includes educational demonstrations, seatbelt enforcement by police and a series of child car seat inspection clinics.

Wearing a seatbelt and using the right child car seat or booster seat is the most effective way to reduce the risk of injury or death in a collision.

Ontario's One Person, One Seatbelt law requires every occupant in a motor vehicle to buckle up properly. Drivers must also make sure all passengers under the age of 16 are properly secured with the appropriate child car seat, booster seat or seatbelt.

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Mental Health and Well-being

Excerpt from Halton District School's website: "We know a student’s mental health impacts their school performance, attendance and achievement. We also know that positive mental health is a learning enabler yet up to 20 per cent or more of children and youth experience mental health problems at any given time.

We have a collective and shared responsibility, not only to respond to a student’s mental health need, but to include the promotion of positive mental health and the prevention of illness in our day-to-day interactions in our school communities. Education, awareness and the de-stigmatizing of mental health are all crucial pieces of the puzzle." The Board has produced a video as a resource for parents. Click here to view the video.

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Be Our Ally

The Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth is sending out a challenge to ALL service providers and members of the LGBTQ community: Find a way to be an ally to LGBTQ youth in government care and residential facilities. We created this video - what can YOU do to help? Don’t say, “That’s so Gay” or “No Homo.” Say something positive. Be an LGBTQ ally.

View the video here: http://bit.ly/1j0V7U3

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Children's Aid Society aims to boost graduation rates with video

Kimonnie Tucker is as confident in person as she is on camera. The George Brown College pre-health science student offers a strong handshake and the invitation to call her Kim, all the while beaming a megawatt smile. On a big screen in the York Region Children’s Aid Society Newmarket boardroom, My Path to a Better Future, a video featuring the young woman and other former Crown wards, is playing. You can view the video here: http://bit.ly/1s3VJIu

The recently produced video shares the experiences and advice of youths in care from York and Durham regions who have completed high school and are furthering their studies.

The video is a co-production between the two regions' Children's Aid Societies and the Durham Crown Ward Education Championship Team. It’s part of a strategy to reverse low high school graduation rates among youths in care and inspire them to complete high school and pursue post-secondary education or training. The production also endeavours to de-stigmatize perceptions about Crown wards.

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Kids and car safety reminders for Burlington residents

Summer temperatures have finally arrived and Halton Children’s Aid Society (CAS) wants to remind parents to brush up on their knowledge of car safety when it comes to small children.

“We know the risk factors (for children) are even higher when we’re in warmer weather,” said Teresa Zonneveld, the community protection supervisor at Halton CAS.

“Our message is that we want to remind parents that children need to be properly supervised at all times. Whether it’s at home or in a car.”

Halton CAS is advising all parents to not leave small children in cars as the city hits hot and humid summer temperatures.

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Oakville's ArtHouse celebrates fifth anniversary in the community

What began as a program to help children experience the thrill of creative and artistic expression, regardless of their socio-economic status, has blossomed into a charitable organization offering cost-free arts programs to children aged 7-12.

Don Pangman, the founder and artistic director of Oakville-based ArtHouse told the Oakville Beaver how the community group has transformed and flourished well beyond what he had envisioned — all thanks to the community that rallied behind it to support it in its initiatives.

In celebration of ArtHouse’s fifth anniversary, which was on June 19, the longtime Oakville resident reflected on the organization, its humble beginnings, its current success and what lies ahead.

“Without the huge community support we would’ve never reached this milestone,” he said, speaking about the individuals, service organizations, foundations, businesses and three levels of governments that have helped provided the financial resources to help ArtHouse sustain — and increase its program capacity.

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Putting an end to youth homelessness in Canada

In 2013, The Home Depot Canada Foundation set a new challenge to address youth homelessness because far too many young people are facing challenges with access to safe, stable and affordable housing.

Each year, The Home Depot Canada Foundation holds a national, in-store fundraising campaign that invites customers to make a $2 donation in support of a local charity. The 2014 campaign—which started May 29th and takes place until July 2nd—unites all Home Depot associates and customers in an effort to prevent and end youth homelessness.

We are very excited to announce that Bridging the Gap has been chosen as one of this year’s charitable partners for The Orange Door Project at two Home Depot locations. Customers shopping at either the 3050 Davidson Court location in Burlington or the 1013 Maple Avenue location in Milton can donate $2 at the checkout to purchase a paper Orange Door.

All proceeds raised at these two locations will benefit Bridging the Gap’s outreach services, Host Homes and Bridge House programs. Bridging the Gap assists Halton youth aged 16 to 24 who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless. Outreach services include finding housing and providing referrals to food banks, counseling services, education programs, employment centres and other services required.

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Kids and car safety reminders for Burlington residents

Summer temperatures have finally arrived and Halton Children’s Aid Society (CAS) wants to remind parents to brush up on their knowledge of car safety when it comes to small children.

“We know the risk factors (for children) are even higher when we’re in warmer weather,” said Teresa Zonneveld, the community protection supervisor at Halton CAS.

“Our message is that we want to remind parents that children need to be properly supervised at all times. Whether it’s at home or in a car.”

Halton CAS is advising all parents to not leave small children in cars as the city hits hot and humid summer temperatures.

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Let’s not repeat a tragedy this summer

As we head into the summer of 2014, it’s a good time to get an early jump on hot weather safety.

Local officials aren’t wasting any time on that note — not after a few summers in which residents were aghast to learn of children and pets being left in hot vehicles.

The deadly mix resulted in tragic consequences last year in Halton when a young Milton boy lost his life and another Oakville child was found in a perilous position.

This year, the Halton Children’s Aid Society (CAS) is out early in issuing warning and safety tips this season. The CAS is reminding people the temperature inside a parked vehicle can climb to more than 50 C in 10-20 minutes on a typical Canadian summer day.

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Milton Family Fun Run set for June 1

The Milton Family Fun Run, which supports the Children’s Aid Foundation of Halton, will be held on Sunday, June 1, 2014.

Designed to bring Milton families together in support of the foundation, the event also encourages a healthy, active lifestyle.

There will be a 5-km run/walk and a 1-km Tot-Trot at the Milton Fair Grounds from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm. In addition, there will be activities at the kid zone area.

Strollers and walkers are welcomed, but organizers said dogs aren’t able to participate due to safety concerns of other participants.

Online registration continues until noon on Saturday at www.miltonfamilyfunrun.ca.

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Families are major contributors to positive and healthy communities

Our Kids Network is joining the United Nations’ call to observe International Day of Families on May 15, 2014 by drawing attention to how families make Halton a positive and healthy place for children and youth.

“Families are not only central to the positive development and success of children and youth but also to safe and thriving communities,”says Elena DiBattista, director of Our Kids Network.

According to the Halton Youth Parent Survey, the majority of local parents have very high levels of Family Assets. These are the everyday interactions, values, skills and relationships families use to help them be strong and resilient. These assets can translate into greater involvement of family members in schools and the community.

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Recognizing the Strength, Bravery and Resilience of Children and Youth in Care

May 14, 2014 is the first annual Children and Youth in Care Day in Ontario

To mark the first official Children and Youth in Care Day in Ontario on May 14th, the Halton Children’s Aid Society is joining with other agencies across the province to celebrate the strength and determination that children and youth in care demonstrate in the face of adversity.

The focus of child welfare work is to ensure children and youth are safe. If it is unsafe for a child or youth to remain at home due to physical, sexual or emotional abuse or neglect, they come into the care of a children’s aid society. When this happens, we provide support so they can be reunited with their family, if and when possible.

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Halton Children's Aid Society celebrates 100 years of service

This year the Halton Children’s Aid Society celebrates 100 years of service and a lot has changed over the years. For one, the original founding meeting was held in 1914 in the Sunday school room at Knox Presbyterian Church in Milton and went under the name Children’s Aid Society of the Counties of Peel and Halton. Now, in 2014 it also has a location in Milton as well as Burlington and its current title is the Halton Children’s Aid Society, but there’s been more than just a change in locale and a new name.

According to Executive Director Nancy MacGillivray, one of its major changes is its focus on kinship connection. “We look for relatives that may want to find a permanent home for them. Not just in Halton, but across Canada. We’ve done a much better job of family finding,” she said. “We search high and low for relatives; we didn’t do much of that in the past.”

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Halton CAS volunteer bonds with children she drives to appointments

The Halton Children’s Aid Society (CAS) relies on more than 200 volunteers.

Juanita Gransaull, a 65-year-old retired office manager who’s been volunteering at Halton CAS for 25 years, is among them. “I love children, that’s why I started volunteering,”said Gransaull. She says she contributes about 160 hours a month to Halton CAS as a driver.

Gransaull is responsible for taking children to daycare, hockey practice, parental visits, court and to trauma centres. “Knowing I have to drive them, it helps me get up in the morning,” said Gransaull. “It’s really just all about the children. They’re just so wonderful.”

Gransaull was bitten by the volunteer bug after she took a trip to England to visit her sister, who is a foster mother. She says that’s what she originally wanted to do, but wasn’t able to at the time. When Gransaull returned home she noticed an ad for Halton CAS looking for mentors for teenage mothers who didn’t have family support and decided to start there.

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Celebrating the Contributions of Volunteers

Last year in Canada, 13.3 million people contributed 2.1 billion hours of volunteer time—that’s the equivalent of 1.1 million full-time jobs! National Volunteer Week, in its 72ndyear, is celebrated from April 6-12, 2014. We encourage you to take the time to thank the volunteers who do so much in our communities.

As the Halton Children’s Aid Society celebrates its 100th Anniversary (1914 to 2014), we want to take the time to thank the many volunteers who have played an essential role in our work over the past 100 years. “Our volunteers truly make a real difference in the lives of the children, youth and families we work with,”notes Nancy MacGillivray, executive director.

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May 14th is now officially Children and Youth in Care Day in Ontario!

May 14th is now officially Children and Youth in Care Day in Ontario!

The Honourable David Onley, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario granted royal assent to Bill 53, An Act to Proclaim Children and Youth in Care Day. This act officially recognizes May 14th of each year as “Children and Youth in Care Day” in the Province of Ontario and will help trigger fundamental change for youth in and leaving care of Ontario’s Children’s Aid Societies.

The new law is the result of a private member’s bill put forward by Soo Wong, MPP for ScarboroughAgincourt.

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Sixth annual tennis exhibition in memory of Jo Dutra

The Children’s Aid Foundation of Halton will be the beneficiaries of the sixth annual Jo Dutra Memorial tennis tournament hosted by Burlington Fitness and Racquet Club on Saturday, March 22.

The event is in honour of the former tennis pro at BFRC who died of cancer in 2009. Dutra’s legacy lives on as the special event is devoted to raising cancer awareness and supporting the CAFH.

A tournament will be held throughout the day followed by a silent auction, dinner and an exhibition tennis match starting at 6:30 p.m.

For further details or to sign-up for the event contact Chris Townley at 905-335-3597 ext. 34 or by email at tennispro@bellnet.ca.

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Celebrate the 20th anniversary of the International Year of the Family

As Our Kids Network reminds Halton families to celebrate our strengths on Family Day, the United Nations is reminding people around the world to recognize the 20th anniversary of the International Year of the Family (IYF).

Elena DiBattista, director of Our Kids Network, says the three IYF themes, although considered global issues, resonate loudly within Halton. They are confronting family poverty, ensuring work-family balance, and advancing social integration and intergenerational solidarity within families and communities.

“According to the Halton Youth Parent Survey, the majority of local parents have very high levels of Family Assets,” she says. “These are the everyday interactions, values, skills and relationships families use to help them thrive. There’s always more work to do, of course. We must continue to support families as they build on their strengths and resiliency.”

 

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Putting Family First

Family Day in Ontario is Monday, February 17th. This holiday celebrates the importance of families and family life to everyone in our community. There are many types of families— single-parent, two-parent, foster, adoptive, same-sex, heterosexual—and each one is unique.

At the Halton Children’s Aid Society, we strongly believe children and youth belong at home and we do everything we can to keep families together. We work with parents, caregivers and other organizations to build a safe, strong community. In fact, we have now been doing so for 100 years—2014 marks a milestone for the Society, A Century of Caring and More!

This Family Day we want to thank all the foster, kin and adoptive families who have cared for our children and youth and helped them create lifelong connections.

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Oakville Rotary Clubs honour six with top award

Oakville Rotary Club's bestowed their highest honour — a Paul Harris Fellowship award —on six people last week.

Gord Cowan, Julia Hanna, Tiffany Kummer, Jennifer Neal, Linda Roberts and John Wannamaker were each recognized at the Oakville Conference Centre during a dinner and awards ceremony celebration hosted by Rotary Club of Oakville, Rotary Club of Oakville Trafalgar and Rotary Club of Oakville West.

The fellowship, established in 1957 and named after the founder of Rotary, recognizes citizens who demonstrate a strong commitment to helping people in need, both locally and internationally.

Rotary Club officials said the recipients embody the spirit of the award.

Each have gone "above and beyond," giving their time, talents and hearts to improve the lives of people in need in the community.

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Parents can now find help at Halton iparent!

New, easy-to-use, online information resource lists more than 130 Halton parenting programs and services

The new Halton iparent gives parents and caregivers an easy way to search online for Halton-specific information about parenting programs and services. It replaces the old, paper Halton Parenting Directory and can be found at www.ourkidsnetwork.ca/iparent.

Halton iparent listings are geared to strengthening parenting knowledge and skills. The services, programs, workshops and seminars listed range from courses for expectant parents to discussion groups for parents of teens. Although the programs are primarily geared to helping parents, there are also some listings for programs that children and youth can attend.

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Halton CAS reaches out to residents with information on adoption

Every child and youth wants a family and they all have one thing in common: the need for a safe and loving home for a lifetime.

The Halton Children’s Aid Society (CAS), which has offices in Burlington and Milton, is marking Adoption Awareness Month by encouraging residents throughout Halton to learn about the role of adoption and lifelong connections in making a difference in the lives of children and youth.

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Adoption is an option—help children and youth create lifelong connections

To recognize Adoption Awareness Month, Ontario’sChildrens Aid Societies (CASs) are raising awareness that all children/youth need and deserve a family to love and nurture them as well as lifelongconnections theycancount on.

When parents/caregivers are unable to provide a safe living environment for their children/youth, CASs make every effort to provide supports so they may remain in their family home, rather than coming into care. These supports may include parenting classes, counseling and referrals to community agencies such as mental health or addiction services. In Halton, over 95% of children and youth remain in their own homes and do not come into care of the Society.

When the safety of a child/youth cannot be ensured and they come into the care of the CAS, a plan for their extended future begins immediately.

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Sports equipment drive at Mainway Arena

An annual sports equipment drive for those in need, locally and in far flung communities, is back for a fourth year.

Winch Group Benefits Consultants Inc. of Burlington is hosting its Fourth Annual Community Equipment Drive on Saturday, Oct. 26, from 9 a.m.–1 p.m., at Mainway Arena, at the corner of Walker’s Line and Mainway Drive.

Thousands of pieces of used sporting equipment have been donated through the equipment drive since 2010 to benefit young people on remote Northern Ontario First Nation reserves.

In 2012, a local component was added with about $750 in corporate donations directed to the Halton Children’s Aid Society, to help fund sport and extra-curricular activities for local children in need.

Halton CAS will be a beneficiary of the drive again this year with about $2,000 in funds expected to be directed to it.

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Protection of Halton’s children relies on people speaking up: CAS

Join the chorus of the concerned — all 4,434 of them, urges the Halton Children’s Aid Society. That’s how many times someone spoke up last year on behalf of children and youth whose safety they feared was in jeopardy.

In light of October’s designation as Child Abuse Prevention Month, the agency reminds residents they too have a responsibility to protect the youngest members of society. “It takes a community to keep children and youth safe from fear, harm and violence,” said the Halton CAS’s Executive Director Nancy McGillivray. “We need people to speak up for people who don’t feel they have a voice that can be heard.”

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It takes a community to keep children and youth safe from fear, harm and violence

During Child Abuse Prevention Month in October, the Halton Children’s Aid Society is calling on the community to help protect children, youth and families.

We need your help. Everyone has a role to play in keeping children and youth safe. It is everyone’s duty to report any suspicion that a child or youth may be in need of protection.

The Halton Children’s Aid Society works hard to protect the children and youth of our community and to support families that need help. Last year, we received over 4,000 referrals about possible abuse and neglect of children and youth, completed over 2,000 investigations and provided ongoing services to more than 300 families.

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Call 9-1-1 if you see children left alone in a hot car

Over the first two months of the summer, a number of children across the province have been left alone in vehicles in scorching temperatures. The Halton Children’s Aid Society offers the following tips for parents, caregivers and the general public to prevent more tragedies.

 

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Youth Awards Recogize Those Who Make a Difference

The Halton Children’s Aid Society is proud to announce the recipients of the 2013 youth awards to five very deserving youth. The youth were presented the awards at the Society’s 99th Annual General Meeting in Burlington on June 19, 2013.

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Celebrate Children and Youth in Care Day ~ May 14, 2013

There are over 8,000 children and youth living in the care of children’s aid societies across Ontario. In 2011, they were given a voice through the “Our Voice, Our Turn: Youth Leaving Care Hearings.” These hearings shed light on the challenges faced by children and youth living in care and made it clear that more must be done to support these young people.

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Children’s Mental Health Week

Raise awareness, decrease stigma and know that help is available!

Each year, Ontarians mark the first full week of May as Children's Mental Health Week . 1 in 5 Ontario children and youth under the age of 19 has a mental health problem - that's about 500,000 kids.

Disorders range from anxiety, depression and conduct disorder to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, eating disorders and schizophrenia. Left untreated, mental health disorders can lead to school failure, family conflicts, drug abuse, and even suicide.

For more information, visit the website of Children’s Mental Health Ontario (CMHO) at www.kidsmentalhealth.ca

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Quilters spread the warmth

An old-fashioned art form is bringing newfound comfort to those in need in our community.

the Halton Quilters Guild (HQG) has been providing their quilts to local charities as part of the group’s Comfort Quilt outreach program.

The HQG was established in 1977 and has a mandate for community outreach projects.

The guild distributes approximately 100 quilts per year to various local charities including the Children’s Aid Society, the Salvation Army, The Compassion Society, nursing homes and hospices.

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Celebrating Volunteers

In their role as tutor, mentor, special friend, board member, driver and more, volunteers make a significant difference to the lives of the children, youth and families in communities across the province. The Halton Children’s Aid Society (Halton CAS) supports National Volunteer Week—April 21-27, 2013—as a time to recognize the important role of volunteers in our society and the great work they do!

According to the 2011 United Nations State of the World’s Volunteerism Report, “. . . volunteerism benefits both society at large and the individual volunteer by strengthening trust, solidarity and reciprocity among citizens, and by purposefully creating opportunities for participation.”

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On Family Day, Reach Out to Those in Need

February 18th is Family Day in Ontario--a time for most people to take advantage of a statutory holiday to have fun and enjoy activities with their family and loved ones. Today's family comes in many forms--single-parent, two-parent, foster, adoptive, same-sex, heterosexual and all colours, shapes and sizes.

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Flynn: Children’s Aid Society needs funding changes

It’s time for the funding formula behind Children’s Aid Societies to change, said Oakville MPP Kevin Flynn. A Halton CAS board member for 12 years, Flynn recently had a meeting with the Society and learned the even greater need for an updated system.

 

“I went on [the board] for the best of reasons,”said Flynn. “Most of the volunteers are like that. They’re interested in kids’welfare and they understand there’s some kids and families struggling. But pretty soon after you become a board member, you realize your job is to fight for funding for these kids. The child welfare system in Ontario has never been funded effectively or efficiently.”

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Halton CAS seeking adoption homes for children

Children’s Aid societies are spreading their message throughout the province that all children and youth deserve to have forever families and lifelong connections they can count on.

The Halton Children’s Aid Society (CAS), with offices in Burlington and Milton, is reminding residents of the region that November is Adoption Awareness Month in Ontario.

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October recognizes child abuse prevention

The saying, ‘It takes a community to raise a child’ rings particularly true in Amy Bramwell’s line of work. As a supervisor for the Halton Children’s Aid Society, she’s among a network of social workers, community-based groups and professionals working to protect children and youth and ensure families receive the support they need.

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October is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Ontario’s children’s aid societies have been raising awareness during October for Child Abuse Prevention Month for twenty years. It started with one agency and has grown to include over 40 participating agencies.

The campaign’s goal is to raise awareness—on both a provincial and community level—by engaging the public, media and families across Ontario.

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Toy Tea

Oakville-based Henderson Partners, LLP not only celebrated the holidays with its Tinsel
Town-themed Oakville Toy Tea, but also a decade of helping those in need.

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Reach Out on Family Day

ON FAMILY DAY, REACH OUT TO THOSE IN NEED
Burlington, ON – February 20th is Family Day in Ontario—a time for most people to take advantage of a statutory holiday to have fun and enjoy activities with their family and loved ones.

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Child-Abuse Awareness Month

The Purple Ribbon campaign continues.October is Child Abuse Prevention Month and is marked by the wearing of a purple ribbon.

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Free Wheelin'

Greg Pace recently made his annual visit to the Halton Children’s Aid Society office in
Burlington to donate new bikes to children in the CAS’s care.

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Natural Playground Provides Break

Burlington, ON – Earlier this summer, staff (and their children), community partners and Board members were introduced to their new Family Play Area—a natural playground inspiring them to explore their world of play in a whole new way.

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Toy Donation

The Halton Children’s Aid Society recently received a toy donation courtesy of area Mac’s
convenience stores.

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Adoption is an Option

Burlington, ON – November is Adoption Awareness Month in Ontario and Children’s Aid Societies (CASs) across the province, including the Halton Children’s Aid Society, are encouraging families to consider adoption and other options for children and youth.

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Volunteers Make a Difference

Burlington, ON – The Halton Children’s Aid Society recognizes those community members, parents, teachers and retirees who give of their time to support vulnerable children, youth and their families during National Volunteer Appreciation Week, April 10-16, 2011.

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