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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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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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'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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