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Burlington Office 1445 Norjohn Court Burlington, ON L7L 0E6
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Toll Free: 866.607.KIDS (5437) Phone: 905.333.4441 Fax: 905.333.1844 TTY: 711 (TTY to Voice)
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Children’s Aid Societies and schools across the province DRESS PURPLE on October 24 to support Child Abuse Prevention Month

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

On Tuesday October 24th, 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 DRESS PURPLE DAY to raise awareness about how it takes a community to prevent child abuse. The provincial hashtag for the campaign is #IBREAKthesilence.

This year, hundreds of schools across the province will be using specialized classroom resources developed by OACAS to support teachers to engage in conversations about safety and well-being with students from JK to Grade 5. The resources are also intended to support schools in their participation in DRESS PURPLE DAY.

“A teacher may be the only ‘helping’ adult that a child encounters on a daily basis,” Mary Ballantyne, CEO of the OACAS said. “This vital link between teachers and a child who may be abused or neglected means that they are one of our most important partners in keeping children safe.”

The OACAS classroom resources are built around the theme “It takes a village to keep kids safe.” OACAS worked with Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre and Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society to create the Dress Purple Classroom Resources, which have been developed to support key recommendations from the Inquests into the tragic deaths of Jeffrey Baldwin and Katelynn Sampson. Inquest recommendations included the need to develop age appropriate curriculum for students about child abuse and neglect, and to support collaborative projects between CASs and Boards of Education.

“Schools have a unique window into the lives of children and youth, and so play an important role in keeping children safe,” Mary Ballantyne, CEO of the OACAS, said.

Ontario’s 48 CASs are an essential part of the provincial safety net for children, but they rely heavily on professional and public referrals to do their work. Schools are one of the leading sources for child protection referrals made to CASs.

“Speaking up and sharing the message that child abuse and neglect can be prevented, and that help is available, is an important message for all of us to share – not just today, but every day,” Honourable Michael Coteau, Minister of Children and Youth Services and Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism said. “We all have a duty and responsibility to our next generation, and ensuring they are supported to reach their best and full potential.”

We are also excited to have the CN Tower, a provincial landmark, light up in purple on the evening of October 23rd to usher in DRESS PURPLE DAY. The CN Tower will be lit in purple from sunset on the 23rd to sunrise the next day, in addition to the standard light show.

Foster Family Week – October 15-21, 2017

Sunday, October 15th, 2017

Foster Family Week highlights the critical role foster families play in the safety and well-being of children and youth.

When children and youth cannot remain at home due to safety concerns, the preferred option is to place them with their immediate or extended family, or a member of their community. If that is not possible, foster care may be the best alternative.

Foster parents work closely with us, opening both their hearts and homes to provide care for children and youth going through an immensely difficult time in their life and who often have complex needs. Foster families provide a nurturing and supportive home for children and youth in care for a few days, weeks, months or possibly years.

Many Children’s Aid Societies in Ontario, including the Halton CAS, are facing a foster parent crisis. In fact, the need for foster families to open their homes to teens, siblings and children or youth who may have special needs has never been greater.

CLICK here to learn more about fostering with the Halton Children’s Aid Society.

October is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

October is Child Abuse Prevention Month in Ontario and 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of this campaign.

This year, the Halton Children’s Aid Society is joining the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) and Children’s Aid Societies to raise awareness about the importance of calling Children’s Aid with concerns about the safety or well-being of a child or youth. This year’s campaign specifically highlights the devastating impact neglect—which is classified as a type of abuse—can have on a child or youth.

As part of this campaign, Dress Purple Day will take place October 24, 2017. To launch this provincial day of action, the CN Tower will be lit purple on October 23rd from sunset to sunrise. (A standard set light show will run for eight minutes at the top of every hour.)

We want to thank the City of Burlington, ON for proclaiming October as Child Abuse Prevention Month and October 24, 2017 as Dress Purple Day in the City of Burlington.

October is Child Abuse Prevention Month: Your call to Children’s Aid could be the most important in a child or youth’s life

Sunday, October 1st, 2017

October is Child Abuse Prevention Month and this year the Halton Children’s Aid Society is joining the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) and Children’s Aid Societies to raise awareness about the importance of calling Children’s Aid with concerns about the safety or well-being of a child or youth. This year’s campaign specifically highlights the devastating impact neglect—which is classified as a type of abuse—can have on a child or youth.

“A child who is neglected is consistently not having their vital needs met. That could mean poor nutrition, lack of attention to hygiene or unattended physical and medical needs,” says Mary Ballantyne, CEO of OACAS. “From a child welfare perspective, neglect is a concern because it ultimately affects a child’s ability to thrive.”

Child neglect can be difficult to assess, as harm caused by the absence of something is not always readily apparent. Child neglect can be caused by the inability of parents or caregivers to meet a child’s basic needs including food, shelter, clothing, education, supervision, medical care and safe surroundings.

Provincial research shows that approximately 90 percent of the children and youth that receive protection services from Children’s Aid live in families that are struggling with chronic needs such as poverty, mental health and addiction. It is important to understand that although poverty can be a risk factor for both neglect and abuse, children and youth are also abused or neglected in families with higher socio-economic status. Every community has an important role to play in helping prevent incidences of neglect and abuse.

In Halton, and across the province, children and youth remain with their families in 97% of CAS investigations, a statistic that comes as a surprise to many people. Halton’s community-based program focuses the majority of our work on in-home based on the recognition that early intervention can reduce the need for more intrusive services later.

“No one should hesitate to report suspected cases of child abuse and neglect to a Children’s Aid Society. Making that call can support a child and their family in getting the help they need. This can mean services and supports, and making the right connections in their community,” says Michael Coteau, Minister of Children and Youth Services and Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism.

Quick Facts

  • 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of Child Abuse Prevention Month in Ontario.
  • Dress Purple Day will take place on October 24, 2017. To launch this provincial day of action, the CN Tower will be lit purple on October 23rd from sunset to sunrise. (A standard set light show will run for eight minutes at the top of every hour.)

Sports equipment drive boosts Halton CAS, First Nations youth

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

The Winch Group is kicking off hockey season with its eighth Annual Community Sports Equipment Drive.

The initiative, which supports First Nations youth and the Halton Children’s Aid Society, collects gently-used sporting equipment that is distributed to young people in need. Last year, items were packed into OPP trailers and transported to Wasauksing First Nation in Parry Sound, as well as Shawanaga First Nation, Henvey Inlet First Nation, and Magnetawan First Nation. Gear was also flown into Neskantaga First Nation.

Organizers are looking for hockey gear, bicycles, and other athletic items. They can be dropped off at the Mainway Recreation Centre parking lot at 4015 Mainway (east of Walkers Line) in Burlington on Saturday, Nov. 4 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For more information about the equipment drive, email Lindsay Webb at l.webb@swinchgroup.com or visit www.winchgroup.com/community-outreach.

September Family Night Social – Halton Families for Families

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

Halton Families for Families September Family Night Social will take place in Acton and is going to be full of wonderful music – join in and Karaoke the night away!!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at The Roxy, 6 Mill Street East, Acton. More details in the flyer below.

***Please note families should RSVP for the event at http://www.haltonfamiliesforfamilies.com/fns-rsvp/***

This event is for everyone . . . kids, youth, parents, caregivers and the whole family. It is an opportunity for families impacted by a child or youth’s mental health to have an evening out together connecting and sharing with other families.

Volunteer Hours: do you know a youth looking for a meaningful way to acquire volunteer hours? Halton Families for Families is always looking for volunteers. CLICK here to learn more!

Halton Families for Families is a community partnership, engaging Halton families who have been impacted by a child or youth’s mental illness.

Can’t make this event. Watch for details about October’s event at Bruce Trail Public School in Milton.

Back-to-School Drive in Full Force

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

Our fundraising arm, the Children’s Aid Foundation of Halton (CAFH), is in full swing with this year’s Back-to-School drive for supplies.

We want to give a HUGE shout-out to the following who have so generously donated to this campaign that helps the children, youth and families supported by both the CAFH and our Society.

 

 

Thank you to:

On behalf of the children and youth who will benefit, we thank you so much. There are always items still needed, so if you are interested in donating, we can still use the following items:

  • Backpacks
  • Locks
  • Binders
  • Highlighters

Contact Lisa Janssen at 905.635.0724 or ljanssen@haltoncas.ca or visit the CAFH website to learn more.

 

Take the STING out of Back-to-School

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

Make the first day of school sweet. Please consider the children and youth who are supported by the Children’s Aid Foundation of Halton through the Halton Children’s Aid Society. When shopping for back-to-school items for your family, think about the making a donation for the children and youth in Halton.

Items most needed include:

  • Funds to support special needs and educational programs
  • Items for teens (high school) including binders, backpacks, locks and pens
  • Personal care products (teen packs)
  • Gift cards for lunches, shoes and clothing

For more information, or to learn how you can support Halton’s children and youth year round, contact Lisa Janssen at 905.635.0724 or ljanssen@haltoncas.ca.

You’re The Chef!

Monday, July 17th, 2017

Good-bye Fast and Processed Foods: Learning to Cook from Scratch!

By Jennifer Jenkins-Scott, Health Promoter, Healthy Families Division of Halton Region Health Department

When was the last time you made a meal from scratch? A whole meal, prepared using fresh fruits, vegetables, spices and herbs?

Parents today are so busy that they often rely on fast or processed foods for ease and convenience. But the trade-off is that these foods are much higher in fat, sugar and salt. Eating these types of foods frequently can put children at risk of developing chronic diseases. There is also a lost opportunity for family time together in the kitchen and for children to learn the enjoyment and skill of cooking.

Research has shown that improving children’s food skills in the kitchen results in higher vegetable and fruit consumption for the whole family! “Our Kids Eat Well”, a new Our Kids Network work group with a focus on promoting healthy eating in fun and interesting ways, has launched “You’re the Chef!”

You’re the Chef! Learning to Cook for 10 to 17-year-olds
Numerous Our Kids Network community organizations have been trained to deliver a four-session program to children and youth 10 to 17 years-old, on how to prepare fruit and vegetable dishes.

This valuable “You’re the Chef!” program teaches youth how to read a recipe, measure ingredients, chop, fry and bake. Learning these important skills and having fun at the same time builds confidence and the skills to prepare fruit and vegetable dishes in their own homes for themselves and their families.

The initiative started in May and runs until the end of December. It will be evaluated for its effectiveness in preparing the trainers, and in teaching cooking skills to children and youth. Ideas on how to expand the program to more age- groups, communities, and organizations will be considered 2018. Additional initiatives will also be developed to continue to build our focus on strengthening food literacy in Halton.

If you’re interested in learning more about the “You’re the Chef!” initiative, contact Jennifer Jenkins-Scott, Health Promoter, Healthy Families Division of Halton Region Health Department at Jennifer.Jenkins-Scott@Halton.ca

National Volunteer Week

Friday, April 28th, 2017

April 23-29, 2017 is National Volunteer Week. In 2017, volunteering comes in many forms and is as diverse as Canada itself.  Someone who shovels their neighbour’s laneway or who brings a lost pet to the animal shelter is helping to build a stronger community. Sometimes we miss recognizing these people as volunteers because they do not occupy a formal role within an organization or group. 

At the Halton Children’s Aid Society, our volunteers play a VERY important role for our children, youth and families. They annually contribute more than 16,000 hours of their time in various roles including mentors, volunteer drivers, summer camp support, food for life program assistance, tutoring and so much more.

Join us in celebrating volunteers this week. However you recognize volunteering in 2017, one thing remains timeless . . . volunteer efforts create positive impact in communities across Canada.