If you have concerns about a child call:

905.333.4441

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Contact Us

Burlington Office 1445 Norjohn Court Burlington, ON L7L 0E6
Milton Office 325 Main Street East Milton, ON L9T 1P5
Toll Free: 866.607.KIDS (5437) Phone: 905.333.4441 Fax: 905.333.1844 TTY: 711 (TTY to Voice)
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National Volunteer Week–April 7-13, 2019

Friday, April 5th, 2019

National Volunteer Week, which takes place April 7-13, 2019, is a time to recognize, thank and celebrate Canada’s 12.7 million volunteers. The Halton Children’s Aid Society (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 2019 is ‘The Volunteer Factor—Lifting Communities.’ As noted by one of the Society’s volunteers, “Most long-term volunteers will tell you, ‘I get more out of it than I put in. I always say that I’m very selfish to volunteer. This is my fun time.’” Volunteer Canada states, “When we volunteer, our spirits are lifted when we have the opportunity to work with others. It’s the Volunteer Factor!”

At the Society, our volunteers annually contribute more than 15,000 hours of their time in various roles including mentors, volunteer drivers, summer camp support, food for life program assistance, tutoring and so much more.

Meet Jim. Every week, Jim packs fresh food boxes and delivers them to individuals and families in need. Some are young adults starting out on their own, others are single parents who need a helping hand – all appreciate his efforts. “I can’t imagine not being involved. I honestly don’t know what I would do without Children’s Aid,” Jim shares.

There are many more stories from the hundreds of people who have volunteered with us over the past 105 years. During National Volunteer Week, we thank our volunteers, both past and present, for their wonderful contributions to the work of our Society. We are proud to recognize them this week and in the future. We could not do the work we do without them!

Have you considered volunteering? Contact us today to learn more and become part of The Volunteer Factor! http://haltoncas.ca/join-team/become-a-volunteer/

Neighbourhoods Can Help Kids Thrive!

Monday, March 25th, 2019

Source: Rebecca Abavi, Our Kids Network Research & Knowledge Broker Intern

Neighbourhoods Can Help Kids Thrive! | Using the power of relationships, research and knowledge to help kids thrive

Good neighbourhoods can help children thrive. Research tells us that in neighbourhoods where people get along, share values, and trust each other, youth have better mental health. And we know that neighbourhoods with lower social support and higher levels of poverty can negatively impact children’s development.

It is because neighbourhoods can play such a key role in supporting positive development of children, that Our Kids Network (OKN) collects and shares data on child and youth outcomes at the neighbourhood level.

Our brand new Neighbourhood Profiles showcase data from six different sources: the Early Development Instrument, Education Quality and Accountability Office, IntelliHealth Ontario, Kindergarten Parent Survey, Statistics Canada Census, and Tell Them From Me Elementary School Survey. Together, this data provides a snapshot of how Halton children 0 to 12 years-old are doing at the neighbourhood level.

The Profiles provide Halton-specific information, enabling professionals and agencies to identify areas of vulnerability and strength in this population of children. The neighbourhood data can reveal gaps in services, help to identify changes needed, and support the implementation of those changes, all at the local level.

The OKN Neighbourhood Profiles are complemented by municipal-level data from the Tell Them From Me Secondary School Survey, which provides information on the wellbeing of secondary school students in grades 9 to 12 in Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville.

Data becomes more meaningful when it is shared, debated and discussed. Use the OKN Neighbourhood Profiles and municipal data to create opportunities for discussion and collaboration with your colleagues and the community, and to better understand and respond to the needs of children and youth in Halton.

What is an Our Kids Network Neighbourhood?

Our Kids Network partners, researchers, and community professionals identified 27 different neighbourhoods for the purpose of collecting, analyzing and sharing important local research. The neighbourhoods’ borders reflect Statistics Canada census boundaries, and natural, transportation, municipal, regional boundaries.

Demand for homelessness prevention services rising in Halton

Tuesday, February 26th, 2019

Local families seeking help to avoid eviction and secure permanent housing

The demand for measures that help keep vulnerable local residents off the streets is climbing.

According to the latest statistics put forth by Halton Region, 1,925 households were supported last year by the municipality’s homelessness prevention services — an increase from 1,746 in 2017.

The local families were assisted via dollars from the region’s Housing Stability Fund, which is used to prevent evictions and utility disconnections, secure permanent housing and furniture, and assist with moving and storage costs.

The influx can be attributed to the region’s efforts to intervene earlier in the lives of Halton residents at risk of homelessness, supporting them to ensure they remain housed, explained commissioner of social and community services Alex Sarchuk.

“The emphasis has shifted from emergency shelter to those upstream interventions,” he said during Wednesday’s regional council meeting.

Sarchuk noted this shift in attention is largely responsible for a decline in family shelter admissions, which has fallen 36 per cent since 2015.

He went on to present council with a snapshot of homelessness in Halton that reveals individuals and families continue to struggle to keep a roof over their heads in one of the Greater Toronto Area’s most affluent regions.

An enumeration conducted last year revealed that 271 people were experiencing homelessness in Halton, up slightly from the last count done in 2016 that identified 264 individuals.

Sarchuk said the increase is largely the result of a change in the way statistics are gathered, with the provincial and federal governments now mandating the inclusion of homeless individuals in hospitals, jails, motels and couch surfers.

Of the 271 people considered homeless locally, the majority were staying in transitional housing or shelters, while the remainder were said to be couch surfing or staying in a motel, the hospital or jail. Fourteen individuals were experiencing unsheltered homelessness — a decrease of five per cent since the 2016 count was completed.

Source: Independent Free Press, Author: Melanie Hennessey

BLACK Community Service Providers: CAS Training Sessions

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

One Vision One Voice (OVOV) is very pleased to share that Judie Powell and Sheehira Scott (Community Engagement Workers) will be leading provincial training for COMMUNITY organizations serving Black families. The training will focus on building capacity at community organizations to support Black families by giving community organizations relevant knowledge about exactly how Children’s Aid Societies (CASs) work, what they need to tell their clients and the best way to support their clients who are engaging with CAS.

Training dates, particularly for Toronto, are on a first come first serve basis and are filling up.

Are You Driven to Volunteer?

Friday, December 14th, 2018

Help make a difference in the lives of our children, youth and families

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!

The Halton Children’s Aid Society is seeking applications for mature and responsible volunteer drivers to transport children, youth and families to appointments and schools throughout the Halton Region. 

Volunteer drivers are mostly required during the day, but also evenings and weekends. Some drivers do specific weekly 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.

Why Be a Volunteer Driver? Gain the satisfaction of knowing you have made a positive difference in the lives of our children, youth and families

For more information or to apply to be a volunteer driver with our Society, CLICK here to learn more or send an email to volunteers@haltoncas.ca

 

 

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids–Canada

Friday, December 14th, 2018

The Halton Children’s Aid Society is excited to be implementing
Wendy’s Wonderful Kids
, a signature program of the Dave Thomas
Foundation for Adoption
(Foundation) that will bring children and youth waiting to be adopted from foster care one step closer to safe, loving and permanent homes.

Through Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, the Foundation provides grants to adoption agencies and children’s aid societies to hire and train adoption recruiters who implement the Foundation’s Child-Focused Recruitment Model. This model is up to three times more effective at serving children and youth who have been in foster care the longest including older youth, sibling groups and children/youth with special needs.

The Halton Children’s Aid Society is proud to be a
Wendy’s Wonderful Kids grant recipient. Every day, we strive to find
forever homes for children and youth in Ontario.

To learn more about the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption-Canada, contact Angela Marshall at angela_marshall@davethomasfoundation.org, subscribe to the Foundation’s newsletter and follow on Facebook and Twitter.

Acton Early Years Committee: The Heart of the Matter

Tuesday, November 13th, 2018

Action Early Years Committee: The Heart of the Matter
by Alison Hilborn, Our Kids Network Acton Community Hub Coordinator

Around the Acton Early Years Committee table, making a positive difference in children’s lives is what we all want. We want young children in Acton to grow and flourish, and ultimately become successful, happy adults. We work towards this vision through the many strong partnerships around the table. Over the past four years we’ve met once a month. We’ve brainstormed, discussed, critically analyzed, grown closer, and developed supportive, mindful relationships – relationships with “heart”.

It’s important to recognize that the partners on this committee come from organizations that have their own mandates, and yet these organizations all see the tremendous value in working together to bring change for the good to the community, and to young children and their families. We’re grateful for these Halton organizations* that support their staff to participate at the Acton Early Years Committee table. The benefits from their knowledge, expertise and perspectives on child development and this community’s unique needs are invaluable. We’ve progressed from speculating on possible solutions to grounding our discussions and actions in experiential learning, best practice efforts, and strategies.

It’s easy to see how our evidence-based initiatives that support young Acton children reflect the heart and creativity of the Acton Early Years Committee:

  • Fine and gross motor skill activity kits that respond directly to the Early Development Initiative (EDI) vulnerabilities.
  • Annual Kindergarten Fun Fairs to engage with new parents and to provide necessary service support information.
  • Connect, Play & Learn Every Day! Messaging that speaks directly to parents.

We know it will take more time, and lots of hard work, to improve on current EDI results, but the Acton Early Years Committee is dedicated!  We will use our partnerships, what we’ve learned, and our “heart” to continue to work toward addressing the underlying factors that impact young children’s developmental readiness for school – and to ensure that, in Acton, all children thrive!

*Acton Early Years Committee: Halton Catholic District School Board, St. Joseph’s Catholic Elementary School, Halton District School Board, McKenzie-Smith Bennet School, Robert Little Public School, Halton Region, Children’s Services and Healthy Families, The Halton Resource Centre, Reach Out Centre for Kids (ROCK), The Town of Halton Hills, Community Living North Halton, YMCA of the GTA, Links2Care – EarlyON, Halton Hills Libraries, Halton Children’s Aid Society

2018 Holiday Program

Thursday, November 8th, 2018

The Children’s Aid Foundation of Halton (CAFH) is the fundraising arm of the Halton Children’s Aid Society (Halton CAS). Together, with you, our community ‘Partners in Caring,’ we assist children, youth and families who are experiencing serious challenges. Our goal is to brighten the holiday season by providing necessities and gifts to those who have been referred to our Holiday Program.

Together, we can do it. Keep reading for a few ways you can assist!

Gift Cards for Teens–Gift cards allow teens to purchase items they really want or need; there is no guesswork. We suggest the following gift card ideas–local malls and department stores, clothing stores such as American Eagle, Boathouse, Bluenotes, Garage and/or electronics and movies passes (always a hit).

Toy Drives, Games, Puzzles and Crafts for All Ages–We also need festive stockings, gift wrap, gift bags, tissue paper and gift tags.

Comfort Kits (all ages)–Infants, children, teens and young adults may be separated from their families, for a short or extended period of time, while healing occurs. Comfort Kits provide immediate needs and comforting items to help during difficult times of transition. Pillows, soft blankets, pajamas, socks and personal care products (such as toothbrushes, toothpaste and hairbrushes) are a few things we suggest.

Family Comfort Hampers–Family Comfort Hampers are delivered to families who are unable to do their own shopping. We provide you with a ‘wish list’ of specific items for food and big box store gift cards. We suggest $50 per person for food and approximately $50 to $75 for gifts for each family member.

New Clothing/Pajamas/Personal Hygiene Products (all ages and sizes)–Socks, underwear, pajamas, mittens and hats, toiletries and personal care/hygiene products (such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, hairbrushes, deodorant and lotions). 

Life Start Kits–Youth and young adults transitioning out of foster/group homes into independent living require the necessary items for setting up a home—bed linen, pillows, blankets, towels, cutlery, cooking utensils, dishcloths and pots/pans.

***Donation Drop-Off Information***

  • Please ensure all donations are NEW and UNWRAPPED
  • Please deliver donations to our office by December 14, 2018
  • Gift cards, please clearly indicate the value on each card
  • Office location–1445 Norjohn Court, Unit 1, Burlington, which is south of Mainway between Burloak Drive and Appleby Line
  • Office Hours–Monday to Thursday, 9:00 am to 7:00 pm and Friday, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

For more information, please contact Lisa Janssen, Partnership and Program Development, ljanssen@haltoncas.ca or 905.635.0724.

Become a Year-round ‘Partner in Caring’

To sustain programs and provide support year-found, we rely on financial donations from the community. Please consider monthly or annual gifts. Monthly donors are true Community Champions making an immediate, lasting and meaningful impact on the lives of children and youth in need.

Thank you for wanting to provide comfort and considering the children, youth and families in need this holiday season!

Learning through Play

Thursday, October 25th, 2018

Time to Turn Back the Clock and Change the Conversation about Learning through Play

With the end of October nearby, we will soon be reminded to turn back our clocks in order to gain a few extra hours of daylight.  It’s also an opportunity for us to literally turn back time and reflect on our experiences as children and what this time of year meant to us.

As a child, for me fall was a magical time of playing outdoors until it was too dark or too cold to stay outside. I remember collecting acorns and brightly coloured leaves on my way to school and trading them with my friends at recess, jumping into piles of raked leaves in my backyard, and running through the fields at a local farm to find the perfect pumpkin for carving.

Play was as integral then, as it is now, to a child’s physical, social and emotional health and learning.  Unfortunately, as Dr. Jean Clinton recently pointed out, the importance of play and learning is not well understood among parents who are more inclined to value traditional academic and structured activities over play.  In order to shift this thinking, we need to change the conversation to address the importance of play with families, caregivers, colleagues and others who work with children during the early years.

Thankfully, as professionals working with families, many of us have daily opportunities to highlight the importance of play within our work and how it can be beneficial to both children, parents and caregivers.  Through the Early Years Initiative, OKN and its partners are doing this by promoting Connect, Play & Learn, Every Day!, a campaign developed to raise awareness about the importance of learning through play during the early years. Parents and practitioners alike can access information, resources and play ideas online.

The more we discuss and document the importance of play with families during visits and in programs, the more likely parents will value the benefits play has at home, in school, and in the community.

Ontario Dress Purple Day – October 24, 2018

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

Every October Children’s Aid Societies across the province raise awareness about the rights of children and youth to safety and well-being, and the responsibility of adults and community services to help children, youth, and families who need support. On Ontario Dress Purple Day we join together with our key partners, Boards of Education, schools, and child care centres and homes, to share this positive message that help is available and to celebrate the community that cares for kids and families.

This year Ontario Dress Purple Day will take place on Wednesday, October 24, 2018.

To support Ontario Dress Purple Day and its focus on getting and giving help, we are providing online classroom resources (elementary schools and middle/high schools) to help teachers and education professionals make the day a meaningful and engaging learning opportunity for students from JK to Grade 12. The classroom resources are intended to support teachers and education professionals to engage with their students in conversations about safety and well-being in all aspects of their lives, helping adults in the community, and how to ask for help.

The classroom resources are evidence-based primary prevention materials, empowering students to think and act in positive ways, appropriate for their age and stage of learning and development. The goal of the materials is to help all children and youth, regardless of the situation they are in, to acquire skills and attributes that lessen their vulnerability to harm. You can learn more about the research informing the Ontario Dress Purple classroom resources by reading these articles on Getting Help, Self-Esteem, and Physical Touch. Learn more about how neglect of basic needs can impact children and youth here. Learn about how Children’s Aid Societies support children and families where neglect is a concern here.