It highlights our agency's work over the past year, including our ongoing partnership with Dnaagdawenmag
Binnoojiiyag Child and Family Services, and our work to implement the long-awaited and welcome changes in the new Child,
Youth and Family Services Act, 2017.
We are grateful for exceptional staff, resource families, volunteers, and board members who diligently
work to deliver on our agency's mission of thriving children, resilient families, and caring communities.
July 30 is World Day Against Trafficking in Persons
July 30 is World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. York Region Children's Aid Society is
committed to the fight to end human trafficking, a rapidly growing form of abuse often targeted at children and youth.*
Human trafficking is a deplorable violation of human rights, described as a modern form of
slavery, which is happening here in York Region and all over the world. In Canada, human trafficking takes place
largely for the purpose of sexual exploitation. In York Region, this has been known to occur in hotels, clubs, massage
parlors, escort services, and even private residences.
While anyone can be targeted, marginalized individuals are at higher risk including Indigenous
women and girls, vulnerably housed teens, and children and youth who identify as LGBTQ+.
Traffickers typically begin the grooming process around age 12 or 13, preying on vulnerable
and unsuspecting children and youth and the innate human need to belong and be connected to the love of a family.
Traffickers often play the role of attentive friend or boyfriend, promising a different and better life, an emotional
connection, and often a romantic relationship.
When human trafficking involves children and youth under the age of 18, it is a child abuse, and
a protection concern that requires our agency's involvement and action.
As part of York Region Children's Aid Society commitment to end human trafficking, we have
developed a shared protocol with the York Regional Police Human Trafficking Team to help identify and protect children
and youth. When York Regional Police find children and youth who fall under the CAS legal mandate and require child
protection, they call us for consultation. In turn, we call them when we have concerns or knowledge that a child or youth
may be trafficked or is being groomed. This partnership has allowed our agency to learn, grow, and strategize about how
to help in a more holistic way.
Additionally, we have mandatory staff and resource parent training around identifying warning
signs of human trafficking among youth. York Region Children’s Aid Society is also working with York University on a
research project with victims and survivors of human trafficking and human services providers with the goal of developing
tools and programs that will assist in better identifying at-risk youth in the early stages with the hopes of intervening
and reintegrating children and youth back to their families.
Our agency's internal cross-departmental Human Trafficking Committee strives to be a community
leader in the fight against human trafficking. The committee works to maintain, communicate, train, and evaluate the
shared Human Trafficking Protocol with York Regional Police, and to embed knowledge of human trafficking in the way we
provide service to children, youth, and families.
Please join us in the fight to end human trafficking. If you see or suspect human trafficking,
please contact the YRP Human Trafficking Team at 905-758-5581 (all calls are confidential) or email email@example.com.
Lend your support on Twitter by using the United Nations hashtags: #IGiveHope #EndHumanTrafficking.
* Statistics Canada data reveals that youth under the age of 18 made up one quarter of recorded
human trafficking victims in Canada between 2009 and 2014.
Ontario Election 2018
Leading up to election day on June 7, make sure candidates are supporting Ontario's children and families. Learn how to help
Why are some families involved with child welfare? What are some of the challenges those families face?
Who's responsible for helping these families? Watch this video. The answers may surprise you.
March is National Social Work Month!
We recognize and thank our dedicated staff for the important and life-changing work they do every day to help children, youth,
and families. Social workers wear many hats: counsellor, problem solver, advocate, but most importantly - that of fellow
compassionate human being. Social workers champion on behalf of the most vulnerable, and are often the critical link between
the help someone needs and connecting them to available resources. Social workers look to provide hope and strive to empower
Thank you to our staff for their diligent work on behalf of children, youth, and families - work to be recognized
and celebrated during National Social Work month and beyond!
Click here to read more about Anna, our Children's Mental Health Professional!
Province increases age of protection for children to 18 years of age
On January 1, 2018, Ontario will increase the age of protection to include all children under the age
of 18 years of age. By increasing the age of protection, 16- and 17-year-olds who are in need of protection will be eligible
for the full range of child protection services, which will give them a better opportunity to get the support they need, and
have better outcomes as they transition to adulthood.
A youth may be eligible for protection services if they are experiencing physical abuse, sexual abuse,
emotional abuse, neglect and/or abandonment, or if they are at risk of any of these things. Youth who have left home because
of concerns about safety or risk of harm at home, and youth who are homeless, may be eligible for services from a children's
If you are concerned that a youth may be in need of protection, call us 24 hours a day, 7 days
a week, at 905-895-2318 (toll-free 1-800-718-3850).
A new Voluntary Youth Services Agreement will be available for youth who:
● are aged 16 or 17;
● cannot be adequately protected at home or in their current living situation;
● have no other safe options with family or friends; and
● need an out-of-home placement.
Children's aid societies and youth-serving community agencies are encouraged to work collaboratively to
develop protocols and processes to support services for 16- and 17-year old youth in need of protection.
Every child and youth needs and deserves permanent, lifelong connections. The primary goal of Children's
Aid Societies is to support children to live safely with their family of origin. When that is not possible, Children's
Aid Societies look for an alternate family, preferably known to the child, who can provide a safe, nurturing, and loving
environment in which the child can grow and flourish.
Adoption is one of a number of options Children's Aid Societies consider when looking for life-long
connections for children in care. Permanency options are based on the recognition that there are many paths to achieving
long-lasting relationships, and that each pathway needs to be shaped to best meet the needs of the child.
Children deserve a family that is a good fit for them. Finding the right adoption match for children who
have come through Children's Aid Society requires finding adoptive parents for children who may have complex needs because
of experiences that brought them into care, mental health, and medical issues. We are also looking for adoptive parents
for siblings, as well as "openness" adoption arrangements with family of origin.
Nancy French appointed CEO of York Region Children's Aid Society
A message on behalf of the Board of Directors of York Region Children's Aid Society:
The Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Nancy French as the new Chief
Executive Officer (CEO) of York Region Children's Aid Society. Nancy has been with the agency since 1985, served
in a senior management role since 1999, acted as Chief Operating Officer since 2015, and most recently as the
Interim CEO since February 2017.
"Nancy has the full confidence of the Board as she has led the agency through times of transition
and brings continuity in vision to the agency," says Barb Gray, Chair of the Board. "Nancy provides an essential
mix of leadership, operational experience, and clinical expertise. Her extensive experience within the child
welfare sector, and relationships with local and provincial stakeholders, are vital assets to our organization."
We want to recognize and thank our 115 devoted foster families for the safe and nurturing homes they provide for
children and youth! The time and dedication foster families commit to nurturing and raising children has a lifelong impact on their
development and well-being.
Thinking about fostering?
We are always looking for people who want to become foster parents to ensure a large, diverse pool of families is
available to best match children to, including varied cultural and faith backgrounds, single-parent homes, and same sex couples. To learn
more about how you can foster a child, please visit www.fosteringatyork.com.
Child Welfare Apologizes to Indigenous Families and Communities
On October 1-3, 2017, the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies (OACAS) hosted a gathering
called "A Moment on the Path" at Geneva Park and Rama First Nation to acknowledge and apologize for the harmful role child
welfare has played.
The gathering brought together representatives, leaders, and elders from Indigenous communities and
Indigenous Child and Family Services with leaders from Ontario's non-Indigenous child welfare agencies.
Indigenous participants-including survivors of the Sixties Scoop and Residential Schools-spoke about
the devastating impact the child welfare system has had, and continues to have, on their communities.
Mary Ballantyne, CEO of OACAS, apologized to all Indigenous children, families, and communities who
were impacted by the Sixties Scoop, and continue to be negatively impacted by the child welfare system in Ontario.
"We apologize to the children, mothers and fathers who have been hurt by the Sixties Scoop, which saw
thousands of Indigenous children taken from their home, families and communities across Canada," Ballantyne said. "The Sixties
Scoop and many current practices have resulted in cultural genocide for the Indigenous people of Ontario. The words of apology
and regret I share today are an acknowledgement that we must do better. We have a long path towards Reconciliation and healing
of theses historic injustices."
York Region Children's Aid Society fully supports the acknowledgement and apology made by OACAS,
as well as the call for local and provincial action. Our agency is in the formative stage of implementing an agency-wide strategy
towards Reconciliation with local Indigenous communities that reflects the unique history and current realities within York Region.
Kinship Service Appreciation Week: September 24-30
Huge thanks to our 55 kinship service families for the vital role they play in the lives of the children and youth they care for! We are proud to recognize our agency’s first annual Kinship Service Appreciation Week to acknowledge these compassionate and dedicated caregivers and to raise awareness about kinship service.