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ANNUAL REPORT 2017-2018

2018 Annual Report

Fostering at York

Fostering at York

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Call us: 905.895.2318 | 1.800.718.3850
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2018 Annual Report

We are proud to share our 2017-18 York Region Children's Aid Society Annual Report!

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 humantraffickingteam@yrp.ca.

Lend your support on Twitter by using the United Nations hashtags: #IGiveHope #EndHumanTrafficking.

Follow us on Twitter @YorkRegionCAS and @CEOYorkCAS

* 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 here.

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.



Anna

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 people.

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!



Your voice matters

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 aid society.

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.

For more information, please see:

Information for Youth - Protection Services for 16- and 17- Year Olds
Information pour les jeunes - Services de protection pour les jeunes de 16 et 17 ans

Information for Youth-Service Agencies
Renseignements à l'intention des organismes qui viennent en aide

Learn more about the changes coming in the new Child, Youth and Family Services Act here: " Ontario strengthens legislation for child and youth services."



Adoption Awareness Month

November is Adoption Awareness Month

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.

To learn more about adoption and the process, look at the adoption section of our website. If you're thinking about adoption, call 905-895-2318 and get your questions answered by one of our Adoption workers.
Learn more about how the public adoption system in Ontario works.


Nancy French appointed CEO of York Region Children's Aid Society

Nancy French

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."

Read more here



Foster Family Appreciation Week

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.

Hear about the experience of one of our foster families

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."

Click here to read the Apology, available on the OACAS website.

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.

Read more about Kinship Services and Family Finding

Friends and family first: keeping kids in their circle of love



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York Region CAS is proud to be a positive space for all sexual identities.