While Canada remains one of the most prosperous nations on Earth, almost 67,000 of our children are living in foster or group homes as a result of the abuse, neglect, and insurmountable poverty. Several hundred thousand more are living with their families in unstable homes while under the watch of child protection services. Those who have become Crown wards often require significant assistance transitioning to independent living, as they’re financially and emotionally alone at just 18 or 19 years of age.
Many other complex issues exist for these young people. While our funding reached thousands of vulnerable kids across Canada this past year, there is still a huge gap to fill. The lingering effects of trauma are very real and can continue to negatively impact their lives; approximately 82% have been diagnosed with special needs that include physical, cognitive, emotional, behavioural, and social challenges. With little support from their families, the odds are stacked against them, and, sadly, many will drop out of high school, abuse substances, become involved with prostitution and gangs, end-up pregnant at a young age, or become incarcerated or homeless.
The Children’s Aid Foundation is dedicated to funding enriching, educational, preventative, and healing and recovery programs that encourage these kids to build their self-esteem and realize their full potential. With our five-year, $60M National Campaign for Child Welfare, the Foundation is dedicated to expanding its reach and providing increased resources in the areas of health and well-being, education, crisis and permanence, identity, inclusion, and equity, and support while leaving care.
Truly, we would not be in the position we are today without those who believe in and support our work. Together, we will continue to build a brighter future for our nation’s most vulnerable young people.
Valerie McMurtry, President & CEO