Programs We Fund

“Thank you for everything. The confidence, the self-esteem and the success”

Thanks to the support of our donors, we fund programs that give Canada’s most vulnerable children hope for a promising future. Working with child welfare agencies across the country, we fund programs and services under the following four pillars:

 

The Programs that we fund under this pillar aim to develop healthy families and strengthen communities by attempting to stop problems before they start.

Child Welfare Institute
The Children’s Aid Foundation is proud to support the Child Welfare Institute. The mission of the Child Welfare Institute is to enhance services to children, youth and families who have experienced or are at risk of abuse and neglect, through the provision of quality training and consultation. The Institute also works to promote excellence in the field of child protection and to improve outcomes for children and youth through a focus on research, program evaluation and evidence based practice.

Community Development Program
Launched 45 years ago in Regent Park, the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto’s Community Development and Prevention Program plays a significant leadership role supporting stronger communities and families throughout the city of Toronto. Working collaboratively with numerous community groups, the Community Development and Prevention Program addresses community needs by developing new services, programs and organizations, improving government policies, and developing processes to engage and empower youth and parents.

The current goals of the program are to work towards the prevention of child abuse and neglect by:
• Enabling the collective actions of diverse community members to support children, youth, and families by building on individual and community capacities
• Promoting social justice to address the social and economic inequalities that place children, youth, families and specific communities at risk

Joe Carter Family Support Fund
The Joe Carter Family Support Fund was created to support the most critical areas of need within the Children’s Aid Foundation’s prevention-related programming. With a happy home of his own that includes a wife, two daughters, and a son, Joe Carter was driven to establish this special fund to ensure that Canada’s most vulnerable young people can have access to the same opportunities to be successful as his own children and benefit from the joy of a strong family bond.

Prevention & Early Intervention Fund
The Prevention & Early Intervention Fund provides support to Children’s Aid Society of Toronto Family Service clients who require personal needs items that are critical to the care, safety, and upbringing of children, such as strollers, diapers, furniture, clothing, etc. Even though requests for items may be small, these items provided to a child and their family make an enormous difference in their lives.

Team Hope
Team Hope is facilitated by the Children’s Aid Foundation each year at the Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon. Participants from Ontario Children’s Aid Societies and other supporters run in the marathon and raise funds for prevention programs at their home agency. This past year, Team Hope consisted of 121 participants who raised $70,200 in support of prevention programs.

Team Hope Partners
Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, Toronto, ON | www.torontocas.ca
Dufferin Child and Family Services, Orangeville, ON | http://dcafs.on.ca
Family & Children’s Services of the Waterloo Region, Kitchener, ON | www.facswaterloo.org
Family & Children’s Services of Renfrew County, Pembroke, ON | http://www.fcsrenfrew.on.ca
Halton Children’s Aid Society, Burlington, ON | http://haltoncas.ca
Kawartha-Haliburton Children’s Aid Society, Peterborough, ON | www.khcas.on.ca
Native Child & Family Services of Toronto, Toronto, ON | www.nativechild.org
Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies, Toronto, ON | www.oacas.org
York Region Children’s Fund, New Market, ON | www.yorkcas.on.ca

The Programs that we fund under this pillar provide support and resources to children and youth once they have come into care to help them lead normal, happy lives and be successful in the future. These programs include adoption and fostering support, providing access to health and well-being supports and services, and resources for young people in the process of leaving the care system. The program is currently serving youth in Toronto, Winnipeg, and Vancouver.

The Slaight Family Foundation Right at Home Program

The Slaight Family Foundation has provided funding for a four-year program to help youth who are transitioning to independence from permanent care to find and maintain stable housing. By providing program supports, the program aims to reduce homelessness for youth from care. It also aims to help youth establish an independent life, allowing them to:
• Focus on completing their studies
• Have the option to enroll in a post-secondary program (with additional support)
• Secure gainful employment
• Be better positioned to effectively parent their child/children
• Be physically and mentally healthier
• Stand a greater chance of leaving behind the generational cycle of poverty and neglect

Funding will support three components:
• Financial housing support for youth leaving care.
• Access to a dedicated housing systems navigator.
• Short-term transitional housing for youth.

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids
The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is a committed supporter of the Children’s Aid Foundation through their signature Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program. Awarding grants, through the Children’s Aid Foundation, to public and private adoption agencies to implement proactive, child-focused recruitment programs, the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program is helping North America’s longest waiting children in foster care, find permanent homes. To date, the program has helped 4,382 children get adopted in North America, including nearly 200 in Canada, and continues to ensure that all young people know the love and support of a forever family. Committed to the motto that “unadoptable is unacceptable”, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is helping to brighten the lives of young people across North America.

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Partners:
Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, Toronto, ON | www.torontocas.ca
Halifax District Child Welfare Office, Halifax, NS | http://novascotia.ca/coms/families/adoption
Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society, Windsor, ON | www.wecas.on.ca
Ottawa Children’s Aid Society, Ottawa, ON | www.casott.on.ca

The Ted and Loretta Rogers Foster Care Transition Program
Launched in 2013 by a private donor, The Ted and Loretta Rogers Foster Care Transition Program has a mission to significantly improve the experience of coming into foster care for children and youth across Canada. In partnership with over 10 child welfare agencies nationwide, this program provides backpacks stuffed with items and resources that bring comfort, well-being, safety, and a sense of security to young people struggling to cope with an overwhelming period of their lives. Impacting 2,000 children and youth in its first year, the scope of The Ted and Loretta Rogers Foster Care Transition Program has expanded to now reach 3,500 vulnerable kids per year.

The Ted and Loretta Rogers Foster Care Transition Program Partners:
Batshaw Youth and Family Centres, Montreal, QC | www.batshaw.qc.ca
Boost Child and Youth Advocacy Centre, Toronto, ON | boostforkids.org/
CAS of the Districts of Sudbury Manitoulin, Sudbury, ON | www.casdsm.on.ca
Catholic Social Services, Edmonton, AB | www.catholicsocialservices.ab.ca
Children’s Aid Foundation of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON | www.cafott.ca
Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, Toronto, ON | www.torontocas.ca
Department of Family Services Government of Nunavut, Iqaluit, NU | www.gov.nu.ca/familyservices
Durham Children’s Aid Foundation, Oshawa, ON | www.durhamcaf.ca
Foster Family Coalition of the NWT, Yellowknife, NT | www.ffcnwt.com
General Child & Family Service Authority, Winnipeg, MB | www.generalauthority.ca
Halifax Region Children’s Aid Foundation, Halifax, NS | www.hrcaf.org
Hull Services/McMan Youth, Family and Children Services Association, Calgary, AB | www.hullservices.ca
Indigenous Perspective Society, Victoria, BC | http://ipsociety.ca
La Ronge Indian Child & Family Services Agency, La Ronge, SK | www.icfs.ca
Metis Child, Family and Community Services, Winnipeg, MB | www.metiscfs.mb.ca
Michif Child and Family Services, The Pas, MB | www.michifcfs.com
Pacific Community Resources Society, Vancouver, BC | www.pcrs.ca
Peel Children’s Aid Foundation, Mississauga, ON | www.peelkidsfoundation.ca
Windsor Essex Children’s Aid Society, Windsor, ON | www.wecas.on.ca

Health & Well-Being Fund
The Children’s Aid Foundation believes that all children and youth should have access to services and items necessary to nurture their healthy development and overall well-being.

In 2005, a ground-breaking decision was made: to establish a Health and Well-Being Fund to help provide the necessary preventative and restorative health supports and services that high risk children, youth, and families need for their physical and psychological well-being, but cannot afford.

Since the program’s inception, the Health and Well-Being Fund has proved to be a critical resource for social workers, who, after exhausting all other funding possibilities, are able to help meet the complex health needs of the children and youth they support in foster care and in the community.

Funding is available to children and youth served by a partner child welfare agency, including former crown wards that are making the transition to independence, for any of the following: Prescriptions, Vision Care, Medical Therapy/Services (physiotherapy, chiropractics, x-rays, dermatology), Medical Supplies (asthma puffers, hearing aids), Dental Care & Orthodontia, Counselling/Psychotherapy, Sleeping devices for disabled children, Bath chairs and equipment for developmentally handicapped children and youth.

Health & Well-Being Fund Partners
Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, Toronto, ON | www.torontocas.ca

Transition to Independence
With the help of our generous donors, the Children’s Aid Foundation is able to help youth who have left care of child welfare agencies. Youth leave care at age 18 and are completely on their own at 21. We have a number of programs that help the vulnerable youth who are transitioning to independence:

• PAPE ADOLESCENT RESOURCE CENTRE (PARC) www.parcyouth.com
The Pape Adolescent Resource Centre (PARC) provides a preparation for independent living program for youth 15 years of age and up, who are, or have been in the care of a Children’s Aid Society. PARC is joint program with Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto and Jewish Family & Child Service of Toronto and is administered by the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto.

Youth access information, support and counseling related to community resources, immigration, education, housing, health, sexuality, money management and employment through their PARC Adolescent Centre Worker. Youth groups run 4 evenings per week on the topics of Transitions, YOLO – Youth Organizing Life Outside (of Care), Financial Literacy, Art and Leaders in Training. All groups are facilitated by PARC youth workers and co-led by youth leaders.

• YOUTHRAP
YouthRAP is a website built by the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto for youth in care or living independently. The intent of the website is to be a useful tool that can be accessed easily by any youth using their computer or smart phone for instant access to timely and up-to-date information such as news, announcements, events, job listings, free resources and opportunities. This website provides opportunities that affirm and empower youth in care or living independently to reach their fullest potential.

• ALUMNI FUND
Former youth in care, ages 21-26, of the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto can apply to the Alumni Fund to access funds for things such as emergencies, clothing for job interviews, government documentation (ID, birth certificates).

• HOME BASE FUND
The Home Base Fund was created in 2010 to help young people leaving the care system establish secure and sustainable housing. It provides:

• First and last month’s rent to help secure safe, affordable housing;
• Emergency funds to assist youth when they come up short on their rent;
• Gift cards to purchase home essentials;
• Storage for belongings until housing can be secured; and
• Funds for basic home furnishings.

Home Base Fund Partners
Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, Toronto, ON | www.torontocas.ca
Pape Adolescent Resource Centre, Toronto, ON | www.parcyouth.com
Covenant House Toronto, Toronto, ON | www.covenanthousetoronto.ca
Jewish Family & Child Service of Toronto, Toronto, ON | www.jfandcs.com
Native Child & Family Services of Toronto, Toronto, ON | www.nativechild.org
Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, Toronto, ON | www.ccas.toronto.on.ca

• START UP KITS
At 18, young people living in the care of the child welfare system must leave the foster homes that have been supporting them and establish a life of independence. For kids who have nothing, the transition to independence can seem like an insurmountable task. With the help of generous donors, the Children’s Aid Foundation is able to help youth leaving care with start up kits. Each kit provides access to the many household items required for a safe and healthy home environment – items that these young people could simply not afford on their own.

Start Up Kit Partners
Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, Toronto, ON | www.torontocas.ca
Pape Adolescent Resource Centre, Toronto, ON | www.parcyouth.com
Covenant House Toronto, Toronto, ON | www.covenanthousetoronto.ca
Jewish Family & Child Service of Toronto, Toronto, ON | www.jfandcs.com
Native Child & Family Services of Toronto, Toronto, ON | www.nativechild.org
Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, Toronto, ON | www.ccas.toronto.on.ca

• COOKING TOWARD INDEPENDENCE
The Children’s Aid Foundation is extremely grateful to Sobeys for its decision to partner with our organization to launch the Cooking Toward Independence Project, a wonderful initiative that will improve the lives of young people leaving the care system across Canada by funding cooking skills workshops and creating access to healthy food.

Cooking Toward Independence Partners
Halifax Region Children’s Aid Foundation, Halifax, NS | www.hrcaf.org
Hull Services, Calgary, AB | www.hullservices.ca
Pacific Community Resources Society, Vancouver,BC | www.pcrs.ca
Pape Adolescent Resource Centre, Toronto, ON | www.parcyouth.com
Partners For Youth, Fredericton, NB | www.partnersforyouth.ca

The Programs that we fund under this pillar help develop the potential of vulnerable children and youth both in care and in the community by providing access to activities that build skills, confidence, and character such as sports teams, summer camps, lessons in dance, art, music, drama, or languages, and life events like school trips, celebrations, holiday celebrations, and more.

Family Services Camp
The Children’s Aid Foundation is proud to support the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto and their efforts to send Family Service clients to camp. Funds are used to send children and youth living in the community and actively involved with the society to summer residential or day camp programs and March Break day and overnight camps. In 2013, 499 children and youth had the opportunity to go to camp, to learn new skills, to have fun and to meet new friends.

Native Pow Wow
The Children’s Aid Foundation is proud to support Native Child & Family Services of Toronto’s Annual Community Pow Wow. The Pow Wow provides community members with healthy experiences and enhanced sense of Native pride and resiliency. The event also provides an important opportunity for Native Child & Family Services to promote preventative based programming that meets a diversity of challenges and gaps in services, specifically for the First Nations community.

Black Education Awareness Committee
The Children’s Aid Society of Toronto’s Black Education Awareness Committee (BEAC) strives to meet the needs of youth of African descent that are over represented in the Society, through innovative and youth directed programming. The Committee organizes and develops programs and celebrations that continue to include Afric-centric food and that feature cultural entertainment from the community, staff and children that we serve.

The Committee provides leadership to a range of programming for Black youth in care and foster parents and other caregivers such as: Black History Month celebrations, Soul Journey trips for youth in care to destinations with significance to Black history, March break workshops, Afric-centered dance program and Afric-centered cooking classes.

CIBC Miracle Fund

IGNITE THE SPARK FUND

Holiday Season
FILL THE SLEIGH
With the help of our generous donors, the Children’s Aid Foundation is proud to help a number of GTA Children’s Aid Societies during the Holiday Season through the Fill the Sleigh program. Through this campaign, donations and gifts are collected to help spread the joy of the holidays to families who need it most.

Fill the Sleigh Program Partners
Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, Toronto, ON | www.torontocas.ca
Pape Adolescent Resource Centre, Toronto, ON | www.parcyouth.com
Durham Children’s Aid Foundation, Ajax, ON | www.durhamcaf.ca
Peel Children’s Aid Foundation, Mississauga, ON | www.peelkidsfoundation.ca
Native Child & Family Services of Toronto, Toronto, ON | www.nativechild.org

Corsage Project
In 2000, the Corsage Project was created in partnership with the Children’s Aid Foundation to help young women attend their prom by providing them with a new dress, accessories and a mini-makeover – all free of charge. Each year, the Corsage Project assists economically challenged high school students to attend their high school prom.

Young women are referred and invited to attend the Boutique Ball – an incredible event that brings together women of all ages to celebrate the achievements of participants. On this special day, an event space is transformed into a giant shopping bazaar with hundreds of new dresses, shoes, purses, shawls and jewellery. Corsage Girls shop the various wares with their own personal shopper to complete their prom look and are treated to a mini makeover and goodie bag filled with gifts from generous sponsors. Students are identified by school guidance counsellors, teachers, the Children’s Aid Society and/or community social workers.

Kids in the Community Enrichment Fund
The Kids in Community Enrichment fund is a program that provides support to Children’s Aid Society of Toronto Family Service clients through much needed sports and enrichment activities that are essential to the healthy upbringing of children. The program gives the families involved with the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto an opportunity for much needed respite from the stress of their difficult circumstances. The funds are for children and youth up to the age of 21 years and are offered for activities related to sports, recreation, arts and culture.

Celebration Program
The Children’s Aid Foundation is proud to support the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto’s Celebration Program.
Funding provides gifts and grocery cards to children and families served by the Society in the community and to children in care. In keeping with the Society’s Anti-Oppression and Anti-Racism Policy, the funding is used to support clients celebrating holidays year round and provides:
• gifts for birthdays and milestones
• food in times of crisis or need
• parties for youth in care
• funds for the purchase of toys such as racialized dolls, toys for developmentally delayed children and youth and gifts for infants

The Programs that we fund under this pillar support promising futures by keeping kids in school and preparing them for a successful life after care. Support is provided at the primary, secondary, and post-secondary levels through tutoring, awards, coverage for school-related expenses, and post-secondary scholarships and bursaries, in addition to programs that help develop life skills such as financial literacy.

Tutoring Fund
In recognition of the importance of primary and secondary school learning, the CAF supports a Tutoring Fund for the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto. This fund supports clients at each branch of the agency who are not able to benefit from government funding for tutoring.

London Success Project
In 2008, a gift to the Children’s Aid Foundation from TD Bank Group enabled the launch of the Success Project at the Children’s Aid Society of London and Middlesex. Developed in response to research showing low graduation rates among young people in care in the London area, the Success Project supports the educational goals of young teens living in foster care as they navigate the tumultuous transitional years of middle school and early high school. Through intensive, customized coaching, tutoring, and advocacy, participants gain the confidence, motivation, and academic standing required to achieve success in high school and ultimately move on to a post-secondary education thanks to this incredible program.

Scotia Stay in School Program

Education Support Fund
The Education Support Fund helps children and youth being served by the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto who are not in care who require help for school-related expenses. These expenses could include: school uniforms, school supplies, school trips, graduation related expenses (e.g. clothing and shoes) or driving lessons when directly related to school or work opportunities. With the help of the Education Support Fund children and youth are able to participate with their peers in school activities which their family’s budget might not otherwise allow.

Ambassador School
The Ambassador School is an alternative high school supported solely by the Children’s Aid Foundation and its donors. Founded in 1991 as an initiative of the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, a transition-to-independence centre for young people leaving the care of the child welfare system, the Ambassador School serves between 15 to 20 extremely high risk youth in Toronto each year between the ages of 16 and 25 who have dropped out of the conventional education system due to the variety of destructive factors that plague their lives.

Currently or formerly in the care of the child welfare system, the students attending the Ambassador School have attended multiple schools; many have a known developmental delay and/or learning disability; and they often manage alcohol and drug dependency, depression, periodic homelessness, limited supportive relationships, and poverty. The mandate of the Ambassador School is to reintegrate these severely disenfranchised youth into the education system so they can graduate from high school and access a new life of opportunity.

Post-Secondary Supports
The Children’s Aid Foundation’s post-secondary education program accepts applications directly from students across Canada who are from care, under the age of 30, and who demonstrate both financial need and the potential to succeed in their program of study. Scholarships and bursaries provide support for tuition and expenses related to a post-secondary program. Past scholarship and bursary recipients who have successfully completed a post-secondary program are eligible to apply for a Graduation Award. Click here for scholarships, bursaries and graduation awards.

The Children’s Aid Foundation also funds several partner agencies who manage their own post-secondary award programs, including the Ken Dryden Scholarships, OACAS Scholarships, KRG Scholarships, Corsage Project Community Awards, and Rosalie Hall Scholarships.

HSBC Youth Opportunity Fund
The HSBC Youth Opportunity Fund provides individual grants to youth from care for activities that will assist them achieve success in their career or post-secondary program. This fund provides wraparound support to youth as they transition out of care and into a career through supports such as vocational assessments and career counseling, short-term courses or apprenticeships related to career goals, post-secondary tutoring, application fees or preparation courses for graduate programs, and secondary to post-secondary transitional programs.

Citi Financial Literacy and Pre-Employment Program
The Citi Financial Literacy and Pre-Employment Program administered by the Pape Adolescent Resource Center (PARC) offers a practical money management and pre-employment curriculum for youth ages 16-24. The program is led by older youth mentors whom share their early life experiences of leaving care of a child welfare agency with their younger counterparts enrolled in the program.

The program curriculum helps youth to formulate strategies to earn an income as they move out of care by securing employment and/or establishing a plan to further their education. Using Citi’s Canadian Financial Education curriculum, and other reputable resources, youth are not only grasping fundamental money management concepts such as budgeting, debt management and investing, but they are developing a stronger relationship with money and the confidence to make the right financial decisions today and for their futures.

Here is what some of these young people are saying about this program:
“I learned to prioritize, what is essential and needed, and the difference between needs and wants.”
“I’ve budgeted for everything; including my bus pass and groceries. Now, I have money left for this month.”

Michelle shares her story and experiences regarding the circumstances that brought her into the care of CAS