“Sometimes all you need is to know someone cares in order to make it through difficult times. I hope to someday be that person for someone else.”

Louise – Young Person in Care

The Need

We believe that every Canadian child has the right to a healthy and happy upbringing.

Yet right here at home, over 235,000 children are at risk of abuse and neglect in Canada. They face a future of uncertainty and are often deprived of the support every child needs to grow and thrive.

This is unacceptable. At the Children’s Aid Foundation, we do everything we can to change the trajectory of vulnerable children’s lives. We’re there at moments of crisis, we’re there to equip them with the tools they need to succeed at school and in their communities, and we’re there to help launch them into an independent young adulthood.

Our Focus Areas

What does it take to raise a child and set them up for success? Good health, educational opportunities, a loving family, a positive network, and all of the resources they might need to explore their talents and develop their potential.

To ensure the kids we serve have access to all of the resources they need to grow and thrive, we have identified five key areas of focus for the support we provide nationwide:

  • Health and Well-being
  • Education
  • Stability and Community
  • Inclusion, Identity & Equity
  • Transition to Independence

Click on the tabs below to learn more about each of these focus areas.

The Statistics

Canada’s most vulnerable children, by the number

  • Approximately 67,000 youth across Canada are living in foster care, kinship care (extended family), group care, and treatment facilities
  • Helped by Children’s Aid Foundation in 2015/2016: 23,603
  • Average number of foster home transitions for children in care: 5
  • Eligible for permanent adoption: 30,000
  • 82% of children and youth in care have been diagnosed with special needs including cognitive, emotional, behavioural and social problems
  • Higher risks for young adults who have been in care: homelessness, pregnancy at a young age, involvement with the criminal justice system, and complex health challenges

Costs of not supporting children who have been supported through the child welfare system:

  • $326,000 less lifetime income than the average Canadian
  • 10-year loss of $7.5 billion in earning


Improve the health and well-being of children and youth in care: $10 million

The campaign will fund equitable access to mental and physical health supports required to heal, thrive, and move forward with strength and resilience, including:

  • vision care, dental care, prescriptions
  • therapy, counselling and psychotherapy
  • arts, sports and recreational programs

Open doors to a better future through education: $15 million

Additional education-based supports will improve high-school graduation rates, a key determinant for future success, from the 30% for children in care to at least the national average of 88%. Campaign funds will support:

  • tutoring and coaching
  • technology, books, and educational tools
  • awards at all levels, and post-secondary scholarships and bursaries
  • career development, training and transition

Create stability and build strong communities for our kids: $15 million

We will help more children in care have a strong, supportive family to call their own as they grow into adulthood by providing:

  • Crisis and transition support
  • Programs that encourage and support adoption placements or kinship arrangements
  • Community development and support to help families stay together

Increase support for young people identified as a member of a minority population – new Canadians, Aboriginal, and LGBTTQ for example. We will help young people to explore and celebrate their identity, help them to feel included as a valued and respected member of society and remove barriers that these young people may have that restrict their equal access to opportunity.

  • specialized cultural, career, education and mental health opportunities

Ensure a smooth and supported transition out of care and into independent adulthood: $15 million

We will help more youth at one of the most challenging life junctures: aging out of care. Campaign funds will help young people get the best start to an independent life, including:

  • Finding housing, developing life skills and integrating into their community
  • Ongoing health and well-being support
  • Continuing their education or training
  • Emergency funds and access to technology they need to learn, work and live independently
  • Mentoring, internships, financial literacy


Listen to Sherry, Child Welfare Supervisor at CAST