Cindy Blackstock wins Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada’s inaugural national award
(Toronto, ON – September 12, 2018) – This evening at Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada’s Stand Up for Kids Night, Cindy Blackstock was announced as the inaugural winner of The Lynn Factor Stand Up for Kids National Award, which recognizes extraordinary Canadians or initiatives that have made an indelible mark on the child welfare landscape.
As winner of The Lynn Factor Stand Up for Kids National Award, Ms. Blackstock will direct $50,000 and the five short-list nominees will direct $5,000 each in grants from Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada to child- and youth-serving organizations in Canada that enable initiatives that advance the lives of vulnerable kids.
“There were so many nominees doing simply outstanding work in their communities, all deserved kudos and recognition,” says Donald Guloien, Chair of The Lynn Factor Stand Up for Kids National Award Committee. “Cindy Blackstock’s lifelong dedication to supporting and advocating for disadvantaged children and their families and the rights of Indigenous children made her our unanimous choice as the inaugural recipient of this important award.“
Ms. Blackstock is a member of the Gitksan First Nation and has over 25 years of social work experience in child protection and Indigenous Children’s Rights. She has dedicated her life to advocating for the rights of First Nations children and families and has become an influential voice within the Indigenous, social work and child rights communities, among many others. She is the Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada and a professor at the School of Social Work at McGill University.
As a champion for Indigenous children’s human rights, Cindy’s contributions led to winning a landmark human rights case that found Canada discriminates against First Nations children by consistently underfunding child welfare on reserves. She was a key leader in the development of Jordan’s Principle, named in memory of Jordan River Anderson, which aims to ensure First Nations children can access public service in a way that reflects their cultural needs without any services denials, delays or disruptions. Her work focuses on ensuring that the government complies with the Tribunal orders and implements Jordan’s Principle so that Indigenous children can have the same chance to succeed as other children in the country.
“The incredible contributions of the national award winner and five short-list nominees in helping at-risk children and youth is truly inspiring,” says Valerie McMurtry, President and CEO, Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada. “We encourage Canadians to join them in standing up for kids and help shape the future of children and young people who have experienced abuse, neglect and abandonment.”
The winner was selected by the inaugural Lynn Factor Stand Up for Kids National Award Committee, a group of leaders recognized for their passion and dedication to making a difference in the lives of kids in the child welfare system comprised. The committee members are: Chair Donald Guloien, immediate past President and CEO of Manulife and former board member and long-time volunteer for Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada; Lynn Belzberg, social worker and Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada Board Member; Dylan Cohen, Youth Organizer, BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition; Phillip Crawley , Publisher and CEO of The Globe and Mail; Dr. Barbara Fallon, Factor-Inwentash Chair in Child Welfare at the University of Toronto; Margot Franssen, O.C., Co-Chair of The Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking; Brian Gluckstein, Principal, Gluckstein Design and Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada Board Member; Anna Amy Ho, Program Coordinator and Crisis Counsellor, Victim Services Toronto; Former Governor General of Canada, the Right Honourable David Johnston, C.C.; The Honourable Peter MacKay, P.C., Q.C., ; Chair, Boost Child and Youth Advocacy Centre; Susan McIsaac, past President and CEO of United Way Toronto; and David Rivard, former CEO of Children’s Aid Society of Toronto.
The award is named after Lynn Factor, a long-standing Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada volunteer and past Board Chair, who as a social worker by profession has served for over 35 years on the frontlines of child welfare and has seen the damaging impact on children living under the weight of abuse, neglect and trauma. The Lynn Factor Stand Up for Kids National Award is part of Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada’s Stand Up for Kids national campaign for child welfare, which is mobilizing Canadians who want to help change the future for Canada’s most at-risk children and youth.
About Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada
Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada is our country’s leading charity dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth growing up in the child welfare system. We raise and grant funds, and deliver a wide range of high-impact programs and services that support more than 24,000 vulnerable young people annually. Stand Up for Kids is our national campaign for child welfare, which aims to change the futures of Canada’s most at-risk kids – those who have experienced abuse, neglect, and abandonment. We know that by helping these young people to overcome their trauma and break the cycle for future generations, they gain the strength and resilience to create a lifetime of their own unstoppable successes.
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