CHILDREN’S AID FOUNDATION OF CANADA AND CHILDREN’S AID OF SOCIETY OF TORONTO’S JOURNEY TO ZERO PROGRAM
Journey to Zero Program, a new early intervention program aimed at strengthening families and keeping children and youth at home and in their communities.
Co-designed by Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada and Toronto CAS, Journey to Zero will provide customized supports and resources through a series of early interventions that will strengthen families and allow children and youth to stay at home and in their communities and prevent them from growing up in the care of the child welfare system.
The Journey to Zero Program consists of four independent interventions that will be implemented by Children’s Aid Society of Toronto:
- Early Response Family Partnership Meetings – Working in partnership with George Hull Centre, families will work with a dedicated facilitator who will bring the children/youth/family‘s support network together for a family partnership meeting. The goal of Early Response Family Partnership Meetings is to empower families, bring together family and significant others, and facilitate the creation of a safety and/or support plan for the child/youth and family in order for the child/youth to live with family, or kin/kith and stay in their community.
- Intensive In-Home Supports for Adolescents – Working in partnership with Youth Link, youth and their families can access a youth outreach worker to develop individualized plans and identify wraparound services to keep youth safe at home with family/kin/kith and allow them to live in their community.
- Mpatapo: Supporting Black Families In The Journey to Reconciliation – Working in partnership with Delta Family Resource Centre, Black and Black Biracial children/youth and their families can access culturally appropriate resources to build family support & networks and assist with safety planning. The goal is for children/youth to live with family or kin/kith in their community.
- Intensive Family Network Builders – Working in partnership with Strides Toronto, families can access resources to build family support and networks and assist with safety planning. The goal is for children/youth to live with family or kin/kith in their community.
The four-year program is a partnership between Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada and their donors, including a leadership gift from Balsam Foundation and support from The Rossy Foundation, The McConnell Foundation, Echo Foundation, The McLean Foundation, and Louisa Huband and Craig Moffat; and the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto along with its Child Welfare Institute, who is leading the evaluation component of this innovative initiative. This program is supported by Ontario’s Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services who will be reviewing the outcomes to assess whether this kind of work should be replicated across the province.