Currently, an estimated 63,000 children and youth are living in foster and group homes in Canada.
Without support, the odds these young people face are hard to overcome and their outcomes are poor. And yet, there is strong evidence indicating that children and youth experience better outcomes when raised by their parents and families, not by a system.
When a family faces things like poverty, mental health challenges, domestic violence, or substance abuse, the strength of that family can be challenged without access to support. Unfortunately, these challenges can create barriers to providing a nurturing environment within the family home. This creates a vulnerability for the children involved and, through no fault of their own, puts them at risk of entering into the child welfare system. But with the right supports available to them, a family can be strengthened so they can stay together.
Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada believes our country’s most vulnerable kids deserve the same opportunities as other children, which is why we‘ve launched the Stand Up for Kids Project. The Project seeks to help build brighter futures for children and youth in and from care by focusing on three key project areas, one of which is strengthening families at risk of becoming involved in the child welfare system.
Thanks to generous donors who choose to support the work of the Foundation in this Project area, we are able to partner with child- and youth-serving agencies across the country to make prevention resources and programs that strengthen families available to those who need them most. These resources include things like parenting classes and support groups, enrichment opportunities so kids can explore their identity and interests while giving their parents time to focus on their own self-care, and therapy to overcome past traumas so they can repair and rebuild their relationships.
The infographic below illustrates just how impactful these and other supports can be in helping at-risk families to overcome the barriers they face.
Overall, the Stand Up for Kids Project aims to reach a total of 24,500 Canadian kids this year with the opportunities they need to thrive. By standing up for families at-risk of becoming involved in child welfare, you can help to strengthen 1,820 families and keep them together, thereby reducing the number of kids coming into care. Learn more or join the Stand Up for Kids Project today.