When a family faces challenges, the strength of their family unit can be compromised without access to support. Unfortunately, these challenges can create barriers to providing a nurturing environment within the family home. This creates vulnerability for the children involved and, through no fault of their own, puts them at risk of entering into the child welfare system.

With the right supports available to them, a family can be strengthened so they can stay together.

Thorncliffe Park is a priority area in Toronto with a high level of social isolation, financial insecurity, and lack of program access for children with special needs. The Foundation’s donors make it possible for Thorncliffe Collaborative for Muslim Families and Children to help build healthy families that stay together. Through workshops and programming delivered by agencies that bring their services into this community, residents can get the supports they need where they are while gaining a sense of community, respite, and a supportive network they can count on.

“For the kids with autism the programs are far away from Thorncliffe. They’re downtown or in Mississauga. How can you go? Either you feed them or you find transportation, right? You don’t have any help,” says Tehmina, Autism Workshop participant. “I myself have a child who is a teenager who is autistic. I go to these workshops. I get ideas; what are new technologies, what are new programs, what facilities I can use. And when I go to this program I see other parents, too. Even at the time I feel lonely, but when I’m around these other parents, I see they are fighting the same fight that I am. And we are unaware, but we support one another.”

To make programming as accessible as possible, things like language support and child-minding are provided to families participating.

Watch the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZ7RJObODJ4&t=1s

About The Author

The Children's Aid Foundation of Canada funds programs to help Canada's most vulnerable children and youth, those who have experienced or are at risk of abuse and neglect, overcome the obstacles in life that prevent them from reaching their full potential. We are committed to giving ongoing support to those who need it most.

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