One of the Children’s Aid Foundation’s key areas of focused funding is health and well-being. Many young people who have entered care experience physical and mental health challenges that hinder their progress towards stability.
Despite the wonderful work being done by foster families and children’s aid agencies, the reality is that most of these kids lead lives that are far from normal. Having come from families that are damaged or broken, many of the young people we help have been exposed to traumatic or dangerous experiences and are severely lacking the emotional and financial resources necessary to heal and grow.
Unfortunately, the assistance provided by the government is not enough. Like our health care system and education funding, the capacity of government to provide financially for all the health needs of all vulnerable children and youth is simply out of reach. It is the mandate of the Children’s Aid Foundation to bridge this critical gap so that these young people can thrive and lead fulfilling lives by proving support to their mental and physical well-being.
Recently, the Children’s Aid Foundation was able to support a young person through a critical portion of their gender reassignment surgery through our Health and Well-Being Fund. The transition for many trans youth can be extremely confusing and emotionally challenging, and for those living in care, the added stress of being in an unstable environment can be truly overwhelming. The Foundation was pleased to be able to support this young person through their journey to achieve their true identity and finally feel comfortable in their own skin. While the government will fund some portions of reassignment surgeries, it cannot fund all procedures, and trans youth are often left with very few options. With the support of Foundation funding, youth are able to build their self-esteem and a belief in their own potential.