Foster Care

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Canada's Current Child Welfare System Fails Families

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs called for the dismantling of the current child welfare system and the development of a completely new system. While this idea may seem radical, child welfare as it exists now in Manitoba is failing our children and our families, particularly our Indigenous children and families. What if we separated prevention and care services so that they are not delivered by the same agencies? This would encourage families in need to seek support services without worrying that admitting their challenges will result in their children being taken away from them.
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I Remember the Day I Met My Parents

I remember the exact day I met my parents. Not many people can say that. It was on my 10th birthday. February 23, 1979, to be precise. Danielle, the Social Worker in charge of my case since I had become an orphan four years earlier, drove me to a restaurant where she introduced me to a nice young couple. Today however, after a long and intense look into my past, the scene that took place some 35 years ago is a comforting memory not only because it coincides with the real beginning of my life, but because it also serves as a reminder of all that had to happen in the years before that meeting.
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Seven Mother's Days Without a Mom

Most of what I remember was of appointments with social workers, making sure that my brother was okay, finding time to do my homework and learning how to cook, amidst other responsibilities. I did remember grandma teaching me how to fry rice with egg and how to boil noodles but I spent most of my last two years of high school living off frozen dinners every night.
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Why Hitchhiking is a Risky Road for Aboriginal Women

As my wife and I were driving home in Duncan, B.C. three years ago, we noticed a young girl hitchhiking. She was young, First Nations, and not dressed for the weather. As we stopped to pick her up, we noticed a white truck stop on the other side of the road, and two guys got out and walked towards her. We cut them off, and told her to hop in. This was just weeks after a gruesome murder. Fast-forward to last night. On our way home we noticed another young girl hitchhiking. Until people all over Canada demand better from our leaders, nothing will change, and Aboriginal girls will continue to go missing in record numbers, numbers that already concern the U.N.
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Why Aren't Youth Workers Regulated in Ontario?

Approximately 40 professions in the province are professionally regulated such as doctors, lawyers, teachers and accountants. You would think that those who work with society's most vulnerable children and youth with complex emotional and mental health needs would have an oversight body. That is not the case.
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The Cost of Running Group Homes for Youth Needs To Change

This past week, I learned that a residential treatment program for youth (aka group home) in Welland, Ontario will be shutting its doors permanently at the end of November. Outside of my personal history growing up in group homes, this signals a much wider (and troublesome) trend in the world of child and youth workers.
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As a Crown Ward, the Province Was My Parent

I was born to a mom with mental illness who was unable to care for herself, which made caring for a child even more challenging for her. During my nine years as a youth in care I lived in 16 different foster homes and group homes in Toronto, Brampton, Ajax, Barrie and Wasaga Beach. Being a youth in care can be lonesome.

Giving Birth to a Child Doesn't Make You a Parent

I did not give birth to Allie. I'm her foster mother, but I have no rights to make key decisions for this child in my care. Allie's "real" mother has never been with her daughter for more than two hours at a time. "Mom" has never taken Allie to the park, given her a bath, or put her to bed.

Broken Homes: Canada's Foster Care Crisis

Some children are placed in foster care without full safety checks while others wind up in supervised apartments or overcrowded homes, say child advocates who warn of a deepening crisis across the cou...

How A Foster Mother Changed A Girl's Life

Jessica Reid went from foster care to drug addiction to having her son cared for by others before finding a happy ending that she traces back to one loving soul.Her name was Joan and she was a respite...

Canada Lacking National Foster Care Data

MONTREAL - Anyone seeking a national snapshot of the average child in foster care in Canada, especially how their experiences helped shape their adult life, is flat out of luck.No reliable national st...