Op-ED by: Paul Rosebush, CEO of the Toronto Children’s Aid Society
May 14th is “Children and Youth In Care Day” in Ontario. It’s the day we recognize the thousands of young people across Ontario who are in the care of a Children’s Aid Society. They are growing up in foster care, in the care of extended family or in group homes. Some don’t yet have a family to call their own.
May 14th is the day we recognize the potential of Ontario’s children and youth in care. We recognize the strength, bravery and resilience of many young people who have faced adversity throughout their lives through no fault of their own.
We all need to work together to help children be everything they can be. “Children and Youth In Care Day” is a day for us to think about their future. It is a day to think about what they can achieve. It is about seeing their potential. These children and youth are more than just statistics or the faces of the many challenges they’ve had to overcome. They are so much more. This is the day where we as an agency and broader community resolve to work together to help them be all they can be. They deserve nothing less.
At the CAS of Toronto, we’ve been working with children and youth in care to help them unlock their potential. Our vision is a city where children are safe, families are strong and communities are supported. For youth, some of the services we provide range from providing practical resources, to helping them succeed with school, or assisting them to obtain care through services such as our new Connections Program. That’s one of the reasons why we created “Youth Rap”, a website designed to help youth in care and their supports to get all the information they need about everything from housing to health. Children and youth are our priority.
There is a well-known saying that it takes a village to raise a child. The Toronto Children’s Aid Society takes care of children and youth on behalf of the community. We serve as a daily reminder that we are all responsible for their well-being and for their future success. On this day we can’t forget that we all have a stake in helping them to be the best they can be.
Let’s mark “Children and Youth in Care Day” In Ontario by committing to do everything we can to help kids in care reach their potential.