This year in Ontario Family Day takes place on February 19th. It is a time when we celebrate “family” in all of its variations.
What does family mean to you? It may include parents and siblings, grandparents, close friends or members of your community with whom you share a special bond. These days, the way we define “family” may be different for each of us but the one common thread is that family provides us with permanent connections and a sense of belonging.
Children’s Aid Societies across the province recognize the importance of maintaining family connections for children and youth and in fact Ontario’s leading research study on child abuse and neglect shows that children remained with their families in 97% of CAS investigations. The goal is to provide the kinds of supports and services that are most helpful in keeping families together, while ensuring that children and youth are kept safe.
When it is necessary for a child or youth to come into the care of a CAS, because their safety or well-being is at risk, the aim is to maintain family relationships that currently exist with Kin such as aunts, uncles or grandparents or with members of the community who have played a significant role in their life. If this is not possible then that child or youth is placed in family-based care in a foster home that best matches their needs. Highland Shores Children’s Aid has an ongoing need for additional foster parents so that the needs of the young people who come into our care can be well matched with the strengths that exist within each foster family.
We hope that you enjoy spending time on February 19th with those who are most important to you and remember how essential having a sense of family is to us all. If you’d like to consider extending your definition of “family” to include a child or youth in need, please contact Highland Shores Children's Aid at 800-267-0570 to find out more about becoming a foster parent.