Every child deserves to benefit from a sense of belonging with a family who will always nurture and care for them.
The goal of Children’s Aid Societies is to provide supports and services to keep families together and children safe. If a child comes into the permanent care of the Society the goal is to find a safe and stable environment for that child or youth. One of those options may be adoption. If a young person is not able to be re-united with their family or a safe and committed home with a relative, or community member is not found, the Society will look for a forever family for a child or youth through adoption.
For the past four years, Children’s Aid Societies have marked November as Adoption Awareness Month. This is a time when societies educate their communities about the continuing need for adoptive or kin families for children in our care. There are currently over 8000 children in the permanent care of Children’s Aid Societies across Ontario and for many of them adoption is an option. In 2011-12 there were 837 adoptions. As well, over 2200 children found permanent homes with kin, through legal custody or via customary care.
Children who are looking for permanent, loving homes vary in age from infants to teens and come from diverse religious and cultural backgrounds. Some are siblings waiting for a family who can keep them together. Others have special needs that require parents who are willing to learn the skills needed to care for them. Although some children may have challenges, they all share the need for a safe and loving home for a lifetime.
In 2011-12, thirty-two youth from Hastings and Northumberland counties and two youth from other Societies were matched with an adoptive home within the communities served by Highland Shores Children’s Aid. “At this time we are hoping to find permanent homes for sibling groups, older teens and young people with special needs who are currently in our care. Our goal is for every child, who can’t return to their family, to benefit from a stable, forever home”, said Ricarda Renner, Regional Adoption Manager.
In June of 2012, the Ontario government announced subsidies for families who adopt, or become legal custodians to sibling groups and/or youth aged ten and older.
Like the Society’s foster families, adoptive families receive extensive support and training which includes standardized provincial training programs (PRIDE) and home study processes (SAFE).
Mark Kartusch, Executive Director of Highland Shores Children’s Aid emphasized “November is an important month in that we raise awareness within our community about the fact that there are still many young people who are in need of permanent, loving homes. If just one child or youth can benefit from this campaign, then it will have been successful.”