YouthCAN (Communication, Advocacy and Networking) is a multi-component program for youth in the care of Children’s Aid Societies across Ontario, and Children’s Aid staff who work with them. The functions of YouthCAN are facilitated by the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies. Ontario YouthCAN is the unifying voice for youth in the care of Children’s Aid Societies in the province and is dedicated to improving the quality of care for youth in Ontario’s child welfare system so that they are empowered, secure and able to realize their fullest potential.
Advocate on behalf of youth in the care of Ontario Children’s Aid Societies
Communicate timely and relevant information to Children’s Aid Societies and youth in care
Increase youth input into policy, programs and activities
Be a resource to Children’s Aid Societies, youth networks and organizations with a Youth In Care mandate
Each year youth in care from all across the province have an opportunity to connect with their peers, network, collect resources, learn new skills, discuss their issues in care and, of course, have fun. YouthCAN conferences are typically held in June at the central region near Toronto Ontario, and usually have over 100 youth and staff attend. The conference is also a place for youth in care to make an annual call to action to all present Children’s Aid Society members and other Child Welfare delegates at the OACAS consultation.
YouthCAN operates a website designed to provide Children’s Aid Society staff and youth in care with resources, upcoming events, various employment, volunteer and other youth-in care related opportunities. The website is a venue to keep youth in care informed about what YouthCAN is doing within the other aspects of the program, such as advocacy initiatives, conferences, etc.
CWECT [Crown Ward Education Championship Team]
The intent of the Crown Ward Education Championship Team is to enhance the working relationship and communication among partners in order to provide a collaborative approach in meeting the education needs of children and youth in the care of a Children’s Aid Society. The Crown Ward Education Championship Team is a community partnership designed to enable better education, training and employment opportunities for all children and youth in the care of Children’s Aid Societies.
DARE: To inspire and support a child or youth in care.
DREAM: Of the possibilities when their success is achieved.
DO: Increase your knowledge and understanding of the needs of children and youth in care.
Board Youth Advisory Committee
The Committee is comprised of two staff and several youth in care designed to support the youth in their work with the Board and assisting them in bringing ideas forward to the Board. The Youth Advisory Committee have monthly meetings attended by a board member who acts as a liaison.