Kids Need Families and Families Need Support

Adoption Myth #2

"Only rich people can afford to adopt."

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Adoption Blog

AdoptOntario is Hiring!

AdoptOntatrio is hiring a new Clinical Coordinator on a one year contract! 

AdoptOntario is a program of the Adoption Council of Ontario that connects Ontario families with children in our foster care system who have adoption as their permanency plan. 

For more information, please see our job posting.

Posted: April 7, 2015 at 12:27 PM
By: Wendy Hayes
Comments Disabled | Categories: AdoptOntario
Believe in the Power of Family

We believe in Family! | It’s a Moral Imperative – this is the message of our Calendar for the month of February. With February being the month of Family Day and Valentine’s Day,  we think it is a good month to be renew our belief in Family and be reminded the Kids Deserve a Family – every day and all year long.

February 16th is Family Day for Ontarians. A day we take a break from our work to reflect on the importance of family and hopefully enjoy some precious extra time with our family members.  ACO has built a campaign around this event and we hope you will join us.  We have created a special button that you can wear to show that you believe in the importance of family!

Infinity Button


Buy a Button
One for $12  OR  Two for $20

 

The message of this button is simple – Family Forever.  The ACO Network of Adopted and Foster Youth created the design of the pin. They chose the Infinity sign because it fit with their belief that adoption gives them a family forever but as this symbol has ‘no beginning and no end’ it can also represent the importance of their birth family. They said this is what ‘family’ really means – what every child needs. 

Show Your Friends and Family!
For the month of February, change your profile picture or cover photo to show that you believe in the power of family! We’ve already made them for you! Click here to see the images. You can also take a picture of you wearing your button and share it with us on Facebook or Twitter! While you’re at it – tell us what family means to you, or what you will be doing on February 16th.

Join the Family 
Family has the greatest impact on a child’s health, well-being and potential for success. Family is the number one need for almost 7,000 Ontario Crown Wards, who are at risk of leaving government care without a family to support them.

Join Adoption Council of Ontario (ACO) and Adopt4Life (A4L) to meet this need by collectively working together to achieve our goal of:

Every Child in Ontario will leave foster care with a family
- birth, kin, adoption, guardianship- 
and services will wrap around the family to support them on their lifelong journey.

Become a member – Join our family, help us to achieve our goal and we’ll send you 2 pins that you can wear to show that YOU BELIEVE in the importance of family – for every child and youth.

“Ultimately, adoption is about the rights of the children
– they deserve a chance to thrive to their full capacity
and as adults we are charged with ensuring that chance becomes reality”
-Adoptive Parents

We have sent a letter asking that our leaders in the government wear this button to show commitment to continuing to work toward a province where all children have a family because – All Kids deserve a family – every day and all year long. Family has the greatest impact on a child’s health, well-being and potential for success. Family is the number one need for almost 7,000 Ontario Crown Wards, who are at risk of leaving government care without a family to support them.

If we work in partnership – Partnerships for Permanency – we can do it- Believe in the Power of Family!

Adoption Council of Ontario Adopt4Life    
Posted: January 28, 2015 at 03:51 PM
By: Wendy Hayes
(0) Comment/s | Categories: Adoption Awareness Month Events Youth Network
The Cost of Doing Nothing

After the extravagance of the holiday season how many of us put budgeting as one of our new year’s resolutions? Most of us spent more last year on ‘luxuries’ than we planned to.  Time to cut back, spend responsibly and prioritize what we really need. This is noble and good thinking.

BUT sometime we have to think about the real cost of decisions that we make to cut back. Consider the real Cost of Doing Nothing about the challenges that face our Child Welfare system especially in the area of permanency planning for children and youth in foster care. This is the January theme of our Kidsdeserveafamily campaign.

Currently in Ontario, just under 7,000 children and youth live as Crown Wards, permanent wards of the Ontario government. The Expert Panel on Infertility and Adoption (Ontario 2009) noted very conservatively that it costs a least $32,000 a year to keep a Crown Ward in care. They noted that it costs significantly less to provide supports and subsidies to help adoptive families parent children.

More recently, a report by the Conference Board of Canada presented in April 2014 found that a child “aging out” of care today will earn about $326,000 less income over his/her lifetime compared to the average Canadian.*

  • As a result of their lower income, they also require more social assistance and pay less income and consumption taxes over their lifetimes.*
  • On a per-person basis this will cost all levels of Canadian government more then $126,000 per year in the form of higher social assistance payments and lower tax revenue.*

To put some perspective on let us consider some facts:

  • all children and youth in foster care have experienced trauma and moves from home to home that have impacted the continuity of their education not to mention special needs for learning they may have had when entering the child welfare system (82% will be diagnosed of children in care will be diagnosed) 
  • fewer than 50% of Crown Wards will complete grade 12
  • less than 3% will obtain a College or University degree

Compare these stats to the general population where more than 80% of youth graduate from grade 12 and about half will go on to complete college or univeristy. From there, more than ½ of these young people will return to their parents home or accept financial support from their parents until they are 30 or older.

The fact is that it is the support of a family that helps a youth through the complex challenges of high school, college and finding a place in the adult work force. 

The Call to Action that we are making this month to our government in making decisions about funding for social service, child welfare and children’s mental health programs is to make a commitment to support Permanency for Children. As a society, as a system, Ontario needs to invest in programs that will ensure that children and youth who are waiting in foster care will have the permanence of a kinship, customary care or adoptive family as soon as possible AND that Ontario will build the village of community based supports to help families on the lifelong journey. 

Over the next few months, we will be highlighting the evidenced based programs that are essential to build in Ontario –

  • family recruitment and preparation programs;
  • education for mental health and child welfare professionals so they can help families dealing with complex mental health issues;
  • parent support and respite programs;
  • subsidies to ensure that families can access the programs their children need when they need them.

We have a Blueprint to build the Village of Supports in Ontario.

Rest assured that we will ‘watch the budget’ by ensuring that we are working in partnership with all of our stakeholders and building programs that are community-based, inclusive and sustainable over time. As Henry Ford once said - If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.

We have a collective responsibility to do more. 


*The Conference Board of Canada, Success for All: The Economic Case for Investing in the Future of Canadian Children in Care, 2014. 

Posted: January 7, 2015 at 01:18 PM
By: Wendy Hayes
(0) Comment/s | Categories: Adoption Awareness Month
Building the Village, the Successes of 2014

Today we have a great success story to share with you!

Back in September, at our annual fundraising event FunWalk, an anonymous donor announced that every dollar donated to the ACO until the end of 2014 would be matched – dollar for dollar – up to $10,000! Well – it is very exciting to announce that as of December 19th, our friends and families have raised a total of $11,666!  That is above the $10,000 donated by our donor.  This is the best gift ACO could get and give this holiday season– the gift of knowing that ACO can move into 2015 with this additional support for our programs.  A huge THANK YOU to all of you who helped make this campaign so successful.

Every dollar raised is already being put to work and making a difference in our adoption community.  This past year ACO has worked really hard to increase the capacity of all our programs but we knew we could not keep going without the support of this aggressive campaign.

To mention a few areas of major growth this year…

We now host our How to Adopt session 3 times every month!

Our How to Adopts provide comprehensive information to families interested in adopting with live sessions in Toronto and Mississauga and at least one webinar that you can access from the comfort of your home each month.  All sessions are posted on our website: www.adoption.on.ca/events.  Keep an eye on our website and register for our newsletter because we are increasing our educational topics all the time.  We are also here to answer any questions you have at any time. 

AdoptOntario is Making More Connections with Families in Ontario

Every day, AdoptOntario is working with families who want to adopt children and youth currently in foster care.  This includes providing valuable insight into parenting a child with special needs, which many of Ontario’s children have, through updating the Special Needs Section of the website, and hosting monthly Looking Beyond the Labels Webinars.  You can now also update your personal profile so our Clinical Coordinators can contact you about children who might be a good fit with your family.  Reaching out to families who have provided us with personal profiles is just one of 5 recruitment strategies AdoptOntario employs in looking for the right family for every child who is referred to us.  Remember you can contact a Clinical Coordinator at any time with questions about the public adoption process.  Just call us or send an e-mail to info@adoptontario.ca

We have Started Building the Village of Adoption Supports! 

Over the past year, our PASS team has grown which has allowed us to expand our services to the adoption community, providing more support to families in crisis. Our Youth Network has had the opportunity to grow and strengthen with meeting frequency increasing to once a month. In late November, we also had the pleasure of launching our Search and Reunion Group. Click here to learn more about PASS.

Our Adoption Competency Training is Taking Off!

Our most exciting news is that - with the support of this fundraising campaign we look forward to launching our Adoption Competency Training program in 2015.  In the winter and spring we will complete training sessions for adoption professionals from all over the province who will set up parent education group and Adoption Competency Training Sessions for Mental Health Professionals throughout the province commencing September 2015.  Click here to learn more about ACT.

We have a long way to go to build our Village of Supports for Ontario Adoptive families.  We will continue to need your support and partnership to ensure sustainability but we can honestly say that construction of the Village has begun. 

THANKS to all of you who helped us exceed our ambitious fundraising goal in less  than 3 months. 

Have a happy holiday!

Posted: December 23, 2014 at 04:12 PM
By: Wendy Hayes
(0) Comment/s | Categories: Adoption Competency Training Adoption Support FunWalk Youth Network
Turning the Calendar Page to December – Permanency; A Family to Grow Up and Grow Old In

Adoption Awareness month is officially over but our campaign has only just begun.  Recognizing the complexity of our work in finding families for almost 7,000 children and youth in permanent foster care and supporting families on their lifelong journey, ACO along with our partners – Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS); Adopt4life (A4L); Children’s  Aid Foundation ( CAF) – made this a year long campaign because – Kids deserve a family – everyday and all year long.

To learn more about this campaign go to kidsdeserveafamily.ca or download the calendar here.

Our December theme is all about understanding what permanency means.  This definition says it all;  Permanency is a family to grow up and grow old in - legal certainty, emotional security and a family to call their own.  Is this not our goal for every child in Ontario? 

What better messages could we spread during this month of holidays than those which focus on family?  This is also the time of year that is more difficult for children, youth and adults who do not have the support of their family around them. 

“So when you don’t have the privilege of having a family…youth ask…’Who is going to buy my birthday cake this year? Who is going to remember me?”
Delia, 35, Former Youth in Care,
National Youth in Care Network
My REAL Life Book 

For those who are adopted, holidays can still be a difficult time [https://www.adoption.on.ca/adoption-blog/post/106/Holidays—Adoption], but they have the support and love of a family to help them manage feelings of loss.

“I was adopted when I was 12 years old…I know for sure my adoptive mother, sister and extended family have my back, and no matter what happens in life, I have a safety net. I know I am one of the lucky ones and I would have had that if I stayed in care.”
Ashley, 15, Adopted, 
My REAL Life Book 

The impact that permanency has on a young person’s life is immeasurable…

“I was adopted by my foster parents when I was four years old. Now I can always have a family. My kids will have grandparents and aunts and uncles. I will always have someone to call in the middle of the night when I need to talk, even when I’m 19 or 25 or 30…I can share family pictures and tell family stories, but most of all, I’ll always belong. “
Amanda, 13, Adopted,
My REAL Life Book

And so, as 2014 is winding down and we are all looking forward to taking a break from our hectic schedules to spend some time with family and friends, let’s also recharge our commitment to the vision that EVERY child and youth will leave foster care with a family – to grow up and grow old in – soon.  

Give the gift of family this holiday season:

This year, give the gift of family on behalf of a family member or loved one. It’s simple!

  • Make a donation to the Adoption Council of Ontario online at www.donationaid.com/aco-donate
    Every donation from now until the end of the year is being matched by an anonymous donor!
  • A printable ACO Christmas Card will be emailed you within 24 business hours

If you have any questions, please contact us at info@adoption.on.ca

The Gift of Family

Posted: December 16, 2014 at 10:21 AM
By: Wendy Hayes
(0) Comment/s | Categories: Adoption Awareness Month

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Latest Posts

» AdoptOntario is Hiring!
April 7, 2015 at 12:27 PM
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January 28, 2015 at 03:51 PM
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January 7, 2015 at 01:18 PM
» Building the Village, the Successes of 2014
December 23, 2014 at 04:12 PM
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