Approximately 2,500 young people each year in Toronto struggle to transition out of the care system

Join the #five14 conversation today in support of children and youth in care. (CNW Group/Children's Aid Foundation)

Children`s Aid Foundation launches #five14 social media conversation to give former youth in care a voice on Ontario's Children and Youth in Care Day

TORONTO, May 14, 2014 /CNW/ - According to the Children's Aid Foundation, each year in Toronto alone, approximately 2,500 young people struggle to navigate the process of transitioning from the child welfare system to independent living and there is a growing need to support young people who are aging out of care.

"Once young people leave the care system, typically around 18 or 19, they are faced with few resources available to them and they do not have the support of family to help get them on their feet," says Valerie McMurtry, President and CEO, Children's Aid Foundation, a national charity dedicated to providing services and programs to children and youth involved with the child welfare system. "It becomes a struggle for them to complete high school, secure housing, and find employment. Investment in young people leaving care is key to helping them transition successfully to independent living and giving them a chance at a brighter future."

Transitioning to independence is just one of the many stories of strength, bravery and resiliency of children and youth in care that the Children`s Aid Foundation is sharing today with the launch of its #five14 social media conversation, to give former youth in care a chance to be heard and to be celebrated on Ontario`s Children and Youth in Care Day.

Today, starting at noon until 5 pm, the Children's Aid Foundation will post personal and inspirational messages and videos with the hashtag #five14 via Twitter @cafdn.org and on Facebook at www.facebook/cafdn every 14 minutes from young people who have grown up in the care of the child welfare system. In return, the Children's Aid Foundation is asking followers to join the conversation, share social media messages with five new friends for each posting and to make an online donation of $14.00 at www.cafdn.org .

Every dollar raised today by the Children's Aid Foundation during #five14 will help improve the lives of Ontario's abused and neglected children and young adults currently or formerly living in the care of the child welfare system.

INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITY:

WHO:  Former youth in care
  Valerie McMurtry, president and CEO, Children`s Aid Foundation
   
WHEN:  Wednesday, May 14 at 10:30 am
   
WHERE: Children`s Aid Foundation
  25 Spadina Road, Toronto, ON

About the Children's Aid Foundation
An astonishing number of children in Canada are at risk and need our help. Many suffer in poverty, while others have been victims of abuse and neglect. A staggering 76,000 of them live in foster homes or a residential facility. The mission of the Children's Aid Foundation is to fund programs that give them skills and hope for a promising future. With the support of generous donors, the Children's Aid Foundation works with child welfare agencies across Canada to provide funding for programs and services in the areas of prevention, education, enrichment, healing and recovery. Learn more at www.cafdn.org .

SOURCE Children's Aid Foundation

Image with caption: "Join the #five14 conversation today in support of children and youth in care. (CNW Group/Children's Aid Foundation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140514_C8272_PHOTO_EN_40284.jpg

For further information:

Contact info:
Lisa Lipkin
Lisa.lipkin@llpr.ca
Tel: 416-988-4189