The most important thing for children is to have a lifelong family
TORONTO, Nov. 2, 2011 /CNW/ - November is Adoption Awareness Month in
Ontario and all over the province, the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies (OACAS) and member agencies are encouraging families to consider
adoption and other options for children and youth.
The theme of the November Campaign, "Adoption is an Option" speaks to
the need to find permanent homes for up to 8,000 children in the
permanent care of Children's Aid Societies (CASs).
The Transformation Agenda, introduced in 2006 is having a positive
impact as the number of children coming into the care of CASs has
declined, and those coming into care are more likely to live in family
settings. However, there are still 8,000 children who need permanent
homes, and many of these are older children, children with special
needs and/or sibling groups who need to stay together.
Since last year, more children and youth have found permanent families
through kinship, legal custody and customary care. In 2010-11, there
were 971 children adopted and more than 5,000 children found permanent
families though legal custody, customary care and kinship options.
The majority of children and youth who need permanent families are in
the older age groups, yet they represent a small percentage of those
being adopted. Last year children aged 13-18 represented 61% of the
8,000 children needing permanent families, yet only 3.6% of these
children were adopted through Ontario's public adoption system.
Ontario's Children's Aid Societies educate Ontarians about the option of adopting older children and
youth, children with special needs and siblings through this campaign
and other activities. Children's Aid Societies work with potential
parents to find the right match for children and youth who need
Fairon and Tracey, who adopted two older children, shared "When our
worker told us that she had two siblings, ages 8 and 11, who might be a
match for us, we said 'show us our children.' It takes time, patience
and work to build a family. But we knew that when we decided to adopt."
People who are open to parenting special needs children, sibling groups
or older children are also encouraged to consider adoption. "For us,
adoption has always been a natural process for creating a family. First
of all, we're not infant people. Older kids are awesome, especially
once they hit an age where they have distinct personalities," said
Elizabeth, adopted mother of an older child with special needs.
New legislation proclaimed this summer will make it easier for children and youth to
find permanent families. The Building Families and Supporting Youth To Be Successful Act, 2011 removes barriers so that more kids in the care of Ontario's Children's
Aid Societies can be adopted.
For more information on adoption contact your local Children's Aid
Society or visit www.useyourvoice.ca
About the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies
Since 1912, OACAS has represented Children's Aid Societies in Ontario
and provided service in the areas of government relations,
communications, information management, education and training to
advocate for the protection and well-being of children. We are the
voice of child welfare in Ontario.
For Backgrounder - www.oacas.org
SOURCE Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies
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