TORONTO, April 14 /CNW/ - The Ontario Association of Children's Aid
Societies (OACAS) welcomes the Government of Ontario's new initiatives
to increase adoptions in Ontario and help youth in care succeed.
"We appreciate Minister Broten's strong commitment to this comprehensive
and very thoughtful set of proposals. Yesterday's announcement is
another important step to improve the lives of some of the most
vulnerable children and youth in Ontario," said Mary Ballantyne,
Executive Director, OACAS.
Ontario's youth in the care of Children's Aid Societies (CAS) have been
advocating for youth to have the same opportunities as those who live
with their families. The government has announced that it will make it
easier for a Crown ward to attend college or university by exempting
CAS benefits from an Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)
assessment. Proposed legislative changes will also allow 16 or 17 year
olds whose wardship is terminated or who have chosen to leave the CAS
care to return to their CAS for help until the age of 21.
"For 16 and 17 year olds, if they leave care they cannot come back to
CAS for help. Once they leave, the door is closed. It is great that the
government is making sure the door is kept open so that youth who need
help can go back," said Adam Diamond, YouthCAN Coordinator.
The announcement also includes proposals to reduce barriers to adoption
for Crown wards by removing court ordered access. We look forward to
working with government and other stakeholders to find the best
approach to eliminate this barrier. OACAS welcomes the changes
announced which include making it easier for parents to find
information and having access to adoption resources. For several years,
OACAS has been asking the government for changes in the areas of
adoption home studies and ongoing financial supports for adopting
parents and similar supports for legal custody arrangements. CASs also
look forward to learning more about customary care to ensure that more
Aboriginal children can remain connected to their communities.
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.
SOURCE Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies
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| Marcelo Gomez -Wiuckstern |
| || || || || Marie-Lauren Gregoire |