Award winner and five finalists will direct $75,000 in grants to child- and youth-serving agencies
TORONTO, June 28, 2018 /CNW/ - Children's Aid Foundation of Canada is pleased to announce the six finalists for The Lynn Factor Stand Up for Kids National Award, which recognizes extraordinary Canadians or initiatives that have made an indelible mark on the child welfare landscape. The national award winner will be announced at Children's Aid Foundation of Canada's Stand Up for Kids Night presented by CIBC on September 12, 2018.
"Through our Stand Up for Kids movement, we've seen an outpouring of support from individuals across the country who are taking action to help at-risk kids," says Valerie McMurtry, President and CEO, Children's Aid Foundation of Canada. "This inaugural award is an important next step in recognizing the ongoing dedication and daily efforts of Canadians who are making a positive difference and changing the trajectory for children and youth who have experienced abuse, abandonment and neglect."
The six finalists were chosen from a collection of 70 submissions. The Lynn Factor Stand Up for Kids National Award winner will direct $50,000 and the five short-list nominees will direct $5,000 each to child- and youth-serving organizations in Canada that enable initiatives that advance the lives of vulnerable kids.
"The shortlist of finalists are local and national change-makers who are standing up for vulnerable children and are leading important initiatives to improve the everyday lives of children and youth living in Canada's child welfare system," says Donald Guloien, Chair of The Lynn Factor Stand Up for Kids National Award Committee. "The six finalists are all exemplary in their field and are driving meaningful change for children in communities across Canada. "
The 2018 Lynn Factor Stand Up for Kids National Award finalists are:
- Ruby Barclay - Student, Mentor, Volunteer and Advocate (Nanaimo, British Columbia)
A former youth with lived experience in government care, Ruby is a fourth- year student in the Child and Youth Care program at Vancouver Island University (VIU) and a part-time Peer Support Navigator for VIU's Tuition Waiver Program, which waives tuition for eligible students who have grown up in the care system. A high achiever and role model, Ruby has been successful in bridging the gap for Tuition Waiver students and the complexities of university.
- Cindy Blackstock – Child Rights Champion and Social Worker (Ottawa, Ontario)
Cindy is a member of Gitksan First Nation and has over 25 years of social work experience in child protection and Indigenous Children's Rights. She has dedicated her life to advocating for the rights of First Nations children and families and has become an influential voice within the Indigenous, social work and child rights communities, among many others. She is Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada and a professor at the School of Social Work at McGill University.
- Karyn Kennedy - Child Welfare/Rights Advocate, and Child and Youth Agency Employee (Toronto, Ontario)
Karyn is recognized in Canada as a leader in the field of child abuse prevention and intervention. She is currently President & CEO of Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre in Toronto, a groundbreaking child welfare support model Karyn created and implemented by bringing together community professionals, including local Children's Aid Societies, Toronto Police and SickKids representatives to provide services in one location for children at risk.
- Tom Littlewood – Therapist for Youth affected by Trauma (New Westminster, British Columbia)
Tom has dedicated his 40-year career to helping youth battling trauma-based mental health and addictions issues. Through his own blended model of cognitive behavioural therapy and life-sills programs, Tom is recognized for helping thousands of at-risk young people, most of whom grew up in British Columbia's foster care system, to take control of their lives. Tom is Program Director and lead therapist for Dan's Legacy Foundation.
- Kenn Richard – Child Welfare Development & Administration, Indigenous Child Advocate, Educator and Front Line Practitioner (Toronto, Ontario)
As Executive Director of Native Child and Family Services of Toronto, Kenn is recognized for his tireless work ethic and sheer determination as the founding member and driving force behind the creation of Canada's first urban Aboriginal child welfare agency.
- Bruce Rivers – Child Welfare Expert And Advocate (Toronto, Ontario)
Bruce is the Executive Director of Covenant House Toronto, Canada's largest agency serving at-risk, homeless and trafficked youth. Bruce has been a child welfare expert and advocate for over 30 years, including 16 years as Executive Director of the Children's Aid Society of Toronto, where he where he started on the front line, and helped lead the charge to transform Canada's child welfare system with direct participation and testimony provided through a series of inquests and public inquiries.
More information about the 2018 finalists is available at www.cafdn.org/stand-up-for-kids/stand-up-for-kids-national-award/
The finalists were selected by the inaugural Lynn Factor Stand Up for Kids National Award Committee, a group of leaders recognized for their passion and dedication to making a difference in the lives of kids in the child welfare system comprised. The committee members are: Chair Donald Guloien, past President and CEO of Manulife and former Children's Aid Foundation of Canada board member and long-time volunteer; Lynn Belzberg, social worker and Children's Aid Foundation of Canada Board Member; Dylan Cohen, Youth Organizer, BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition; Phillip Crawley , Publisher and CEO of The Globe and Mail; Dr. Barbara Fallon, Factor-Inwentash Chair in Child Welfare at the University of Toronto; Margot Franssen, O.C., Co-Chair of The Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking; Brian Gluckstein, Principal, Gluckstein Design and Children's Aid Foundation of Canada Board Member; Former Governor General of Canada, the Right Honourable David Johnston, C.C.; The Honourable Peter MacKay, P.C., Q.C., ; Chair, Boost Child and Youth Advocacy Centre; Susan McIsaac, past President and CEO of United Way Toronto; and David Rivard, CEO of Children's Aid Society of Toronto.
The award is named after Lynn Factor, a long-standing Children's Aid Foundation of Canada volunteer and past Board Chair, who as a social worker by profession has served for over 35 years on the frontlines of child welfare and has seen the damaging impact on children living under the weight of abuse, neglect and trauma. The Lynn Factor Stand Up for Kids National Award is part of Children's Aid Foundation of Canada's Stand Up for Kids national campaign for child welfare, which is mobilizing Canadians who want to help change the future for Canada's most at-risk children and youth.
About Children's Aid Foundation of Canada
Children's Aid Foundation of Canada is the country's leading national charity dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth in the child welfare system. All children have the right to become healthy, contributing members of society. Our kids need your help to get there. They depend on us. We depend on you. Join us and help Canada's most vulnerable kids break the cycle and define a vision for themselves of a successful future. Learn more at cafdn.org .
SOURCE Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada
For further information: Lisa Lipkin, Lisa Lipkin Communications, [email protected], 416-988-4189