Leading Ontario children's organizations call for a Collaborative Centre of Knowledge Innovation for Child and Youth Well-Being

    TORONTO, April 25 /CNW/ - In a report released today, the Offord Centre
for Child Studies and Voices for Children urge the provincial government to
establish a Collaborative Centre of Knowledge Innovation for Child and Youth
Well-Being in Ontario.
    A two-year investigation into the state of knowledge about Ontario's
children and youth, detailed in the report, found that because there is no
system in place to monitor and share information, we know very little about
how our nearly four million young people are faring in their communities
across the province or whether their health and well-being is getting
better-or worse.
    This disturbing finding suggests that a high-level and collaborative
solution is desperately needed to create a system to improve how we collect
and share information. Most importantly, this information needs to reach
everyone - from children, youth and families and helpers in communities, right
up to government decision makers.
    "We know that Ontario's future is being decided today. The decisions and
investments we make now for our children are creating the Ontario we will have
twenty years from now. Regrettably, there is no system in place right now to
guide that decision-making," warn report authors Sam Gardner, research
associate at the Offord Centre for Child Studies, and Cathy Vine, executive
director of Voices for Children.
    The report incorporates research and consultations with leading experts
along with input from the Kids Grow Ontario network of over 500 individuals
and organizations concerned with child and youth well-being in the province.
    Funded by the province but operating at arm's length from the government,
the proposed Collaborative Centre of Knowledge Innovation for Child and Youth
Well-Being in Ontario would unite multiple stakeholders and communities across
Ontario to gather and share research information in a timely fashion and in
ways that everyone can understand and act on.
    The pay-off? Wiser investments in child and youth development. Greater
accountability. More effective policies. And children and youth would be
healthier and ready to be stewards for the future of Ontario. The report is
available at http://www.voicesforchildren.ca/KGO-CollaborativeCentre.htm

For further information:

For further information: or to request an interview, please contact
Voices for Children's Communication Director, Carlyn Zwarenstein, at (416)
737-2287 or carlyn@voicesforchildren.ca

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