TORONTO, Dec. 4, 2014 /CNW/ - Imagine celebrating the holidays in multiple different homes by the time you're ten. This is sometimes the reality for the 30,000 Canadian children in the care of government who need forever homes. Sometimes as few as five per cent are adopted each year, which means that the vast majority age-out of the system when they reach 18, never having known the love and support most children experience in permanent loving homes.
What does this mean for their future?
Approximately 50% leave high school without graduating
- 25% are more likely to experience teen pregnancy and 30 per cent are likely to abuse or neglect their own kids
- 46% are unemployed
- 30% are more likely to commit violent crimes.
- 45% of homeless youth have been in care - they are three times more likely to develop a drug or alcohol addiction
A 150-year-old problem with a solution: Until the Last Child (UTLC) works alongside child welfare agencies, encouraging and supporting innovation. It provides funding and other necessary resources to enable enhanced, stable outcomes for children in foster care. In many cases, child welfare agencies already have the creativity and best practice models they need, but lack the funding to implement. Until the Last Child has already engaged in a number of pilot projects, including one with Family and Children's Services Guelph Wellington County, and has plans for more across the country.
The following people are available for interviews to discuss the hard facts about this national crisis, how the issue can be solved and the recent success of Until the Last Child's pilot project, and to let Canadians know how they can show their support this holiday season.
- Jennifer and Daren Millard, advocates for UTLC's work and adoptive parents who can talk about their experience adopting children. Daren is the sportscaster for Rogers Sportsnet "Wednesday Hockey Night"
- Kamran Niazi, Director, UTLC Board of Directors, and parent to two adopted children
- Faith Goodman, Founder, Until the Last Child
- Daniel Moore, Executive Director, Family & Children's Services of Guelph Wellington County
SOURCE: Until The Last Child