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Peel CAS celebrates Youth in Care Day - May 14, 2013

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

On Tuesday May 14, Peel Children’s Aid will celebrate our first annual ‘Child and Youth in Care Day’ by honouring and recognizing the talents, skills, and greatness of our youth with a fun-filled evening of food, art and youth performances. This day has been proclaimed as Child and Youth in Care Day by the province of Ontario – a step forward in helping raise awareness, reduce stigma and recognize children and youth in care. This day is a special opportunity to show our children and youth in care they are cherished and that we will continue to support them and advocate on their behalf. The event “Night of Rising Stars” will honour and recognize the talents, skills, and greatness of youth involved with Peel CAS.

In 2011, youth in care were given a voice through “Our Voice, Our Turn: Youth Leaving Care Hearings,” a series of hearings organized by current and former wards of Ontario.  These hearings shed light on the challenges faced by children and youth living under the care of the province and made it clear that more must be done to support these young people.  From these hearings a report was created called ‘My REAL Life Book’ containing real life stories told by youth with recommendations to create fundamental change in the child welfare system and in the minds of Ontarians. One of the recommendations was to declare a “Child and Youth in Care Day.” The day will also help keep the issues affecting the lives of children and youth in care in the public spotlight and provide for regular updates on the action plan for fundamental change.

Did you know?

  •  Last year, Peel CAS had 483 children and youth in our care
  • Peel Children’s Aid currently has a Youth Strategy to ensure youth achieve success and offers youth programs in the areas of financial literacy, life skills, job preparedness, housing, education, mentorship and youth justice
  • We continue to focus on increasing educational support for children in care so that more of our youth can access post-secondary education
  • Less than 40 per cent of youth in care have finished high school at age 18 and less than 15 per cent go on to post secondary learning
  • Youth in care have a high school graduation rate of 44% compared to their peers across the province who have an 81% graduation rate
  • These statistics relative to the general Canadian population are a staggering indication of the low success rates our youth experience when exiting the child welfare system
  • Peel Children’s Aid is working closely with partners such as the local School Boards and Children’s Mental Health service providers to try and improve the outcomes for our youth