Children and Youth In Care Day
The journey for current and former children and youth in care requires strength, bravery, and resilience in the face of adversity. To help highlight these experiences, Kenora and Rainy-River Child and Family Services (KRRCFS) have partnered with Tikinagan Child and Family Services to participate in the #ForgetMeNot campaign organized by Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) as a part of Children and Youth in Care Day May 14.
The campaign is aimed at bringing renewed attention to the accomplishments and challenges of children and youth in the Ontario child welfare system. The #ForgetMeNot campaign is about sharing the stories of young people with experience in the system and reminding community, government, and service providers that these young people continue to need critical supports.
Are you a current or former youth in Care? We want to hear your voice!
In honour of the day’s 8th anniversary, OACAS is launching a new campaign aimed at bringing renewed attention to the accomplishments and challenges of children and youth in the Ontario child welfare system. The #ForgetMeNot campaign is about sharing the stories of young people with experience in the system and reminding community, government, and service providers that these young people continue to need critical supports. They cannot be forgotten.
Goals of Children and Youth in Care Day and #ForgetMeNot
- To acknowledge children and youth in and from care for their strengths and unique identities.
- To build better networks of support by increasing participation of community members and partners so that children and youth in and from care feel supported and thrive.
- To destigmatize views about children and youth in and from care by increasing awareness and understanding with the public.
Give Our Youth A Voice!
Calling All Former and Current Youth in Care…
We’re looking for stories from our current or former youth in care from our 30 First Nations. We want to know how they paved their own way, laid roots, and bloomed. We also want to celebrate those who believed in them, poured into, and encouraged them.
We are looking for submissions, including:
- Written stories
- Photograph stories
- Audio stories
Alternatively, youth can submit a written, audio or visual completing the phrase: “As a child/youth in care, I feel.. I think… I want … I hope…”
All participants will receive $25 gift!
Submissions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join us on social media on May 14 and tell us how you blossomed, who supported you, and what issues are most important to you using #ForgetMeNot.
Resources for Youth in Care
Take5 – Take5 is an online space for children and youth in foster care, in group homes, or living away from their parents in Ontario. It was made with young people who have been in care. On Take5 you can find information for your age on things like: coping with stress, stuff about your identity and culture, relationships, and who to ask for help. You can also find activities, podcasts, videos and online events. Take5 is for children 6 to 12 and youth 13 and above.
YouthCan – YouthCAN (Communication, Advocacy and Networking) is a multi-component program for youth in care of Children’s Aid Societies across Ontario, and Children’s Aid staff who work with them. The functions of YouthCAN are facilitated by the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies.
OACAS – OACAS has been enhancing and promoting the welfare and well-being of children, youth and families in Ontario. OACAS works to create a highly effective system of services for children which has the confidence of Ontario families and communities.
Youth Space – Youthspace.ca is an online crisis & emotional support chat service.
Youth Line – Youth Line offers confidential and non-judgmental peer support through our telephone, text and chat services. Get in touch with a peer support volunteer from Sunday to Friday, 4:00PM to 9:30 PM.
Kids Help Phone – Kids Help Phone’s e-mental health services are available 24/7 across Canada. This means that we’re here for kids, teens and young adults from coast to coast to coast.
Be Safe App – Be Safe by mindyourmind is an evidence-informed safety planning and service navigation app developed in partnership with youth. The app is the product of a multi-sectoral network of stakeholders created to improve access to and coordination of mental health and addiction services for youth and families, consisting of the dedicated youth team, the London Service Collaborative, the CAMH Regional Implementation Team, and mindyourmind.
Supports for Youth Exiting Care – OACAS provides resources for youth specifically exiting care.
What is Children & Youth in Care Day?
Children and Youth in Care Day was created because of the tireless efforts of young people in and from care and the stories and experiences they shared through the My Real Life Book report.
Children and Youth in Care Day is an opportunity to acknowledge children and youth in and from care for their strengths and unique identities. This day allows agencies like KRRCFS and Tikinagan to build better networks of support by increasing participation of community members and partners so that children and youth in and from care feel supported and thrive. It also helps to destigmatize views about children and youth in and from care by increasing awareness and understanding with the public.
Tikinagan’s service model Mamow Obiki-ahwahsoowin, meaning “everyone working together to raise our children”, doesn’t end when our children are out of care. We continually support children and youth to ensure healthy families, which in turn will be the foundation of strong and healthy communities.
It is important for children and youth in care to know they belong to, and have the support of, their community. They need to know they are not alone. Join us in reminding community, government, and service providers that these young people continue to need supports. They need to know they are not forgotten.
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