Ontario Children's Aid Societies apologize for harm done to Indigenous Peoples

TORONTO — The Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies has apologized for harm done to Indigenous children and families in the province.

The association says it made the apology Tuesday during a gathering at Rama First Nation.

Association CEO Mary Ballantyne acknowledged and apologized for the harmful role child welfare has played historically, and continues to play, in the lives of Ontario’s Indigenous children, families and communities.

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(effective July 1, 2017 to June 30/19 as noted below)

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Ontario Passes Legislation to Strengthen Child Welfare and Improve Outcomes for Youth

Province Putting Children at the Centre of Decision-Making

Today, Ontario passed legislation to help children and youth across the province thrive and reach their full potential by strengthening and modernizing child, youth and family services.

The Child, Youth and Family Services Act makes significant changes to how Ontario provides services to children and youth in need of protection. It puts young people at the centre of decisions about their care, supports more accountable, responsive and accessible child and youth services and strengthens oversight for children’s aid societies and licensed residential services. Key areas of change in the act include:

-Raising the age of protection from 16 to 18 to increase protection services for more vulnerable youth in unsafe living conditions, to support their education and to reduce homelessness and human trafficking

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CUPE women step up the fight on the picket lines


Since April of last year, something amazing has been happening in CUPE in Ontario. CUPE locals in social services, overwhelmingly female workers, have been taking a stand against bad bosses and their austerity agendas. The most significant result, along with the some major improvements for precarious workers, is the emergence of a militant leadership led by women.

Strike activity has been focused in two sectors – children’s protection services and libraries. Protracted underfunding by the provincial government has led to wage stagnation and dramatic increases in workloads for frontline workers in Children’s Aid Societies across the province. Library Workers have been fighting to improve wages and working conditions for their primarily precarious workforce for years.

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Submission for Ontario's consultations for the 2017 budget

The Honourable Charles Sousa
Minister of Finance
c/o Budget Secretariat
Frost Building North, 3rd Floor
95 Grosvenor Street
Toronto, ON M7A 1Z1

CUPE Local 3223 would like to make a submission to Ontario’s consultations for the 2017 budget. Our members work as child protection workers at the Durham Children’s Aid Society. We feel keenly about our responsibility for the safety and welfare of children, youth and families in our communities. We encourage the government to strengthen the system of supports and protections for children and families throughout the province particularly with all of the change and scrutiny that is being faced by those delivering these valuable services to our community.

Accountability Agreements with mandatory balanced budgets make it difficult for many Children’s Aid Societies to meet their child welfare mandate. The 2015 Auditor General’s Report stated that almost half of Ontario CASs received an average of 4.5% less funding in 2013/14 than in 2012/13. In fact, CAS budgets have only increased 1% since 2010 despite inflation increasing costs of transportation, electricity and water every year. This along with the fact that the mandate for providing services may increase to the age of 18 with no indication of how to fund this extended service is a concern.

The province needs to increase CAS funding and revisit its funding model to ensure a solid network of supports for children and families in the province.
Ontario families need an end to the layoffs, case load increases and cuts to the very programs designed to keep families together. The province needs to reinvest in Child Welfare and the most vulnerable sector of our population, with a particular view to prevention as well as protection services, to reverse cuts and temporary closures.

Specifically, we ask the government to provide an additional $100 M in funding to Children’s Aid Societies across the province.

Thank you for considering our submission.
On Behalf of Cupe Local 3223 members
Heather Murray, Local President

New Ontario child protection law will give kids a say

“Groundbreaking” changes to legislation affecting children’s aid societies will be introduced Thursday, Children and Youth Services Minister Michael Coteau told the Star.

Sweeping changes to Ontario’s child protection law will give children a say over decisions related to their welfare, allow the government to grab control of children’s aid societies and increase the age of protection from 16 to 18.

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