2018 National Award Winners and Finalists: Celebrating extraordinary people who improve the lives of abused, abandoned or neglected children or youth

Lynn Factor Stand Up for Kids logo

The Lynn Factor Stand Up for Kids National Award at the Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada recognizes dedication, effort, service, contribution, impact and extraordinary measures taken to improve the lives of abused, abandoned or neglected children and youth.

The Award spotlights these leaders and amplifies their stories to inspire and encourage others to social action, specifically to “Stand Up for Kids”.

Cindy Blackstock

Cindy Blackstock headshot

Cindy Blackstock, PhD, is the executive director of First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada and Professor at McGill’s School of Social Work. Cindy has worked in child welfare and Indigenous children’s right for over 30 years. She has published on topics relating to reconciliation, Indigenous theory, First Nations child welfare and human rights.

As the 2021 National Award winner, Cindy selected We Matter to receive a $50,000 grant.

Leaders who have made a big difference in the lives of children and youth

This year’s exceptional finalists have also made significant contributions to improve the lives of abused, abandoned or neglected children and youth.

Ruby Barclay headshot

Ruby Barclay

Ruby Barclay is a student, mentor, volunteer and advocate in Nanaimo, British Columbia. Ruby was a passionate advocate for assuring 25 of BC’s public post-secondary institutions would provide free tuition for youth in and from care.

Karyn Kennedy headshot

Karyn Kennedy

Karyn Kennedy is a leader in the field of child abuse prevention and intervention. Karyn is the President & CEO, Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre (Boost CYAC) in Toronto. In 1993, Karyn created and transitioned Boost to the CYAC model, a ground-breaking child welfare support approach that brings together community professionals, including local CAS, Toronto Police, and SickKids representatives to provide services in one location for children at risk.

Tom Littlewood headshot

Tom Littlewood

Tom Littlewood has dedicated his 40+ year-long career to helping youth facing trauma-based mental health and addiction challenges. In 1975, Tom developed one of the first diversion programs for at-risk youth while working as a police counsellor in Prince George and Surrey, BC. Tom is the Program Director and lead therapist for the Dan’s Legacy Foundation, which provides counselling to 150 youth a year across Metro Vancouver.

Kenn Richards headshot

Kenn Richard

As the founder and executive director of Native Child and Family Services of Toronto, Kenn Richard has been practicing social work, principally within Aboriginal child welfare, since the mid-seventies. A strong children’s advocate at both the national and the local level, Kenn often lends advice to government in the field of Native Child Welfare.

Bruce Rivers headshot

Bruce Rivers

Bruce began his career as a youth worker with the Children’s Aid Society over 40 years ago. Since joining Covenant House, Bruce has championed supported housing models that help youth move beyond crisis beds to longer term solutions. This has led to 57 apartments in the community (with a long-term goal of 100), and the development of the Avdell Home and the Rogers Home.

Congratulations to Cindy, Ruby, Karyn, Tom, Kenn and Bruce!