Frequently Asked Questions

General

Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada is an ally to and an advocate for children and youth involved in or at risk of entering the child welfare system. We:

  • Raise and grant funds and deliver a wide range of programs and services in partnership with our national network of child- and youth-serving agencies. These programs and services are designed to remove barriers that limit the potential of children and youth who have experienced or are at risk of experiencing abuse and neglect.
  • Provide a powerful voice for all those committed to the young people whom we serve and offer a space for young people with lived experience to have their voices heard.
  • Provide access to the opportunities these young people need to build successful futures for themselves as contributing members of society who enjoy healthy relationships of their own.

Since 1979, the Foundation has been strategically raising funds, providing grants, and developing programs that are delivered in partnership with child- and youth-serving agencies at a local, regional, and national level, with the objective of reaching young people involved with the child welfare system.

We have had strong roots in the Toronto community since the beginning, and our largest and longest standing partnership is with the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto.

This work is supported by a growing list of Canada’s top philanthropists, corporations, business leaders, and government funding for specific programs.

Learn more about our history, mission, and vision.

Unlike child welfare agencies, like the Children’s Aid Society, we are not a government agency. We are not directly involved in child protection, or investigation or apprehension, nor are we involved in the policies, practices, or governance of child welfare agencies.

The programs and services we fund are made possible through the generosity of our donors and supporters and are delivered in partnership with child- and youth-serving agencies across Canada.

The government provides most of the basic life necessities for children and youth in care from birth to age 18. But all kids need more than the basics to thrive –– and kids in care face many additional barriers.

We bridge the gap between what the government provides and what young people in care need to be able to do things most young people do with the help of their families: achieving an education, developing a positive identity and self-esteem, building a healthy support network, pursuing their passions, transitioning to independent adulthood, and navigating employment.

Government funding does not currently address preventative programs that strive to prevent young people from entering government care by building stronger communities and families. The Foundation is proud to grant funds to child- and youth-serving agencies committed to delivering preventative and co-designing new programs and initiatives focused on prevention.

We acknowledge the many lingering barriers and inequities impacting youth from care after they exit the system and make their transition to adulthood. The Foundation offers supports for youth over the age of 21 and up to their 30th birthday.

The children, youth, and families we serve are those who are in and from the child welfare system, from infancy to their 30th birthday. These children may have been taken into permanent care as Crown Wards, or living with their families under the watch of child protection agencies. We also support children and youth living in vulnerable family situations, who are at significant risk of experiencing abuse or neglect.

Through circumstances beyond their control and no fault of their own, these young people lack almost everything most kids take for granted, like a safe, stable home, someone to nurture their growth, and a sense of unconditional love.

Learn more about the young people we serve.

Last year, we granted over $17.5 million in programs and services supporting over 46,500 children and youth and 12,300 families across the country.

These programs included support to help young people achieve an education, support for families and communities to help keep kids at home, enrichment opportunities like camp, sports, and the arts, and support for young people transitioning from care to independent living.

To learn more about the impact our programs have on the lives of young people, read our Strategic Plan Year 1 Report.

In 2020-2021, our cost of fundraising was 12 per cent, with expenses held close to flat. We note a considerable decrease in our cost of fundraising due to our response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Foundation moved quickly to contain all expenses, while seeking significant donations for our COVID-19 Response Program. This figure is on par with what other reputable Canadian fundraising organizations have reported and well below the CRA’s acceptable ratio of 35 per cent.

Learn more about our commitment to accountability and transparency.

Together with our partners, donors, and youth advisors, we are committed to developing and supporting targeted strategies that address the specific needs of Black, Indigenous, and other overrepresented populations of children, youth, and families involved with the child welfare system. Our goal is to help reduce the number of young people from these populations coming into and growing up in care.

We are committed to:

  • Aligning the Foundation’s grants and programs with initiatives being delivered by our child welfare agency partners that specifically address the unique needs of Black and Indigenous children and youth.
  • Co-designing new programs with select child welfare partners to specifically address the systemic issues that lead to the overrepresentation of targeted populations in child welfare.
  • Engaging all Foundation stakeholders in ongoing education and learning to enhance knowledge and awareness of issues of social equity and justice.
  • Developing advisory groups or committees to inform our strategies to address the underlying conditions that lead to overrepresentation of Black, Indigenous, and other populations of young people within the child welfare system.

Learn more about our commitment to supporting overrepresented populations of children and youth, as well as other Foundation priorities, in our Strategic Plan.

FAQs about working with Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada

If you are interested in working with us, please fill out a request for funding consideration form so that we can learn about your organization and the children and youth you serve who are involved in the child welfare system, and explore potential partnership opportunities.

Will the initiative benefit children, youth, or families involved with child welfare in Canada? Is your initiative evidence-based, evidence-informed or looking to build evidence? Does the initiative fit within one of Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada’s intended impact areas (strengthening families and reducing the number of children in care for families at risk, improving educational outcomes for children and youth in care or improving educational and employment outcomes for youth in transition)? If you answered YES to these questions, then we’d be interested in learning more about your work. Please fill out a request for funding consideration form.

The Foundation may post applications for funding or seek funding partners periodically as funding allows and as opportunities arise. To be considered for funding or to be included in communication about funding opportunities, please fill out a request for funding consideration form so that CAFC can know more about your organization, who you serve, and the types of funding in which your organization is interested.

No. Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada only supports organizations working in Canada.

As a national organization, we are interested in supporting organizations in all provinces and territories. As there are few organizations working at a national level to serve children, youth, and families involved in the child welfare system, Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada distributes national program funds to organizations with a local, regional or provincial focus.

Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada is interested in helping children and youth aged 0-29. Funding available for organizations to use to help children and youth may be restricted to certain age groups.