Two-thirds of Canadians personally know families who are struggling and need help
More early intervention programs and resources would prevent family breakdown and reduce the number of children and families entering care, according to Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada
(Toronto, Ontario – October 10, 2023) – The vast majority of Canadians (90%) agree that we should be doing more in Canada to help families at-risk so that children can continue to live at home and avoid growing up in the government’s child welfare system, according to a new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada.
In Canada, 300,000 children and youth are at-risk of entering government care due to complicated issues or circumstances that make it difficult for their families to care for them. Poverty is a leading factor contributing to family instability, with low-income households more likely to experience food insecurity, mental health challenges, addiction, and rising rates of domestic violence. Children and youth who grow up in care are more likely to experience poor academic, social, employment and health outcomes compared to their peers.
“A child does best when raised in a strong and healthy family environment,” says Valerie McMurtry, President & CEO, Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada, the country’s leading charity dedicated to improving the lives of children, youth and families involved in the child welfare system. “By focusing on prevention and offering more early intervention programs and resources, families with children at risk of entering care can receive the tools they need to thrive, and children can grow safely and remain at home.”
Other key findings from Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada’s 2023 Focus on Children and Families poll:
- Two-thirds (67%) of Canadians personally know of families that are struggling and need help
- Canadians support the creation of early intervention programs and resources for families if it leads to better outcomes for children at-risk (93%) or if it reduces the number of children entering government care (90%)
- 86% agree that early intervention programs should be carried out, no matter the cost, if it means keeping children safe at home with their families
“The communities and individuals that are most impacted by the child welfare system – Indigenous, Black, and racialized communities and children – are rarely given a voice when it comes to policy and programmatic changes that will affect them,” says Cara McGonegal, Child Welfare League of Canada. “Direct funding to these communities is needed to establish culturally rooted prevention and family wellness programs. This includes recognizing the inherent right of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities to deliver their own child welfare services and providing sustainable funding and resources to support this transition.”
Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada, together with their community of donors is committed to championing evidence-based early intervention initiatives and supporting the delivery of existing proven programs that help families in vulnerable situations stay together and allow children to remain at home. Thanks to the generosity of donors, last year the Foundation helped 2,800 families find stability and thrive and prevented their children from entering government care.
Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada is asking Canadians to show their support for creating stronger, healthier and more resilient families so that fewer children and youth enter or grow up in government care:
- Sign up to become an ally at cafdn.org/strengtheningfamilies where you can get involved and keep up to date on issues affecting children and families involved with the child welfare system.
- Donate at cafdn.org to help families struggling to receive the support they need to prevent family breakdown, and allow them to access crucial supports to help children thrive.
About this study
These are findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between June 30 to July 10, 2023, on behalf of Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada. For this survey, a sample of 1,892 Canadians was interviewed. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 2.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians aged 18+ been polled.
About Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada
Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada is our country’s leading charity dedicated to standing up for children and families involved in the child welfare system and standing alongside youth with lived experience. We raise and grant funds and deliver a wide range of high-impact programs and services in partnership with 104 child- and youth-serving agencies across the country. Last year, we supported over 15,000 children, youth, and families. Find out more at cafdn.org.
For more information:
[email protected] ; 416-988-4189