National Health and Well-Being Program

Little girl looking at camera with someone using a dental mirror in her mouth

Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada’s National Health & Well-Being Program, supported by Air Canada Foundation and The McCain Foundation, addresses the most urgent health needs of children and youth served by child welfare organizations. Statistics show that 82% of kids in care are diagnosed with special needs including physical, cognitive, emotional, behavioural, and social difficulties, many of which require specialized care. This funding fills the gap between basic government-funded health care, and the necessary preventative and specialized supports that many vulnerable children and families desperately need.

In 2019, the Health & Well-Being Program met the needs of 119 children and youth in British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Ontario. Of the young people who received support, 77% of requests were for unmet dental, vision, and medical equipment needs.

The McCain Foundation strongly believes in supporting vulnerable young people and we are happy to be able to support Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada’s Health and Well-Being Program in New Brunswick. The program’s highly customized approach allows our donation to address specific needs of children in child welfare. From helping with dental care that would otherwise be unaffordable or funding a much-needed pair of glasses, we are proud to play a role in providing kids with live-changing support.

Linda McCain, Chair, The McCain Foundation

Story of Impact:

Meet GRAHAM*, age 12.

GRAHAM’s family became involved in the child welfare system due to poverty. While GRAHAM’s family is very loving, they struggle to pay their rent and cover groceries each week. GRAHAM had been without glasses for several months, as his family was unable to pay for them. While he hadn’t yet had a formal eye exam, his teacher was noticing his obvious struggles with his eyesight. Often straining his eyes to see, his eyes would actually cross when he was trying to focus on his assignments. This meant that GRAHAM was avoiding his schoolwork, and he would often disengage while in the classroom.

Thanks to the support of the Health & Well-Being Fund, GRAHAM’s social worker was able to coordinate an eye exam free of charge. After he received the results, the Health & Well-Being Fund was also able to cover brand new glasses. GRAHAM’s parents and his teacher have seen how much his new glasses have made a world of difference to his quality of life. He’s even excited to do his homework now.

It is easy to take for granted the difference something like having the correct prescription in a pair of glasses can make. For the children and youth who have been able to benefit from the Health & Well-Being Program’s support, these seemingly small expenses are truly life-changing.