As we look back on 2021 – 2022, we’re proud of what Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada has achieved with your support. As the COVID-19 pandemic continued, we pivoted some of our efforts to help those most affected. We were able to break records and maintain initiatives while starting new and impactful programs that continue to support children, youth, and families involved in the child welfare system.
In this year’s snapshot, we’re highlighting some of the incredible things the Foundation accomplished with the generous support of our partners, youth, and donors and supporters.
Thank you for continuing to Stand Up for Kids
We have made giant strides for children and youth. At the time of the Annual Report’s creation, we had already raised 78% of our $75 million Stand Up for Kids: Futures Transformed campaign goal, impacting the lives of 84,000 children and youth.
Our community also gathered for the Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada Gala, which raised over $1.6 million, and our Stand Up for Kids Night, where youth received 100 scholarships and we celebrated the achievements of over 250 scholarship recipients. We also celebrated the contributions of Mary Birdsell, Executive Director of Justice for Children and Youth and last year’s Lynn Factor Stand Up for Kids National Award recipient .
We’ve continued to help strengthen families, reducing the number of children who grow up in government care
Access to community-based resources can mean the difference between keeping a family together or being torn apart by abuse, neglect, and abandonment. In 2021-2022, we helped 3,471 young people and 2,908 families across Canada access the services and supports they need to thrive.
Now in its fourth year, Journey to Zero is keeping families together
Early indicators are showing that the Journey to Zero program, which is an early intervention program, is working. Since its launch, 91% of the families served by the program were prevented from having children admitted to care. Only 15% of cases were reopened within a year of receiving support. Learn more about the program.
Supporting Black families through the Kuponya Project
The Kuponya Project has supported 78 families and 190 children and youth in the Toronto area just in the last year. An evaluation found that 80% of mothers felt their relationships with their children improved after participating in the program. The Kuponya Project is supported by our Teddy Bear Fund.
We’re empowering children and youth growing up in government care to overcome obstacles
Did you know? In 2021 – 2022, we helped 7,543 children and youth in care across Canada find hope for a brighter future.
Improving Educational Outcomes through Big Steps to Success
In Canada, less than half of young people growing up in government care graduate from high school. Through the power of partnership and collaboration, we’re changing that. In early 2022, Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada launched Big Steps to Success – a first-of-its-kind mentorship program specifically for young people living in government care.
Big Steps to Success is currently operating in Victoria, Saskatoon, North Bay, and Toronto. Learn more about the program.
Working to Strengthen Indigenous Children and Families through the Back to the Land program
Back to the Land strives to help reduce the number of Indigenous children coming into government care while empowering children already in care with emotional resiliency and a strong sense of identity. In 2021-2022, Back to the Land supported 408 children, youth, and families served by five child welfare agencies in Ontario, Manitoba, and British Columbia. Learn more about the program.
We’re ensuring youth leaving care have the supports they need
Did you know? In 2021-2022, we helped 4,449 youth access resources they need to establish meaningful, fulfilling lived after care.
Helping young people find a pathway to employment through Youth Works
Youth Works creates access to skills development supports, internships and job placements, funding for employment training, and wraparound supports that help youth maintain employment and reach their goals. Between 2017 and 2021, 1,261 youth participated in the program. Approximately 60% of participants successfully secured employment, and over 75% reported feeling better prepared to enter the workforce and more optimistic about the future. Learn more about the program.
Investing in mental health and well-being
Young people transitioning out of care often struggle with mental health issues stemming from trauma and abuse, which have been intensified due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These same young people were forced to navigate disruptions to their education and employment without support from family to lean on.
Recognizing the challenges young people were facing, the Foundation took steps to increase our investment in mental health and well-being supports for youth aging out of care.
- Provided one-time grants of $250 to help 306 young people in post-secondary programs access mental health support
- Launched a new Youth Mental Health Fund delivering funding to nine youth serving organizations across Canada
- Created a new digital resource called Fostering Community where youth can find resources about mental health, connect with service providers and access other supports to health ease their transition out of care.