CAS’s Urge Province to Direct New $19 Million Fund to Provide Access to Affordable Housing, Increased Monthly Allowances, and Extended Eligibility for CAS Support for Crown Wards
TORONTO, Dec. 8 /CNW/ - Toronto Children’s Aid Societies today expressed support for the Government of Ontario’s child poverty reduction measures, and in particular, $19 million in annual funding to assist crown wards transitioning to independence.
I am encouraged that the government has made a strong commitment to help youth leaving care,” said Mary A. McConville, Executive Director of the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto. “Crown wards transitioning to independence are extremely vulnerable to poverty because unlike most kids their age, they are often unable to rely on family members to help pay for housing, tuition or basic necessities. When youth in care turn 18 years of age, they lose access to a host of vital supports. We advise the government to move swiftly to direct these funds to give crown wards better access to affordable housing, increase their monthly allowance and extend access to Children’s Aid Societies supports until age twenty-one,” she added.
Significant increases in the Ontario Child Benefit, an After School Program for high needs neighbourhoods and several measurement indicators involving the well-being of children are important steps in helping reduce child poverty.
“It is reassuring to see the priority placed on children in this Framework and the particular emphasis on Crown Wards,” said David Rivard, Executive Director, Children’s Aid Society of Toronto. “The government has clearly listened to the issues raised by Children’s Aid Societies. We will continue to work with the Ministry of Children and Youth Services to implement those recommendations directly impacting children in the care of Children’s Aid Societies. We encourage all levels of government to act now, to ensure that the positive policy recommendations in this Framework become a reality sooner than later,” he added.
On Tuesday, December 2, 2008, Children’s Aid Societies in the GTA released alarming findings from the report, Greater Trouble in Greater Toronto: Child Poverty in the GTA, The Report described Toronto as the poorest city in the GTA - and growing poorer, where one in four children live in poverty.
Over the past year, Toronto Children’s Aid Societies have investigated more than 10,000 cases of suspected child abuse or neglect, and provided care for more than 40,000 area children.
For further information: Rob Thompson, Director, Communications, Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, (416) 924-4646 ext. 2086, email@example.com