Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada: Improving the Lives of Children and Youth

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Reel Causes is thrilled to host its first virtual event – screening Suzanne Crocker’s All the Time in the World and a live Q&A with Suzanne and her family on May 9th.

This event is also a fundraiser for our cause: Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada.

We contacted them to provide more context on the work their organization does for children and youth across the country. We hope you will be inspired to support them!

Tell us about the Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada and its organizational goals.

Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada is our country’s leading charity dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth involved in the child welfare system. We raise and grant funds, and deliver a wide range of high-impact programs and services that support more than 22,200 vulnerable young people and 3,500 families annually. Our goal is to change the futures of Canada’s most at-risk kids – those who have experienced abuse and neglect. We know that by helping these young people to overcome their trauma and break the cycle for future generations, they gain the strength and resilience to create a lifetime of their own success.

Along with a portion of ticket sales, Reel Causes is accepting donations for the Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada. How do you envision these funds will help support young people?

As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, Canada’s most vulnerable youth are in crisis. Many youth as young as 18, who have “aged out” of the child welfare system are no longer eligible for the support they received while living in foster care or group homes.

The pandemic has:

  • Caused sudden unemployment, making them unable to pay for basic necessities such as groceries and rent.
  • Left them feeling completely isolated and alone, with no family to turn to.
  • Intensified underlying mental health issues that stem from childhood trauma.

To help them cope, Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada quickly mobilized and launched the COVID-19 Crisis Support Fund. Since then, we have been providing emergency funds to the most vulnerable youth, but there are so many others who need our help.

The donations collected through our partnership with Reel Causes will provide immediate support, such as food, safe housing, and access to critical mental health programs they desperately need. We are also humbled to partner with Ontario’s Ministry of Children, Community & Social Services, who will match donations our COVID-19 support fund dollar-for-dollar, doubling the impact of your generosity.

How has COVID-19 shaped your organization in the present and future?

For young people who have aged out of the child welfare system, with no permanent family to rely on, situations such as job insecurity, financial strain, and homelessness are often built into their reality even in the best of times. Add to this a worldwide pandemic and social distancing, and you end up with an extremely vulnerable group of young people struggling to have even their basic needs for food and stable housing met.

It’s for the thousands of vulnerable young people across Canada that we launched our COVID-19 Crisis Support Fund. We were able to set up and begin raising and distributing funds in record time to provide these young people with grants to cover short-term needs while they explore government and other supports. To date, we’ve received more than 2,100 applications. This incredible early response is more than we typically receive for all of our programs combined in an entire year, which is indicative of the urgent need. Funds can be used to cover expenses such as rent, food, household supplies, mental health counseling, technology support, and other emergency needs.

As the Foundation adjusts to changes that are needing to be made by many workplaces around the world, we remain in regular communication with our agency partners across the country to stay up-to-date about the complexities young people from care face and the quick decisions they are having to make, so we can determine how to best serve them during this challenging time.

You can donate to the Children’s Aid Foundation and learn more about our All the Time in the World event here.

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About Reel Causes Society

Reel Causes partners with filmmakers and Canadian causes dedicated to addressing global social justice issues. We host film screenings followed by a Q&A session to educate and inspire our community, and provide a forum for authentic conversation around the issues that affect us locally.

City of Vancouver
SFU Woodwards
BC Arts Council
Consumer Protection BC
Creative BC