December 1, 2020
We are excited to welcome Jewish Family and Child Service and Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag Child & Family Services to the CYAC partnership. As critical, legislated service providers, they will help ensure that the future Child & Youth Advocacy Centre not only reflects the needs of our community but also ensures that clients have access to culturally appropriate services.
Jewish Family and Child Service is a multi-service agency that strengthens and supports individuals, children, families and communities by increasing safety and security, improving mental health and wellness and reducing the effects of poverty, within the context of Jewish values. The charitable tradition of Jewish Family and Child Service dates back to 1868, when the Toronto Hebrew Ladies’ Sick and Benevolent Society was granted a charter to raise funds and help the growing number of poor Jewish immigrants. There were no paid staff and a budget of only a few hundred dollars. Today, Jewish Family and Child Service has a staff of more than 120 and a budget of over $24 million. They are continually adapting to changing community needs. Poverty, violence and abuse touch this community, and they respond with a wide range of services and programs designed to intervene and assist. Through their four dynamic locations in the Greater Toronto Area, they now provide as many as 30 community programs and services.
Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag Child & Family Services was founded in 1998 and is a multi-service Indigenous child and family wellbeing agency. They provide a stable foundation for children, youth, and families, through wraparound services that are culturally-based and family-focused. They began secondments of their staff being placed within partner CASs in May 2017. Over time, their staff have built their capacity and have also benefited from additional mandatory Indigenous Wholistic Practice Training. In February 2019, the government of Ontario designated Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag Child & Family Services as a Children’s Aid Society.
We couldn’t be more excited to have them join us along with York Region Children’s Aid Society and York Regional Police in our goal of building York Region’s first Child & Youth Advocacy Centre.
Latest report on the health of Canada’s children
Children First Canada and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) have both released reports tracking the impacts of COVID-19 on Canadians. Findings from both organizations suggest that COVID-19 is having a negative impact on children, youth and adults in Canada. Here are a few highlights:
- 57% of participants aged 15-17 report that their mental health was “somewhat worse” or “much worse” than it was prior to physical distancing measures
- Only 4.8% of children (aged 5-11) and 0.8% of youth (aged 12-17) were meeting the 24-hour movement guidelines, raising significant concerns about their lack of physical activity and its impact on both their physical and mental health
- Almost one in seven Canadians said they were living in a household where they experienced food insecurity in the past 30 days
- “Loneliness” was the third most-used word kids between the ages of 10 and 17 used to describe how they’ve felt in recent weeks.
- Seven out of 10 Ontarians believe that there will be a ‘serious mental health crisis’ as a result of the pandemic
- 50% of Canadians reported worsening mental health since the pandemic began with many feeling worried (44%) and anxious (41%)
- One in 10 Canadians polled said that their mental health had worsened ‘a lot’ as a result of COVID-19
- 81% of Canadian workers who responded to a survey reported that the pandemic is negatively impacting their mental health, indicating a significant drop in overall worker mental health since the beginning of COVID-19
- 25% of Canadians aged 35-54 and 21% of those aged 18-34 have increased their alcohol consumption since social distancing and self-isolation due to COVID-19
The negative impacts COVID-19 has had, and will continue to have, on children, family and health care workers reminds us how critical our services are and how important it is for us to continue to be there for the children and youth of York Region.