Marking the end of Child Abuse Prevention Month, CFMU Radio's "This Is #HamOnt" program focused a full hour on the protection of children in our community on October 29th. The Community Child Abuse Council's Executive Director, Karen Smith, was interviewed along with Dominic Verticchio from the Children's Aid Society of Hamilton. Thank you to hosts Ashleigh and Jonathon for an engaging and important conversation!
Listen to the podcast of this interview on CFMU's web site: http://cfmu.msumcmaster.ca/
During October, which is Child Abuse Prevention Month in Ontario, we offer an important reminder from our colleagues at the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies.
The saying "it takes a village to raise a child" is never more true than when we talk about protecting children. Keeping the most vulnerable members of our community safe is the responsibility of everyone. If you have any reason to believe that a child is in need of protection or is at risk of harm, make the call to Children's Aid.
Talking about child abuse is hard. But not as hard as seeing or suspecting that a child is being abused. If you have reasonable grounds to suspect a child is in need of help, you need to make the call. It isn't up to you to prove or investigate the abuse but it is up to you to reach out and help protect the child.
It is a basic human right to be free of harm and this especially applies to children. It is our job as adults to step up and protect all of the children in our community.
In Hamilton, call Catholic Children's Aid Society of Hamilton at (905) 525-2012, or Children's Aid Society of Hamilton at (905) 522-1121, or after hours in an emergency call (905) 522-8053. In other Ontario locations, visit www.oacas.org/childwelfare/locate.htm to find your local agency. You can report a concern anonymously, and if you do choose to provide your name it will not be released to the family involved. By making a report you are allowing the appropriate authorities to determine the risk in each situation and the kind of support and service needed to keep children safe.
Our friends from Hamilton Police Service's Fleet, Facilities and Supply team have helped to make our new home a welcoming, safe, and professional space, and we can't thank them enough for their assistance. Dan Bowman's amazing crew volunteered to help with flooring, carpentry, electrical, installations, and more - thank you so much! We are so very fortunate to have caring partners like HPS and its members, and we appreciate their support very much.
The Community Child Abuse Council's OASIS Program will be featured, and OASIS Program Coordinator Mary-Jo Land will be presenting, at the upcoming International Women & Children's Health Conference on October 18, 2014. This year's conference will be held at the Hamilton Convention Centre, and the conference theme is "Caught in Conflict: Issues Facing Victims of Strife". Registration information ($30.00 per person) and further details can be found on the conference web site: http://iwchconference.org/
The Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) is conducting a review of The Child and Family Services Act and is seeking input from families as well as service partners.
The Child and Family Services Act is a foundational piece of legislation. It governs many of the province's programs and services for children and youth, including child welfare, youth justice, mental health, adoption finalized in Ontario and the licensing of children's residential services. This legislation is reviewed on a five-year cycle, and participating in the review is an opportunity to help improve outcomes and services for children, youth and families across the province.
As a ministry, we are committed to supporting children and youth and to creating opportunities for their voices to be heard. This review is also a platform for children, youth and families to tell the ministry how services can be improved and identify gaps or challenges within the current system. The 2015 review will focus on how the Child and Family Services Act could be improved to meet the current and emerging needs of children, youth and families. Between now and December, the ministry will also work closely with Aboriginal communities, partners and service organizations to review specific provisions in the act.
Details on regional engagement sessions and written submissions will be available on the ministry's website, along with a discussion guide that includes information about the Child and Family Services Act and questions to help inform your feedback. A report on the findings will be available on the ministry's website in April 2015. We are confident the findings from this review will help improve the services funded or provided by the ministry. We look forward to hearing from our partners, our families and all Ontarians.
Thank you in advance for your participation.
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