Today, Jill Dunlop, Associate Minister of Children and Women's Issues and Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, released the following statement to recognize Children and Youth in Care Day:
"Children and Youth in Care Day is an opportunity to raise awareness about children and youth who are in the care of a children's aid society in Ontario and to reaffirm our commitment to help them reach their full potential.
It is also an opportunity to thank the staff, managers and community partners who are working on the front lines to keep children, youth and families safe, supported and healthy, especially during the COVID-19 outbreak. Because of their commitment and dedication, children and youth across Ontario continue to have access to the critical supports and resources they need.
Current and former children and youth in care make tremendous contributions to our province as they demonstrate strength, bravery, and resilience each and every day. We thank them for sharing their lived experiences and ideas as we redesign and modernize the child welfare system in Ontario to ensure we build a system that gives them the quality supports they deserve.
During these unprecedented times, nothing is more important than protecting the health and well-being of children and youth in care.
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, our government has taken decisive action to meet the immediate needs of children and youth in care. Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, no youth in care or former youth in care in Ontario will age out of the supports and services they are currently receiving through children's aid societies.
Our government is deeply committed to providing the best care and support to children and youth in the child welfare system. Our vision is for an Ontario where every child and youth have the supports they need to succeed and thrive. Through our engagements on strengthening the child welfare system, we have heard valuable input about where the child welfare sector is now and where it should go in the future. The need for change is clear.
We want all children and youth in care to know they are not alone and that we are committed to continue listening and collaborating with them and building a system that delivers the outcomes our children and youth deserve."