The Ontario government is taking further action to help provide stable and nurturing homes for vulnerable children and youth by investing more than $ 2.95 million to help support kinship services and customary caregivers, adoptive parents and legal guardians. These new funds will help better prepare caregivers to welcome children and youth into their homes and provide ongoing assistance with expenses such as clothing, beds, school supplies and medical services.
“Every child deserves a safe, loving and stable home,” said Jane McKenna, Associate Minister of Status of Women and Children. “Strengthening financial supports for kinship services and customary care placements ensures that children and youth continue to be cared for by their own families, relatives or friends in their communities. “
Kinship services and customary care are arrangements that provide culturally appropriate care for children and youth. Prioritizing family care and ensuring that children remain closely connected to their families and communities is a central pillar of Ontario’s strategy to modernize the child welfare system to ensure that children young people get the support they need to be safe, successful and thrive.
The new funding will also ensure consistency in post-adoption financial supports for Ontario families and improve the stability, permanence and success of adoptions.
- $ 2.4 million for caregivers, including up to $ 1,000 per family to help with start-up and living costs, such as the purchase of a bed, and an additional $ 500 in occasional funding per child / youth in 2021-2022 to provide supports such as clothing, school supplies and other needs related to the health, safety and well-being of children and youth.
- $ 475 per month, or $ 5,700 per year, to adoptive parents and eligible legal guardians who adopt or obtain legal custody of a child aged seven and under who is not part of a sibling group. Families with net family income of $ 97,856 or less are eligible for financial support until the child is 18 years old.
- Increase the maximum amount of one-time assistance from $ 5,000 to $ 6,000 per eligible First Nations, Inuit or Métis child or youth (subject to a customary care agreement). It will help caregivers with the upfront costs of setting up accommodation for children who cannot stay in their family home due to protective needs, such as buying a bed or modifying the house to accommodate them. meet licensing standards. The assistance is retroactive to April 1, 2021.
“We applaud the Ontario government for stepping up this financial support,” said Nicole Bonnie, CEO of the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies. “We support continued investment in approaches that prioritize maintaining ties with family, community and culture. “
Investing in culturally appropriate and equitable child protection services has long been supported by children’s aid societies, Indigenous partners, child welfare advocates and other partners. communities in Ontario. A greater focus on kinship services and customary care services that better support children, youth and families is should reduce the need for participation in child welfare and, where possible and appropriate, prevent children from being placed in the care of children’s aid societies.