Adoption Awareness Month, is marked by an orange ribbon, and CAS is working towards increasing public awareness about the role they can play in helping young people achieve permanency through adoption.
Adoption is one of a number of permanency options that CAS officials consider when looking for life-long connections for children in care.
Finding the right adoption match for children and youth who have come through a CAS often requires finding adoptive parents that can meet the diverse cultural and religious backgrounds.
Families must also have the strengths and skills to deal with children who may have complex needs, siblings, and open adoption relationships with their family of origin.
It continues to be challenging for CAS to find families who are ready, willing and able to meet the needs of older children, large sibling groups or those with complex medical, developmental, and behavioural needs.
This year, the Adoption Resource Exchange will take place on Nov. 10.
The conference, which is held in Toronto and is hosted by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, helps locate and match adoptive families with Ontario children and youth needing adoption.
The conference is open to anyone interested in adopting a child from Ontario and there is no fee to attend.
However, it is primarily designed for those who have completed a home study assessment through CAS or an approved private adoption practitioner. Families can also find information about children or youth who are in need of permanent homes on the Adopt Ontario website, adoptontario.ca.
The number of children and youth available to be adopted has decreased over the last five years.
While the number of children and youth in the care of CAS’ has decreased, the amount of finalized adoptions increased to more than 800 in Ontario last year.
“This is a good news story for our children and youth,” says Karen Kartusch, manager of the regional adoption program for Highland Shores Children’s Aid, Kawartha-Haliburton CAS and Durham CAS. “This means that fewer children are coming into our care in the first place, and for those that cannot return home to their family of origin, we are able to find permanent lifetime connections out of foster care for these children and youth to flourish.”
Earlier this year, the Ontario government began efforts to modernize Ontario’s Child Welfare System, including adoption services.
“Strengthening the public adoption system means connecting more family and children together and providing equitable supports to those families when they need it,” says Kartusch.
To learn more about adoption, contact the Durham Children’s Aid Society at durhamcas.ca.