For Immediate Release
November 15, 2018
STATEMENT BY FORMER YOUTH FROM CARE ON CANCELLATION OF THE ADVOCATE
The Child Welfare PAC, a non-partisan and not-for-profit advocacy group of child welfare stakeholders and former youth-in-care, was surprised to learn of the Ontario government's bold decision to eliminate the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth.
We understand that governments have to make difficult decisions when it comes to reducing public spending. However, it is important to ensure that potential harm to vulnerable youth is mitigated when tough choices are made. We welcome the plan to ensure that the Advocate's previous investigative powers are retained by the Ombudsmen.
The Advocate also represented hope for vulnerable youth facing insurmountable challenges in their lives. It provided these youth access to the policy-making process. In the child protection sector, the new legislation mandates that children's voices are heard and inform all decisions that affect their lives. The Advocate, Irwin Elman, has provided this voice for them over the last 10 years. To him, the government owes a debt of gratitude for bringing these traditionally disenfranchised voices to the conversation at the Legislature.
It is essential that Ontario's most vulnerable youth do not become unseen and unheard. It is the duty of the government, who is legally responsible for parenting many of these children, to ensure youth are empowered to achieve their potential in life and positively contribute to society. Early investment in youth results in long term economic savings.
Too many of Ontario's children continue to slip through the cracks and struggle in their adult lives. We expect better. We expect a child welfare system that ensures every youth has a bright future.
Going forward, as former youth raised by the government ourselves, we want to send the message to all of Ontario's vulnerable youth that
you do matter
We welcome you to connect with us at the Child Welfare PAC.
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