Articles and Conference Papers
EFFECTIVE, COORDINATED PERMANENCY PLANNING IS CRUCIAL TO POSITIVE OUTCOMES
By: Gail Aitken | November 2015
Summary: To thrive, all children and youth require a sense of belonging and attachment to one or more persons whom they regard as family. In current jargon they need a “forever family,” a person or persons they can count on to emotionally support them, even though they may, as they mature, not live with them. For children who are Crown wards in the care of the Province of Ontario, about 7000 of them, finding a “forever family” is often difficult to effect.
[Read Effective, Coordinated Permanency Planning is Crucial to Positive Outcomes]
ENSURING CHILDREN’S WELL-BEING: ANALYZING POLICIES AND PRACTICES THROUGH A CHILD RIGHTS LENS
By: Marv Bernstein, Chief Policy Advisor, UNICEF Canada, and Pat Convery, Executive Director, Adoption Council of Ontario
Originally published in the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies Journal, March 2015, Vol. 59 , No 1, 13-15
Summary: The Convention on the Rights of the Child reminds us that we must consider the potential impacts on children’s rights and interests in all legislation, policies, programs, and practices. Children need this special focus for many reasons:
- Children are particularly vulnerable by virtue of their developmental stage and dependence on adults.
- Children can be disproportionately affected by adverse conditions. For example, the adverse impacts of poverty in a child’s early years can be much greater than the effects of poverty in adulthood.
- As non-voting citizens, children do not have the same opportunities as adults to influence or complain about public policy; instead, they must rely on adults to advocate for them.
- Children are a significant segment of the population and are more affected by the action-or inaction-of government than any other group.
- There is no such thing as a child-neutral policy. Almost every area of government policy affects children to some degree.
- Children are also among the heaviest users of public services, such as education, health, child care, and youth services. As a result, children can suffer the most from the fragmentation of public policy and services, or from policies or services that have unintended consequences.
[Read Ensuring Children’s Well-Being]
USING STORIES TO CONNECT WITH CHILDREN
By: Gabrielle Israelivitch
Preview: Somewhere in the journey of their internally disconnected and haphazardly assembled lives, foster children have come to us – into our homes, into our therapy offices, into our hearts – with a complex history, with snippets of Whats and Wheres and Whos and sometimes Whys, but no Story that binds the pages together. Yet we all need stories of ourselves. They help us make sense of our world, where we fit in, how we matter to others, and what we can hope for.
Continue reading Using Stories to Connect with Children.
THE YOUNG CHILD’S CONSENT TO ADOPTION: CHALLENGES AND CHANGES
By: Elizabeth Anne Wise Keshen
Elizabeth Anne Wise Keshen’s “The Young Child’s Consent to Adoption: Challenges and Changes” was first published in the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies Journal, 2014, Vol. 58, No2.
Summary: The article looks at young children’s right to consent in regards to adoption as well as discusses the challenges it presents.
[Read The Young Child’s Consent to Adoption: Challenges and Changes]
THE CASE FOR ADOPTION WITH OPENNESS
By: Gail Aitken, Professor Emeritus, School of Social Work, Ryerson University, Toronto
Member of the Children in Limbo Task Force
This paper was first published in the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies Journal, Fall 2011, Vol. 56, No 4.
Summary: With the need for permanency of the approx. 9000 youth in the foster care system in mind, this paper looks at the role of openness in adoption.
[Read The Case for Adoption with Openness]
THE VOICES OF YOUTH IN CARE:
Learning from Focus Groups with Former and Current Crown Wards
By: Gail Aitken, Gitte Granofsky, Ryna Langer, Sally Palmer, Jacqueline Mankiewicz Smith
Originally published in the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies Journal, Fall 2005, Vol. 49 , No 3, 2-9.
Summary: The Voice of Youth in Care is a paper developed as a result of several focus groups conducted by the Children in Limbo Task Force with young people who were or had been a Crown Ward across the province. These youth spoke about their experiences with the Ontario family court system.
[Read The Voices of Youth in Care]
CHILDREN AT THE CENTRE: THEIR RIGHT TO TRUTH AND VOICE
Marv Bernstein Speaking Notes
Question: From your varied experience as a Children’s Advocate, as Policy Advisor for OACAS, as Chief Counsel for CCAS and from your ongoing fight for Children’s Rights, within UNICEF and beyond, how do you assess the health of the many systems you have been and are involved in and what are the needed steps towards fulfilling the goal of keeping children at the centre, and honouring their right to truth and voice?
Read Marv Bernstein’s response here.
FACILITATING OPEN ADOPTION THROUGH GROUP CONFERENCING
Workshop at the Conference: Honouring the Circle, Connections and Wisdom
Select a specific paper or read the full collection here: Facilitating Open Adoption Through Group Conferencing
- The Case for Adoption with Openness
by: Gail Aitken
- Facilitating Open Adoption Through Family Group Conferencing
by: Pat Convery
- Including Children in Family Group Conferences to Develop Open Adoption Agreements
by: Sally Palmer
- Family Group Conferencing from a Foster Parent’s Perspective
by: Jean Skelton
- Introduction to the Children in Limbo Task Force Publication: There are no Wizard: The Child Welfare Conundrum
by: Dr. James R. Wiles, Chair of the Task Force
Children at the Centre:
Their Right to Truth and Voice
< select this icon in the top left hand corner to select a specific video presentation.
Truth or Consequences
Information Sharing in Child Welfare