The Difference a Family Makes | Family Day Weekend

Date: February 15, 2016 Author: Communications Contract Staff Coordinator Categories: The Family Effect

This Family Day Weekend we want to celebrate and reflect all the ways our families are important to us. Everyone needs a family regardless of age.  Over this Family Day weekend, let us compare a few real scenarios of young people Kim Stevens, ACO Board member has had the honour to know. All of the names are changed, but the stories are true, and sometimes heartbreaking. In each, the difference is a permanent family.

Our children, and theirs’, deserve something better.

familyeffect-familyday4-home250.pngWhen you adopt a child, you are adopting your grandchildren as well, and ensuring that they too will have a safe and loving family to grow up and grow old in. 

Ten years ago, as I watched my son Jim dance the first dance with his new bride, my heart was full of love, gratitude, and a profound sense of hope for the future. A friend and colleague standing next to me saw the tears in my eyes and said, “This is why we fight every day to make sure that teens find families.” Jim was adopted at age 15, after spending 11 years in foster care. He was a good kid, didn’t raise any concerns or cause any crises while in care, but he deserved more and my husband and I were so happy to be the lucky folks to provide him with opportunities for a full, rich life. He is now the father of two beautiful children who call me “Mimi” and bring out the very best in all of us. They are truly the future for this family and the future looks very bright indeed.

As I think about them, I cannot help but also think about the alternate paths for the children of former foster youth, depending on whether or not the goal of permanency was achieved.  The fact is:  The children of youth who exit foster care without a forever family are twice as likely to enter care themselves.

Written by: Kim Stevens, Project Director, Advocates for Families First North American Council on Adoptable Children and ACO board member

There are thousands of children and youth in Ontario who are at great risk of experiencing poor outcomes. When a family is found for that same youth, we are changing the picture for generations to come.

We call it The Family Effect This Family Day, pledge to do what you can to ensure that EVERY Ontario child and youth will have a family to grow UP and grow OLD in.

Where do you see yourself in this picture?

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