Greetings Pathways alumni!
A quick but we hope interesting update for you. We have four important things to share with you and get your input on.
1. November is Adoption Awareness Month
Today is November 1st which kicks off Adoption Awareness Month!!
The ACO is planning a number of events throughout the month. There's info about this on our AAM webpage. Stay tuned to it here: https://www.adoption.on.ca/adoption-awareness-month
Here is our very short (just over a minute) Family Effect video that explains why we do what we do at the ACO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6yher2T5Eo
As part of Adoption Awareness month, the ACO is gathering information about the current system of adoption in Ontario that we want to share with our partners and the Ontario government. Please fill in this important survey - it shouldn't take you more than 15 or 20 minutes and share your views with us. Here is the link to the survey for adoptive families: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/72C5TPX
We are also encouraging families to make an appointment and talk to their local MPP about adoption - tell your story and talk to them about how important it is to find families for kids in care and to support those families on their lifelong journey. You can learn more about how to to do this on our AAM page.
2. Pathways Thank You note to your MPP
On a related note, the ACO is very grateful that Ontario's Ministry of Children and Youth Services are funding the Pathways program to families in Ontario. We thought it would be really helpful in this month of November to demonstrate how much that funding is appreciated by the families who took the Pathways training this year. We put together an outline of a possible thank you note to an MPP but you will need to modify it and make it your own. Feel free to rewrite it using your own words and style and please tell your minister how the course impacted your family.
You can find your MPP here: http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/members/members_current.do?locale=en
cc. Minister Michael Coteau, MCYS (email@example.com)
As an (adoptive, kinship, customary care) family in your riding, I/we wanted to reach out to you to say Thank You! Through the Ministry of Children and Youth Services and the Adoption Council of Ontario (ACO), the Ontario government is supporting adoptive, kinship and customary families through the sponsoring of a specialized parent training program called Pathways to Permanence 2: Parenting Children who have Experienced Trauma & Loss.
I/We was/were lucky to have taken this training in 2016 and wanted to let you know we thought the training was (great). We (learned a lot, felt supported and less isolated as a family). We also (met other wonderful adoptive and kinship families in our community who are on a similar journey, and through the support of the ACO, we will stay in touch with them through a local parent support group). We are very grateful to the Ontario government for providing this course and support to us at NO cost. We could not have attended otherwise.
You may not know that November is Adoption Awareness Month. You may not know either that right now there are over 6,000 children and youth currently in foster and/or group care in Ontario. They NEED families. Families provide kids with the permanence they need and the best possible chance at success. Please take a moment and view a 90 second video the ACO has prepared about this critical societal issue. It's called the Family Effect: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6yher2T5Eo
There are families in Ontario who are willing and able to provide our kids with permanency. However, the adoption system in Ontario is not easy to navigate nor are the supports available to adoptive families adequate. In this month of November, I ask you as an MPP to do all you can to ensure that kids in foster and group care in Ontario find families AND that Ontario's adoptive and kinship families are supported on their life long journeys together.
Thank you again for enabling us to take the Pathways training program at no cost. We look forward in the coming year to seeing many more improvements to Ontario's adoption delivery and and support system.
(Parent(s) name & address)
3. Parent Training & Education Interests & Needs
As you may be aware, we recently held a 1-day ACO Education Day on Saturday October 22 in Brampton. It was very well received by parents and professionals alike. We wanted to reach out to all our Pathways families and get your feedback on what your training and education interests and needs are going forward. This quick survey asks you why you might not have attended our recent Education Day and to what extent you might be interested in a 2-day conference about adoption & permanency sometime in 2017 or 2018. It should only take you 5 minutes to fill out and we would certainly appreciate your feedback.
For those of you that attended Education Day, you already received a survey about the Day and the idea of a multi-day conference in 2017 or 2108 so you don't have to fill this one out.
We ask that these surveys be completed by November 7th - thank you!!
Contact Information. For additional information on these PACT offerings please contact us at: PACT Program, Adoption Council of Ontario 1-877-ADOPT 20 ex. 2990 | pact
The PACT Team