Children's Aid Foundation of Canada receives $5 million gift from Rogers family to provide expanded emergency support for vulnerable children, youth and families during COVID-19
TORONTO, June 15, 2020 /CNW/ - Children's Aid Foundation of Canada can now provide expanded emergency COVID-19 assistance to children, youth and families involved with the child welfare system who are impacted by the pandemic thanks to a crucial $5 million gift from the Rogers family.
"This incredible gift from the Rogers family comes at a critical time for our most vulnerable children, youth and families who were already struggling to get by before COVID-19 and now are unable to afford the basic necessities for everyday living or are dealing with mental health issues and domestic violence further exacerbated by the pandemic," says Valerie McMurtry, President and CEO, Children's Aid Foundation of Canada, the country's leading charity devoted to improving the lives of children and youth involved with the child welfare system. "The Rogers family are long-standing champions of children and youth in care and we are grateful for their continued generosity and support of our COVID-19 crisis response."
The $5 million gift from the Rogers family will go towards two funds set up by Children's Aid Foundation of Canada in response to the pandemic - the COVID-19 Child & Family Support Fund and the COVID-19 Support Fund for Former Youth In Care, both established at the start of the pandemic in response to the complex issues facing children, youth and families involved with the child welfare system. Children's Aid Foundation of Canada will work with child welfare and youth-serving organizations across Canada to distribute emergency supports to those in need.
"Our family is honoured to be able to do a small part to help Canadians and Canadian families as they try to recover from the difficult financial challenges that COVID-19 has brought to so many people, especially people already under financial stress," said Martha Rogers, Chair of The Rogers Foundation. "All of the money will be donated in 2020 so we can make as immediate an impact as possible."
The COVID-19 Child & Family Support Fund addresses the basic needs of children and families most affected by the pandemic in order to relieve some of the stress experienced by families and reduce volatile situations that can put children and youth in harm's way. The fund helps families secure food, housing and everyday essentials such as diapers or formula. It also provides technology support to help children and youth with online learning or at-home educational activities such as arts and crafts or science kits that may have otherwise been inaccessible to families. The fund is also providing flexible funding for new challenges child
welfare is facing as a result of the pandemic such as technology solutions that enable families to stay in touch with vital supports and mental health support for families who are in crisis.
Youth who have "aged out" from care of the child welfare system will continue to be helped through the COVID-19 Support Fund for Former Youth In Care. In April, the fund was overwhelmed by the demand, with over 2,000 youth applying in the first 48-hours for assistance to pay for food, housing and mental health counselling and therapy, reflective of the desperate need during the pandemic among former youth from care who do not have permanent families they can lean on for support. Further details about how former youth from care will be able to access the fund via the Foundation's local agency partners will be available later this summer.
As the pandemic continues, Children's Aid Foundation of Canada is concerned about the long-term impact it will have on children, youth and families and it continues to raise essential funds to improve the lives of those involved with child welfare in Canada. To help, donations can be made online at cafdn.org
About Children's Aid Foundation of Canada
Children's Aid Foundation of Canada is our country's leading charity dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth involved with the child welfare system. We raise and grant funds, and deliver a wide range of high-impact programs and services in partnership with 74 child-and youth-serving agency partners that support more than 22,200 vulnerable young people and 3,500 families annually. Stand Up for Kids is our national campaign for child welfare, which aims to change the futures of Canada's most at-risk kids – those who have experienced abuse and neglect. We know that by helping these young people to overcome their trauma and break the cycle for future generations, they gain the strength and resilience to create a lifetime of their own unstoppable successes.