../Morning Post
Posted April 14, 2011

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Family

Giving More Kids A Place To Call Home

Ontario Government Making Changes To Help More Kids Get Adopted

Toronto - Ontario is proposing changes that would help more kids find permanent homes by making it easier for would-be parents to adopt. The changes would also offer more support to youth in care as they transition into adulthood.

Ontario will introduce The Building Families and Supporting Youth To Be Successful Act, 2011. The proposed act would, if passed, remove legal barriers so that more kids in the care of children's aid societies could be adopted. Currently, 75 per cent of these kids have legally-binding court orders preventing them from being adopted.

The legislation would also, if passed, allow 16- and 17-year-olds who have left care to return to the CAS and be eligible for financial and other supports until the age of 21. Currently, this only applies to youth who remain in care until age 18.

As part of the move to make adoption easier and support more kids in care, Ontario is also:

* Reducing the waitlist for homestudies and establishing standard timelines

* Making it easier for youth to attend college or university by exempting CAS financial support from OSAP applications, meaning it would not count as income

* Doubling the number of Adoption Resource Exchanges -- forums that match adoptive families with children needing adoption -- across Ontario

* Making it easier to find comprehensive information online about public, private and international adoptions

* Working with CASs and First Nations so Aboriginal children and youth in care remain connected to their communities and cultural traditions through more frequent use of customary care arrangements.

These changes are an important step to help make adoption in Ontario easier and give all children and youth the best foundation possible to succeed in life.

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