needing parents online: HudakMore would
be adopted if CAS upped publicity, Tory
of Ottawa Citizen
By Keith Lesli
TORONTO • Children’s Aid Societies
should be forced to list all of the children
in their care who need parents on the Adopt
Ontario website, Progressive Conservative
Leader Tim Hudak said Friday.
Only about 155 of the 7,600 Crown wards
in Ontario are actually listed on the website
that the government set up to help them
find a permanent home, said Hudak.
“I know Children’s Aid Societies
have had a lot of independence in the past,
but we’re going to mandate them to
participate,” he said.
“Make sure that all Children’s
Aid Societies participate in the Adopt Ontario
website, so that if parents are looking
to adopt they’ll know kids who are
looking for a loving, permanent home in
every Children’s Aid Society across
our province,” Hudak said.
The idea has merit, but the solution for
every child is not adoption, said Mary Ballantyne,
executive director of the Ontario Association
of Children’s Aid Societies.
“Certainly more children being registered
on the Adopt Ontario site is a good idea,”
Ballantyne said in an interview.
“It’s not necessarily for all
children, but using it more frequently would
be a good thing.”
Even though only 837 kids were adopted in
Ontario last year, many more found loving
homes, added Ballantyne.
“Over 3,000 children actually found
legal homes last year, whether that was
through kinship care or customary care or
legal custody, so 837 who were adopted doesn’t
mean that only 837 kids actually found permanent
homes,” she said.
The Liberal government reacted to Hudak’s
proposal by criticizing former Conservative
premier Mike Harris for slashing welfare
payments in the 1990s.
“When they were in government they
slashed social assistance by 22 per cent
and froze the Ontario Disability Support
Program,” Children and Youth Services
Minister Laurel Broten said in a release.
“We have made improvements to Ontario’s
child protection system so that fewer kids
are coming into care and more kids are being
placed in permanent homes.”
The Tories said they also want to change
the funding formula so Children’s
Aid Societies are rewarded for finding kids
new homes, not for keeping them.
“How they get paid is by the volume
of children that they have in their care,
so obviously with that comes perverse consequences,”
said PC children’s services critic
“There’s no incentive for them
to have the child leave them because that’s
how they get paid.”
Ballantyne agreed the funding formula has
flaws, but said the government is working
on revising and updating it.
The Tories also want to provide funding
to adoptive parents, between $8,000 and
$15,000 per year depending on special needs,
to help get more children into full-time
“Some of the kids will have significant
special needs, mental health issues, behavioural
challenges, physical disabilities,”
“Why don’t we give a hand to
those parents to help in the adoption process
and the adaptation to a stable home?”
THE CANADIAN PRESS
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