To positively affect the Halton Children’s Aid Society’s youth in care by making their voices heard so they can flourish in an environment that is conducive to bringing out their full potential.
What is the YouthSAID Program?
YouthSAID is a youth advocacy group that is run ‘by youth, for youth.’ YouthSAID was created in 2010 by a former youth-in-care who was passionate about our children’s aid society providing youth the opportunity to have their voices heard. Throughout their time as YouthSAID members, youth get the chance to share their personal experiences of being involved with the Halton CAS and come together as a powerful group of youth to implement changes within the CAS that they see will benefit future youth coming into care. Each member brings their own unique past or present experience with the children’s aid society such as the foster care system, group home experience, youth homelessness, drug addiction, kinship, adoption and more. YouthSAID measures their success by setting goals throughout the year and striving to achieve them.
Development of Partnerships
- YMCA of Oakville
- Chef Meagan
How it Benefits Youth (what it adds/improves to their lives)
- Leadership skills
- Sense of community
- Sense of family
- Ability to earn volunteer hours
- Developing advocacy skills
- Developing presentation and academic writing skills
- Meeting other youth in care who share similar experiences
- Opportunity to take part in larger, interagency meetings and events
- Influence service provided to youth in care
What are the Expected Outcomes?
- Network of resources
- Accumulation of volunteer hours
- Leadership skills
- Mentorship skills
- Advocacy skills
- Presentation skills
- Academic writing skills
- Job references
- Social and interpersonal development
- Implementing changes to the Society’s Bursary program
- Being a part of the renovation project for the Gender Neutral Bathrooms and expansion of the Youth Zone
- Assisted in creating educational programs run for other children/youth in care and becoming mentors for these programs
- Provided ideas for summer camp
- Plan annual Children and Youth in Care Day activities
- Write articles for Society’s Diversity Matters newsletter
- Involved in many Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies Grand River Zone retreats such as the Ti-Cats game in Hamilton and snow tubing in Waterloo
- Realized their voices are being heard by their parents (also known as the government).
- Individuals in higher positions are recognizing the resilience and care for the well-being of children and youth in care
- Goal is to expand so more voices can shed light on the issues and challenges faced by children and youth in care
- If you are aware of anyone who would be interested in joining YouthSAID, please have them inform their worker