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Ontario's Youth Leaving Care hearings call for fundamental changes to child welfare system
Ontario's child welfare system needs fundamental change to address the isolation, vulnerability and abandonment experienced by too many children in foster care and group homes, says a groundbreaking report written by youth about their plight.
The report, based on unprecedented legislative hearings last fall by youth from the child welfare system, calls on the province and others to work with them to produce an action plan by November.
The goal is to make Ontario a better parent to roughly 8,300 children and youth in its care and make their transition to adulthood more secure.
The report being released Monday at Queen's Park, says the government should act immediately to raise the age of financial and emotional support from 21 to 25; allow youth to stay in foster care beyond age 18; and declare a "Youth in Care Day" to raise awareness and reduce stigma.