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Celebrating Youth and Volunteers in Care Day 2018

Hi, my name is Sara.  In 2011, I was just 6 years old and have my first memories of being in foster care.   It was also in 2011 that, with the assistance from the Office of the Provincial Advocate, Youth in Care across the province of Ontario conducted the now historic Our Turn Our Voice: Youth Leaving Care Hearings.  Since then many exciting and important changes have occurred.  In 2014 the Provincial government proclaimed May 14 as the day that we celebrate and recognize the contribution of all children and youth living in the care of a Children’s Aid Society.  Children and Youth in Care Day is intended to help raise awareness of the challenges and adversity faced everyday by the over 8000 children and youth living in care.

It was at the 2017 Children and Youth In Care day celebration with the Children’s Aid Society of London & Middlesex that I had the opportunity to meet Sandy, a long-standing volunteer driver for the Society.  Sandy ensured that all youth had the opportunity to participate by providing much needed transportation to and from the event. Personally, he has taken the time to drive me to visits, youth in care meetings, youth drop ins and therapy. Sandy goes the extra mile to ensure the children and youth he drives are comfortable and he takes the time to get to know the youth.  He lets youth use his radio and dvd player and he even remembers my favorite band and song.  This personal touch helps me feel like he really cares and that I matter! I always look forward to Sandy coming to pick me up.

It’s so important for every youth in care to have that one special person who makes them feel like they matter, that you are special and cared about, and Sandy has done that for me and for many children and youth living in care.

With April having been the month to recognize volunteers and May 14th as Youth In Care Day for the CAS of London & Middlesex, I wanted to say thank you to Sandy and all the awesome volunteers who help make a difference in a child’s life.  Further we would encourage everyone to find a special way (have a party, make a special meal, read My Real Life Book, hug a youth) to celebrate and recognize a volunteer and a child or youth living in care on May 14th.

Yvonne is a foster parent for the Children’s Aid Society of London & Middlesex and birth mother of two children.


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