Hamilton, ON – On Wednesday, September 18, 2019, approximately 150 people came together to acknowledge and celebrate the 125th anniversary of The Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton. During the event we welcomed numerous community partners, volunteers, foster parents staff, retirees, members of the Board.
One hundred and twenty-five years ago, a group of Hamiltonians concerned about the well-being of orphaned and neglected children united over the shared desire to make positive changes. That initial meeting led to the early development of a local children’s Aid Society – a volunteer-run, community funded organization. Today, The Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton is supported by 275 staff, 193 volunteers and 143 foster parents.
Child welfare in Ontario has celebrated many successes, as well as challenges and changes during its history as it continues to evolve and respond to diverse cultures, new ideas in child welfare and changes in our community. What has remained steadfast is the agency’s mission to support the safety, permanency and well-being of children and youth.
The anniversary celebration touched upon the agency’s history with the assistance of its former Executive Director, Sylvio Mainville. Presentations went on to discuss the current state of the agency and child welfare with Past President of the Board of Directors, Gareth Llewellyn, followed by a presentation by Executive Director, Bryan Shone that spoke to the promising work of child welfare in the future.
The mission of ensuring safety, permanency and well-being for all children and youth continues to guide the direction of the agency. The number of children in the agency’s care is steadily declining as safety support networks are developed that allow at-risk children and youth to remain in their home and community, and early permanency options are being explored. Over 90% of the families Hamilton CAS currently serves are in the community and over 75% of those cases are working voluntarily with families and children.
The Society was fortunate to welcome two youth to the stage who spoke about their positive experience and supports they have received while in care. The Society remains committed to exploring permanency options while providing supports to help children and youth develop to their full potential.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our community partners, staff, volunteers, and foster parents for sending their warm wishes and attending our 125th anniversary. Your support and partnership is critical in helping to support the children and families in the Hamilton community. We look forward to our continued work in collaboration with children, youth and families in our community into the future.