All posts by bvandu

MY GPS: A Road Map for Youth Success

MY GPS: A Road Map for Youth Success

Similar to YouthCAN’s RSYT (Resources Supporting Youth In Transition), check out this excellent TOOLKIT…

Have you checked out MY GPS? This online resource tool for youth which was created by the Crown Ward Education Championship Team (CWECT) of Dufferin, Peel, and Halton, provides youth with a wide range of information on self image, relationships, housing, education, employment, health and more. Feedback from youth indicated that they wanted information on how to prepare for life after being in care. They requested tools and information – all in one place – that was FUN, easy to read and easy to use. We listened. My GPS was created to help navigate the information and options for youth and help them to be successful.

Click here to download MY GPS (56MB)

Click here to view their website

Click here to view YouthCAN’s RSYT Toolkit



Do you like to write?

Would you like your writing to be published in a journal, The Philanthropist?

The Advocate for Children and Youth wants to hear from you!

We are looking for young writers, adult writers, or young people who wish to write an article with an adult co-author. We encourage young people from across the country and from all backgrounds and experiences to submit an idea for an article. Please pass the Calls for Papers along to youth, adults or youth/adult co-authors you feel would have some interesting ideas to express on the topic. We have attached 2 different Calls for Papers corresponding to potential writers’ levels of ability.  Click on the links below for more information.

Papers from Young Writers

Youth and Adult Co-Authors

Feel free to submit the papers to YouthCAN directly or at the Advocate for Children and Youth.

Fun Day at the Art Gallery of Ontario!

On Saturday October 6th 2012, the Toronto Children’s Aid Societies hosted the Central Zone group event by spending the day networking at the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario).  The group took part in some advocacy work by discussing the latest Youth Leaving Care Report, “My Real Life Book”.    They raised some interesting issues that youth face and worked together in problem-solving some solutions.  They enjoyed a fun and interactive guided tour by the AGO while admiring some intense art structures by Evan Penny’s “Re figured” exhibit.

Click here to view more information on the AGO exhibit Evan Penny’s “Re figured”.

Click here to view a video of Evan Penny’s “Re figured”.

October is Child Abuse Prevention Month in Ontario

October is Child Abuse Prevention Month in Ontario

Help protect children in your community. Get involved with your Children’s Aid. Go to

Ontario’s Children’s Aid Societies educate the public about the prevention of child abuse and neglect through the Child Abuse Prevention Campaign in communities across Ontario. October is an important month to underscore the responsibility of the community to keep children safe and for the public to understand their responsibility to protect children.

Click here for more information from OACAS child abuse prevention.

Click here to see Child Abuse Prevention Month events at

2012 Bark Lake Leadership Retreat

Bark Lake Leadership Retreat

On September 7th-9th 2012, YPAAG (Youth Policy Advisory and Advocacy Group) members spent 3 days together at the relaxing and beautiful Bark Lake Leadership Retreat.  This year YPAAG welcomed several new members to the team!  Members developed new friendships while demonstrating their leadership qualities through various team building activities such as icebreakers, challenging high rope courses, tandem canoeing, and campfires.  YPAAG has been a leader in moving forward youth advocacy issues over the past six years.

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Summary of 2012 YouthCAN Conference!

Summary of 2012 YouthCAN Conference!

The sixth annual YouthCAN conference “SUCCESS! It’s a Journey”, held in August of this year, was indeed a huge SUCCESS!  Thanks in part to our host, Seneca College, this highly anticipated and exciting event was able to take place, hosting over 300 youth in care and staff chaperones representing Children’s Aid Societies from all across the province of Ontario.

Youth had the opportunity to experience a taste of college life for three days while staying in Seneca residence, learning to navigate the campus, meeting professors, utilizing the gym and fitness centres, and eating the delicious food on campus.

On the first day we were joined by Tracy MacCharles, representing the Ministry of Children and Youth Services. A generous sponsor and supporter of YouthCAN, Ms. MacCharles kick-started the event with an official welcome to youth attendees.  Our keynote speaker, Earl Lambert, followed shortly after with a motivational and thought provoking presentation on overcoming life obstacles.

Following the speeches, YouthCAN Eastern Zone youth delegates facilitated a large evening icebreaker activity that got everyone socializing and moving. There were many amazing prize giveaways, including mini portable speakers, USB keys, water bottles, notepads, wireless headphones, and digital cameras.

Day two was opened by the wonderful staff, professors, and faculty of Seneca College. We were welcomed by David Agnew, President of Seneca, and Samir Abdi, President of Seneca Student Federation.  Youth participated in workshops facilitated by Seneca faculty for the greater half of the day. Fun and informative, the workshops helped to show youth their options for post-secondary education.

The workshops were followed by a lunchtime poster session, where youth agencies from across the province joined us to showcase their programs and services.  Later, youth had the opportunity to participate in YouthCAN workshops that were designed and facilitated by young people themselves.  Afterwards, representatives from The Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth came to present the Youth Leaving Care Hearings Report, illustrating the struggles that youth in care face when transitioning into independence.

The evening was capped off with the sixth annual YouthCAN talent show and dance, where participants showcased their talents in singing, dance, guitar, drumming, and more, in front of a large and supportive crowd of 300 people. Every brave participant was a winner!

The third and final day of the YouthCAN conference saw two more sessions of YouthCAN workshops  followed by a powerful  performance by Elevated Grounds on mental health and stigma. These young people showed us how everyone can be affected by poor mental health, and how seeking help can make a difference.  The presentation was concluded with a talk-back where many spoke up about their personal experiences with mental health issues and how they overcame these challenges, a very emotional way to end the conference!

On behalf of OACAS and YouthCAN, we thank you for making it a SUCCESSFUL 2012 conference!  Hope to see you next year on your journey!

Click here for more information about 2012 YouthCAN Conference.

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