Resources & Links

These resources and links are assembled to help caregivers and child welfare professionals to examine what Ontario and other jurisdictions are doing to support youth in care, and to provide additional information to improve practice.  There are a variety of topics covered in these resources to help caregivers and child welfare professionals meet the needs of youth in care.

Passport to Success

Hastings CAS
This multi-faceted guide helps youth transitioning out of care and their caregivers to gain the knowledge and skills necessary in the preparation for independence.  The guide covers everything from advice about how to get I.D. documents, nutrition and shopping, making choices about drugs and alcohol, education, relationships, recreation, and much more.

Our Sons and Daughters (Video)
The youth at Elgin-St. Thomas put together this powerful video to let us know, in their own words, their experience of transitioning out of care.

Youth in Transition (Video)
At the YouthCAN 2011 conference, fifty Child Welfare Professionals were asked the question “What messages are you hearing from youth as and after they transition out of care?“  Their responses paint a revealing portrait of some of the issues faced by youth in transition.

Building Bridges to Belonging: Promising Practices for Youth
The Building Bridges guide was developed by CAS experts in Ontario to assemble current knowledge, research and data that aims to support youth transitioning to adulthood. The guide shares innovative ideas from Ontario and other jurisdictions, and provides child welfare professionals and caregivers with a number of ideas on which to build. This PowerPoint presentation explains the purpose of the guide.

Fire Safety & Prevention: A Resource Guide for Child Welfare Professionals
Did you know that residential fire is the leading cause of unintentional death for young children in the home?  With the assistance of local fire services, children’s aid societies and other community agencies, families can learn how to reduce the risk of experiencing a home fire and how to safely escape if one occurs. The Fire Safety Guide identifies the key risk factors for home fires, addresses what families can do to make their homes safer, and indicates how child welfare professionals and other service providers can help. (En français)

Teen Sexual Health
For many youth, the decision to enter into a sexual relationship with their partner involves some thinking about personal values and readiness.  To help guide the thought process about values and sexual activity, Vancouver Coastal Health has assembled some workshop modules that may be helpful in guiding your discussions with youth in care around their self-awareness.

Youth & Drugs and Mental Health: A Resource for Professionals
2004 Tupker, E.
Developed by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, this resource is designed for professionals who deal with youth substance use and mental health treatment.  It includes information about addressing substance use in youth, screening and assessment, treatment and support, cultural competency, motivational interviewing, stages of change, family involvement and pharmacotherapy.

About Kids Health
The Hospital for Sick Children has put together this helpful resource for teens aged 13-18 and their parents, about how to talk together about and address issues in the areas of development, common health problems, mental health, behaviour issues, relationships and sexuality, chronic illness and includes some informative news articles. (En français)

40 Developmental Assets
Search Institute
Presented in Ontario Looking After Children training, the 40 Developmental Assets are common sense, positive experiences and qualities that help influence choices young people make and help them become caring, responsible, successful adults.  Developed in 1990, the 40 Assets framework is available for children in four age groups, and is translated in 16 languages.  A 2.5 minute video about the 40 Assets is available as an introduction.

When should the state cease parenting?  Evidence from the Midwest Study
2007 Courtney, M.E., Dworsky, A., Pollack, H.
This paper examines what happens when youth in three Midwest states “age out” of care, mostly at the age of 18 – long before the vast majority of their peers.  More than 700 youth aged 17-18 at the beginning of the study were interviewed over the course of several years. The paper examines the challenges of providing extended care for youth transitioning, youth’s educational attainment, earnings, pregnancy, receipt of independent living services, and implications for child welfare policy.

State Policies to Help Youth Transition Out of Foster Care
2007 National Governors Association
This paper examines the laws, programs and policies in place in the United States that are examples of best practices to help support youth leaving the foster care system.  The NGA acknowledges that foster youth face numerous challenges and are endeavoring to meet the needs of youth in foster care become healthy, productive adults by promoting examples that undertake a cross-system approach to servicing youth.

National Care Advisory Service
The National Care Advisory Service (NCAS) is a UK-based organization that provides advice, support and advocacy for young people transitioning out of care. NCAS provides services to young people aged 13– 25, their child welfare agencies, and their workers.  The organization encourages participation from youth and their workers to help share information, best practices and influence policy direction.

Children and Youth in Challenging Contexts (CCYC)

CCYC is a National Centres of Excellence-Knowledge Mobilization initiative (, whose goal is to facilitate the sharing of best practices among agencies that work with children and youth, to improve mental health and well-being.

Youth Criminal Law by CLEO

This Youth Criminal Law website is produced by CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario). CLEO develops practical legal rights information to help people who have low incomes or face other barriers, understand and exercise their legal rights. Topics on the site include talking to police, hiring a lawyer, steps in a youth case, court orders, youth records, and more.

Canadian Harm Reduction Network

The Canadian Harm Reduction Network is the virtual meeting place for individuals and organizations dedicated to reducing the social, health and economic harms associated with drugs and drug policies.  Site contains resources, events, support groups, and jobs.

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