2013 SouthWest Zone Event at the DrawBridge Inn and YMCA Leadership

On October 18 2013, thanks to Youth Champions from Sarnia Lambton Children’s Aid Society, hosted an awesome 2 day Southwest zone event!  They spent an evening relaxing at the Draw Bridge Inn, famous for a indoor pool with a 95 foot slide!  The group of Youth Champions from 9 different agencies and youth leaders engaged in fun icebreakers and team building activities.  The YMCA Leadership centre reflected strong youth leadership, teamwork, personal development, skill building, learning, and definitely fun activities despite the rainy weather conditions.  This group of youth were amazing, they got along very well together, and were supportive and encouraging of each other.

Thank you everyone for volunteering the time and making this possible for the young leaders to network and connect with each other.  The next Southwest zone event is scheduled for March 2013 with the Peer Power group to continue building on the leadership skills.

GROUP PIC with logo

2013 Child Welfare Report

2013 Child Welfare Report

The Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) published the 2013 Child Welfare Report, providing recommendations to the government to help improve and advance child welfare in Ontario. The priorities speak specifically to the recommendations arising from the report of the Commission for Sustainable Child Welfare, Realizing a Sustainable Child Welfare System in Ontario, and signal recommendations to help the sector move forward in the areas of sustainability and modernization.

School Tips

School Tips

It’s that time of year again… back to school!  Going back to school can be fun for some, stressful for many, fearful for others, and sometimes a mix of all of these!  Here are some back to school tips that can help you be a successful student throughout the year.

Homework and assignments:

  • If you are having trouble, seek out your school resources for help. Your teachers, counselors, and advisers are there to help you! And  you will be surprised at how much is available to you. Don’t be afraid to ask!
  • Take notes during class. Find out what the best note taking strategy is for you. Some people like hand write, type, record, etc.
  • Form a study group with your classmates. Not only will it help your grades,  you can  make friends and form a support system at the same time.
  • Learn to manage your time appropriately, set aside time for homework and readings daily,  review your notes often, and don’t procrastinate!
  • Always remember to review and proofread your assignments before handing them in,  always get a second pair of eyes to look at your work.
  • Find out and use your school’s resources. A lot of schools have writing centres where teachers and/or Teacher Assistants’s are there to assist you with your assignment, proofreading, editing, thesis writing, etc.

Remember to:


Not getting enough sleep has a negative impact on all parts of your life, especially school! Studies show teenagers need approximately  8.5 hours of sleep a night. 

Here are some helpful tips on how to get enough sleep: 

  • Go to bed earlier and wake up earlier on a consistent basis to develop a routine.
  • Don’t eat anything before bedtime, eating before sleeping keeps your body active and makes it difficult to fall asleep.
  • Create a bedtime routine,  play some relaxing music to wind down, read a book, etc.
  • Keep your bed only for sleeping and avoid other activities such as watching television, using your computer, or talking on the phone .

Eat Well

Keeping your body going with the best type of fuel is extremely important in order for you to be a successful student.  Here are some tips:

  • Start with well balanced healthy breakfast (some healthy choices are: oatmeal, banana, eggs, fruit, milk, whole grains).
  • Eat small meals every 3-5 hours.
  • Make healthy choices, pack your lunch the night before to save time and money.
  • Follow the Canada’s food guide try to consume a well-balanced diet containing all the food groups.
  • SAY NO! to junk food from vending machines and fast food restaurants, try to avoid sugary/salty drinks and snacks.  But remember to treat yourself every once and awhile, you deserve it! Just remember that moderation is key.
  • Eat lots of fruits and veggies.
  • Avoid foods that are high in fats or oil.
  • Portion control is key, consider splitting with friend or saving your meals for later if it is too large.
  • Drink lots of water (minimum 8 glasses per day).


Exercising regularly has many benefits, it keeps you healthy, relieves stress, and gives you more energy, all of which will help you be a better student.

  • Try to do something active at least 3 times a week, 20 minutes each time. Activities can include walking, jogging, sports, dancing, yoga, and weight lifting.  Research an exercise routine on the internet.
  • Try to stretch before, during, and after exercises.
  • Consume foods that are high in protein to promote recovery, drink lots of water, eat a lot of fruits and vegetables,  and get lots of rest.
  • Join a club with a friend such as sports or dancing.


Shopping can be fun for some while stressful for others, here are some helpful tips to help you become an educated consumer.

  • Ask yourself, is this a NEED or a WANT? Do you absolutely need this or can you go without this purchase?
  • Try Craigslist or Kijiji (use safely with caution) before buying brand new in store. You can get some great deals when you buy gently used.
  • Negotiate when possible, especially for expensive purchases.
  • Do your research, shop around, check other stores or websites, compare the prices.
  • Consider buying in bulk to save money, wait for items to go on sale, and use coupons.
  • Consider substituting, is there another product that does the same thing at a lower price?

Social-emotional tips

  • Remember to have fun!  Stay balanced by having a nice mix of school, social, going out, clubs, and activities.
  • Happy people do better in their lives. Make sure to have fun and take care of yourself, school can be stressful.
  • Take time out of every day do something you enjoy or something that makes you happy.
  • Talk to someone when under stress, talk to a trusted and responsible friend or counsellor.


7th Annual Conference Wrap Up “Fit4SUCCESS”

The seventh annual YouthCAN conference, themed “Fit for SUCCESS” and focussing on physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being, ran from August 12 – 14, 2013. Along with access to keynote speakers, 30 + workshops, 20 + community organizations, and various sports and activities, youth in attendance from around the province got the opportunity to share experiences, network, and build life-long connections.  Thanks to the YouthCAN coordinators, OACAS staff, youth champions and volunteers who planned and ran a successful conference.

F_HR_Poster_8.5 x 11

CCSY Continued Care and Support for Youth Fact Sheet

As of May 15, 2013, the Continued Care and Support for Youth (CCSY) program has replaced the former Extended Care and Maintenance (ECM) guidelines.  Through CCSY, youth ages 18, 19, and 20 can receive financial and other supports from a Children’s Aid Society (CAS).  This support is intended to help youth build on their strengths and meet their goals during their transition into adulthood.

English Version

French Version


2013 Spring/Summer NOTICE Newsletter

2013 Spring - SummerIt has been a very exciting time for youth in care across the province. There has been a ton of positive changes for you and many people have supported the future changes.

This newsletter is jammed pack with the updates that you not only need to know about, but in a way you can understand! From new policies to other ministry announcements- you will get the chance to know what has been going on.

And as one of the best things about the NOTICE newsletter, we have your submissions! If there is anything you want to submit for future newsletters, do not be shy and send YouthCAN an email at youthcan@oacas.org with your submission.

The changes are not new, there have been MANY since 2007. We want youth to continue to provide input. Youth voice has been heard and will continue to have an impact.

Click here to download your copy of the 2013 Spring/Summer issue

Don’t forget to Like on Facebook & follow on Twitter!

North East Cambrian College Conference

The rain couldn’t keep the youth away from having an educational weekend retreat in Sudbury, May 31to June 2, 2013.

26 youth attended the North-East zone event. The youth stayed at the Cambrian College Residence the entire weekend while they participated in recreational activities like swimming at the Laurentian University Olympic Pool, playing basketball and rock-climbing at the Laurentian University Gym.

On Saturday, they had a “nature” educational day by spending the day at the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area. They learned about orientating and surviving the outdoors, and participated in a nature hike throughout the area. They ended the day with a group dinner and a movie.

There was a volunteer park cleanup for two local parks scheduled for Sunday morning, but sadly was cancelled due to the ongoing rain during the weekend. Even though the rain was consistent the entire weekend, the zone event was a great success and the youth had an amazing time!

Ontario Government Announces Post-Secondary Supports for Crown Wards

On June 25th 2013, Brad Duguid Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities announced-post secondary supports for Crown Wards and Youth Leaving Care.Ontario Government Providing More Support to Help Young People Succeed.Starting this September 2013, all Universities and some participating colleges will cover 100 per cent of tuition fees for four years, up to a maximum of $6,000 per year, for former Crown wards and youth who are in and leaving care.Also, a Living and Learning Grant monthly allowance of $500 for former crown wards aged 21-24 enrolled in OSAP eligible post-secondary institutions.
Our very own Vera Williams, YouthCAN Coordinator was at the official launch and announcements for these supports with Minister Brad Duguid at University of Toronto.
List of all Colleges and Universities providing free tuition:
Participating Colleges:
      • Collège Boréal
      • Cambrian College
      • Canadore College
      • Humber College
      • La Cité Collégiale
      • Northern College
      • Sault College
      • Sheridan College

Participating Universities:

      • Algoma University
      • Brock University
      • Carleton University
      • Lakehead University
      • Laurentian University
      • McMaster University
      • Nipissing University
      • OCAD University
      • University of Ontario Institute of Technology
      • University of Ottawa
      • Queen’s University
      • Ryerson University
      • Saint Paul University
      • Trent University
      • University of Guelph
      • University of Toronto
      • University of Waterloo
      • University of Windsor
      • Western University
      • Wilfrid Laurier University
      • York University
For more information, visit:

Ontario Youth Communication and Advocacy Network