Black youth in foster care need culturally sensitive essentials

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In 2014, the Toronto Star revealed that 41% of youth in the care of the Children's Aid Society (CAS) of Toronto are black. Ontario's child welfare authorities make every attempt to match children and youth with foster parents of the same cultural background, however in some cases this is not always possible. As a result, black youth that enter foster care can face the challenge of having limited access to culturally sensitive products and services. Black youth in foster care need access to culturally sensitive essentials (such as hair care, skin care, toys and books) in order to implement their cultural practices. Ontario's Ministry of Child & Youth Services determines the annual budget allocation for each CAS, each agency has the flexibility to determine how resources will be allocated to support service delivery priorities, including the achievement of better outcomes for African Canadian, children, youth and families. CAS Toronto provide a limited yearly budget to black children and youth for culturally appropriate resources and services, however this budget is not sufficient to support the self-image of Ontario's black children and youth. All children and youth deserve to grow up healthy, happy, safe and confident so they can become successful adults. According to Article 30 of The Convention on the Rights of the Child, "You have the right to practice your own culture, language and religion or any you choose. Minority and indigenous groups need special protection of this right".



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