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Statement from Minister of Children and Youth Services On Youth Leaving Care Report

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Statement from Minister of Children and Youth Services On Youth Leaving Care Report

Today, Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Children and Youth Services, released the following statement in response to the Youth Leaving Care Report:

"Earlier today, I was pleased to accept the report from the Youth Leaving Care Team - a courageous and talented group of young people committed to helping youth in care succeed when they leave the child welfare system.

I want to thank these youth, as well as the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, Irwin Elman, for their hard work.

The report that these youth have produced is without precedent. It is ground-breaking and it is brave. It draws from the real life and sometimes difficult experiences of current and former youth in the care of children's aid societies.

During hearings held last fall at Queen's Park, I heard loud and clear that youth in care feel left out of the decisions that affect them. They feel left out of their own lives. They need a stronger voice.

We owe these kids our sustained attention. But most of all, we owe them our respect. We owe them action.

That is why our government will begin working immediately to address their number one recommendation. I am directing my ministry to bring together a ministry working group as we move forward with improvements to the child welfare system. The working group will be made up of youth with experience living in care and partners from across the province - at both the government and children's aid society levels.

I am also pleased that action is being taken on another recommendation in their report by my colleague, Teresa Piruzza, MPP for Windsor West, to designate the 14th of May each year as 'Children and Youth in Care Day.'

I thank the Youth Leaving Care Team for their hard work and for their courage in making their voices heard. We know there is still more work to do. My ministry will carefully review each of the report's recommendations to determine how we can further strengthen the child welfare system and help all children and youth in Ontario reach their full potential."

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