Black youth in foster care need culturally sensitive essentials

Staff Writer

A petition has been started that can change the lives of Black youth in foster care by the Natural Kids Movement to inform Minister Todd Smith (Ontario Minister of Children, Community & Social Services) of the problem and how it can be addressed.

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 such as hair care, skin care, toys and books. This helps them to understand and appreciate 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”.

With that as our central goal Takiyah Sobion Executive Director of Natural Kids Movement look forward to seeing you at our youth event on Saturday, December 7th  2019 from 12:30pm-3:45pm to be held at the Toronto Public Library Barbara Frum Branch (Auditorium room B).


Natural Kids Movement in partnership with Carifika Canada and Delta Family Resource Centre (sponsored by The Laidlaw Foundation) will be hosting an event to discuss the importance of black youth civic engagement and voting. The tickets are free but the space is limited so please reserve your seat(s) via the Eventbrite. Or call 416-712-1363.