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CUPE 2316 members are child welfare workers, child & youth workers, nurses, legal clerks, admin workers, and others at Children’s Aid Society Toronto (CAST). They are fast approaching a strike deadline – but they’re not just fighting over wages and benefits, they’re fighting to make sure that every child and family in need gets the support they deserve.

Years ago, Children’s Aid Societies across Ontario announced a shift in their mandate: instead of removing children from families, they focused on the best interest of the child by working with parents to ensure they could provide a safe and nurturing home. Keeping families together should always be the goal. But it takes time to build relationships and trust. It takes time to provide services that help parents establish new patterns. It takes time to follow up and check in.

But time is the one thing these workers don’t have.

They are stretched thin and burnt out. They are exhausted. They are struggling. And the children in their care are struggling too.

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In the last 5 years, Children’s Aid Society Toronto has lost a quarter of its staff. That means there are fewer people providing the supports families need, fewer people checking in and intervening early before a child is hurt, and fewer people to save children from harmful situations.

Vulnerable children depend on these workers. We need to support them.

Send a message to the Board of Directors at Children’s Aid Society Toronto. Tell them that they need to stem the exodus of workers from the agency to ensure children and families get the depth of care they need. Tell them that you are watching – and that you demand better.

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