Children’s Aid Foundation of Halton

How donations can make a world of difference

By Allie Murray | Photography by Nikki Wesley

Raising funds for Children’s Aid Society and to support children and youth in need, the Children’s Aid Foundation of Halton (CAFH) is celebrating 30 years of helping those who need it the most.

CAFH supports thousands of children and youth in Halton through many of its programs, including Bridging the Gap, a program for homeless youth aged 16 to 24, bursary programs and the after school tutoring program FUTURES. The programs are almost entirely run by volunteers and rely heavily on donations to operate.

“The programs we support are truly life changing for the participants,” explained CAFH executive director Tina Blatchford. “In 2018 the Halton Children’s Aid Society helped approximately 6,000 children and youth, and many of them participated in the programs we fund. These programs are vital to the healthy growth of youngsters, promoting confidence, teaching life skills and creating a network of resources for youth aging out of the child welfare support system.”

To continue offering its programs and other services for those in need, CAFH relies on donations. Donations can be made through third party fundraisers, attending CAFH’s events, or donating directly to the foundation. CAFH also works closely with volunteers and is always looking for new groups or organizations to work with, or anyone looking to donate their time.

“It’s really important for people to understand that without the opportunities offered to children and youth in and beyond foster care, these young people will fall through the cracks,” Blatchford said. “By sustaining the specially designed programs, we can offer opportunities to overcome significant challenges, anxieties and hardships and better prepare youth for a life of choice, hope and success.”

Blatchford explains that CAFH doesn’t receive any government funding and they’re a small operation that values and needs every cent they receive. The foundation also works closely with the Oakville Community Foundation to make an even bigger impact in the community.

A small but mighty organization, all the volunteers and staff at CAFH are dedicated and passionate about helping the children and youth throughout Halton region achieve their goals. Helping students to graduate high school, join extra curriculars, find a job and much more, the services are particularly essential for those who experienced loss, trauma, neglect or abuse at a young age.