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City faces "epidemic" levels of child poverty

Almost 40 per cent of the city's 140 neighbourhoods have child poverty rates of 30 per cent or more, according to a child poverty fact sheet released by a coalition of several social agencies, including Family Service Toronto.

The new data, based on 2012 tax filer information from Statistics Canada,  suggests child poverty has now reached "epidemic" levels in the city, says FST's Social Reform Director Laurel Rothman, who chaired a public forum for Toronto mayoral candidates to address the issue on Aug. 28.

Each of the candidates shared their vision and priority actions to tackle poverty and pledged their support for the city's Poverty Reduction Strategy, which is currently in development and scheduled to launch in 2015.

Toronto Star, Aug. 28 – Toronto mayoral candidates tout housing, jobs policies in response to child poverty 'epidemic'

CBC Metro Morning on Child Poverty, Aug. 27 – Listen to Matt Galloway interview Laurel Rothman, FST's Director of Social Reform

Toronto Star Editorial, Aug. 27 – Toronto must stop rise in child poverty

Toronto Star, Aug. 27 – Toronto child poverty rate at 'epidemic' levels


Happy Anniversary: Growing Up Healthy Downtown

A popular downtown program that assists parents with young children is celebrating 20 years of community service.
Growing Up Healthy Downtown is a unique eight-agency partnership funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada's Community Action Program for Children (CAPC).
Parents and children joined Public Health Agency and program staff at Harbourfront Community Centre to celebrate on Aug. 22.
CNW Media Release: Downtown program celebrates 20 years


Royal Bank recognizes FST's Centennial

A century of our dedicated service and commitment to the community has been recognized by one of Canada's leading financial institutions.

RBC has designed and presented Family Service Toronto with a Century plaque celebrating our work from 1914 to 2014. The presentation was made Aug. 14 at FST's downtown office at 355 Church Street.

Participating in the presentation were FST Executive Director Margaret Hancock; FST Finance Director Vani Visva; RBC Senior  Account Manager Armen Hanessian and Anna Nixon, RBC Associate Account Manager.


City Archives hosts FST's history panels

Our century of community service is being celebrated this month at the City of Toronto Archives.

Decade panels highlighting our rich history from 1914 to 2014 are on display until early September in the lobby atrium of the City of Toronto Archives, 255 Spadina Road.

The display complements this month's annual Toronto History Lecture entitled The Workers' City: Lives of Toronto's Working People focusing on the diversity of working-class experiences in Toronto's past and presented by Toronto historian Craig Heron.

Family Service Toronto has its roots in the working class neighbourhoods of the early 20th century and was known as the Neighbourhood Workers Association (NWA) until 1962. Administrative and governance documents of the NWA are catalogued and available through the Toronto archives.


Enjoy some history reading this summer

Family Service Toronto has a rich history as one of the city's oldest and most vital social service organizations. We've been helping families and individuals face challenges and make positive changes in their lives for 100 years.

Our new history booklet – A Century of Community Service – highlights a century of work and accomplishments from 1914 to 2014. It is now available for download as a PDF or online reading.


Participants needed for research study

Family Service Toronto is supporting recruitment efforts for a research study on self-harm urges and behaviours in young adults aged 18 to 30.

The study is being conducted through the University of Toronto's Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

More information is available through the recruitment poster.


FST Century Night

Family Service Toronto welcomed 400 guests on June 18 as we celebrated 100 years of vital work with individuals, families and communities across the city.

Guests took home a copy of our newest publication: A Century of Community Service.

Visit our Centennial website for more information about our year-long celebration.


Free counselling on Wednesdays

Family Service Toronto is offering downtown walk-in sessions for those in need of immediate or urgent counselling one night per week.

The sessions are offered on a first-come first-served basis at 355 Church Street on Wednesdays from 4 to 8 p.m. to individuals, couples and families. All members of the community are welcome with no restrictions based on age or address. Please arrive by 6:45 p.m. at the latest.

No appointment or referral is required. Counselling is offered in English. Some of our counsellors are fluent in other languages (French, Mandarin, Farsi, Spanish and possibly other languages; to confirm call 416-595-9618).

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