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Bolton campers - photo Photo from Family Service Toronto Archive
Team members pose in their official T-shirts after Sunday's climb.

FST stair climbers step up for United Way

Family Service Toronto's team of 17 climbers raised more than $5,200 in this year's Enbridge CN Tower Climb for United Way on Sunday, Oct. 19.

That's a 57-per-cent increase over last year and one of the best in our stair-climb history.

Our team joined many other corporate and social service agency teams to raise funds to support more than 200 United Way member agencies including FST.

Thanks to all the sponsors who supported our climbers. And it's not too late to make a contribution. You can donate online through our online team page.


ROM opens social work exhibition Oct. 29

Family Service Toronto has partnered with the University of Toronto's Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work on a new exhibition highlighting a century of social work.

Classroom to Community: A Century of Social Work in Toronto opens at the Royal Ontario Museum on Oct. 29 and will run until April 26, 2015. It was developed with assistance from the ROM and the university's Museum Studies program.

1914 was the beginning of a century of social work innovation in Toronto. Students, practitioners, and communities around the city collaborated on pressing social issues at the university and the Neighbourhood Workers Association, now FST.  A century later, visitors will see how these institutions remain on the cutting-edge of their field.

FST is celebrating its Centennial in 2014 along with the ROM and the Faculty.

See theory and practice come together in this remarkable story of people and change. Visit the ROM site for information on tickets and hours of operation.


FST cited for commitment to excellence

Family Service Toronto is pleased to announce that it has been accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) following a rigorous review of its operating procedures and policies.

Accreditation is a voluntary and independent process that service organizations and agencies use to evaluate and improve the quality of care and services. It is an opportunity to be evaluated against national standards of excellence and to identify opportunities for improvement.

"Accreditation is a tremendous achievement that demonstrates that your organization has been recognized as a provider that has successfully implemented high performance standards and, as such, is delivering the highest quality services to all of its stakeholders," COA stated in its communication to FST Executive Director Margaret Hancock.    

Accreditation provides FST with an opportunity to showcase its extraordinary achievements as one of the city's largest service agencies working to assist individuals experiencing various life challenges.


United Way aims to raise $117 million

Family Service Toronto had a strong presence at the launch of United Way Toronto's 2014 community campaign which has set a target of $117 million, about one per cent over last year's goal.

"Our annual campaign is an amazing, city-wide demonstration of a shared commitment to building a better Toronto," United Way CEO Susan McIsaac told the cheering crowd attending the event at Miles Nadal JCC on Sept. 10.

Funds raised through the 2014 campaign will provide direct investments to the charity's network of about 200 Toronto social service agencies, including Family Service Toronto.

Toronto Star, Sept 11: United Way Toronto: 2014 campaign announces $117M goal


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.


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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