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Child & family poverty on the rise    

More children and families are experiencing poverty than 25 years ago, according to Campaign 2000 and six of its provincial partners in their annual report cards.

Child poverty across the country is worse in 2014 than it was in 1989 notes the national report, adding that ignoring the costs of poverty constitutes nothing less than mismanagement of the economy for which Canadians will continue to pay in financial and other costs.

The 2014 report cards outline numerous solutions to the issue of child and family poverty, making a compelling case for action by the federal, provincial and municipal governments.

November 24 marked 25 years since the passage of the unanimous, 1989 all-party resolution to end child poverty by the year 2000.

The report cards and media releases are available online in English and French.

Forum explores state of child poverty

Family Service Toronto, in partnership with Campaign 2000 is holding an evening of recognition and discussion this month on the state of child poverty in Canada.

The Nov. 24 event will feature a keynote address by noted author and professor Alex Himelfarb, director of York University's Glendon College School of Public and International Affairs as well as reflections from the lived experience of the Millennial Generation.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the event will run from 7 to 9 p.m. on the seventh floor of the University of Toronto's Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at 246 Bloor Street W.

Further information and registration is available online.

ROM opens Centennial social work exhibition

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 opened 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

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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