Posts by Allison Dunfield

New research looks at how toxic stress can affect children`s health

- by Allison Dunfield

Research has increasingly shown how ongoing stress during early childhood — from grinding poverty, neglect, parents' substance abuse and other adversity — can smoulder beneath the skin, harming kids' brains and other body systems.

But many mental health experts are making an effort to help children cope with stress before it reaches the toxic level and are increasingly adopting what is called "trauma-informed" care.

Read the rest of the article here.


New shelter opens for women and children in Selkirk

- by Allison Dunfield

A new emergency shelter for women and children has been opened in Selkirk. The shelter has 22 beds and four apartments to accommodate more women and children leaving domestic violence situations in the Interlake and North Eastman regions.

To read more please visit the province's media release.


Wendy's Wonderful Kids aims to expand to every state by 2028

- by Allison Dunfield

Great news from the Chronicle of Social Change:

In February of 2016, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (DTFA) found out it was in line to become part of one of the biggest philanthropic investments in the history of youth services.

The foundation is one of four U.S.-based recipients of the a large investment--up to $200 million over the next decade--from Blue Meridian Partners.

After more than a year of planning, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is poised to begin what it hopes will be a national expansion of its adoptive parent recruitment program.

Dave Thomas, center, founder of Wendy's, and The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. Photo: The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

DTFA Wendy's Wonderful Kids (WWK), a public-private partnership aimed at finding permanency for those foster youth who are statistically the hardest to connect with adoptive parents, already has some presence in each of the 50 states.

Read the rest of the story here:


Ontario passes new child welfare legislation

- by Allison Dunfield

Ontario recently passed the Child, Youth and Family Services Act which raises the age of protection from 16 to 18 "to increase protection services for more vulnerable youth in unsafe living conditions, to support their education and to reduce homelessness and human trafficking," along with other changes.

Read about the changes to legislation here.


New online campaign launched to prevent sextortion among teenaged boys

- by Allison Dunfield

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection (C3P) has seen an 89 per cent increase over the past two years in online sextortion cases among teenage boys, prompting the centre to develop Canada’s an awareness and prevention campaign for boys.

The new campaign uses humour to connect with boys and deliver the serious message of “don’t get sextorted.” The new website offers resources for teens, educators and parents to facilitate open conversations about the issue and a link to confidential online help.

It also features a video: :

For more information visit The Canadian Centre for Child Protection.


Today is International Missing Children's Day

- by Allison Dunfield

May 25, 2017 is International Missing Children's Day. Each year, thousands of Canadian children go missing. The majority of those children are found safe, but families are reminded to keep a watchful eye on children in their care, and to talk to them about safety tips.

The Winnipeg Police Service has put together a video message to remind parents to put kids first:

As well, has information on the single most effective way parents can help reduce the risk of a child going missing: the buddy system. For more information, please visit
this fact sheet.


Favouring reunification for children in foster care a legal mandate

- by Allison Dunfield

Interesting opinion piece on foster care in the State of California from the Chronicle of Social Change...

Favouring reunification for children in foster care is a legal mandate, not bias against foster parents


How parents with mental health conditions can be successful

- by Allison Dunfield

From the Columbia Chronicle, a story about how with the proper support, mothers and fathers with mental illness such as bipolar disorder or depression can parent their children well.


How a former foster child is helping others

- by Allison Dunfield

In a bid to make sure young people leaving foster care don't repeat her experience, a young woman in Ontario created a mentorship program for those aging out of foster care. Read more here about the CHEERS program, an acronym for Creating Hope and Ensuring Excellent Roads to Success.


Info session on becoming a foster parent: May 17

- by Allison Dunfield

Child and Family Services of Central Manitoba is seeking foster parents in its region. An information session will be held May 17, 2017 in Portage la Prairie. For more information, please see Fostering: What it's all about.

If you are not in the Central Region but would like more information about becoming a foster parent in your area, please contact your local Child and Family Service agency.


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