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June 5, 2009
Lorna Dueck

When all the emails requesting help for the Building Bridges with the Children's Aid Society conference kept arriving from a desk written after 9 p.m., I noticed. It's not rocket science; the CAS in Ontario was stretched, working late. They have 76,000 kids in their full time care, and for each of those another 8 in their service; thousands of others needing permanent homes. When I asked why the emails were always arriving after hours on someone's extra time, Virginia Rowden, the director of Social Policy said "It's the passion for change." See the pics of these heroes below. Search later in the week at for my column there on this.

Two stories I heard at the conference changed me; one on adopting people 18 and over. Do you know anyone "timed out" on foster care? They still need a family; just think how often you bounced home after 18. You can adopt adult-adult, no agency involved.

The other story was from Andre, who was a real life example of the Good Samaritan. A gay father who fostered seven children who walked him down the aisle for his wedding and are all in his will. He's dad to one adopted teenager, and seven "forever kids."

30,717 other children in Canada wait for me to have the same kind of courage and love.

From L to R: Virginia Rowden, Director of Social Policy, OACAS; Aron Schlonsky, Associate Professor, University of Toronto; Mark Courtney. Professor, University of Washington and Executive Director, Partners for Our Children.

From L to R: Lorna Dueck, producer, ListenUp TV; Jeanette Lewis, Executive Director, OACAS; Peter Dudding, Executive Director, CWLC; and Virginia Rowden, Director of Social Policy, OACAS.





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