The children and youth who utilize York Children’s Aid Society services will be the primary benefactors of this Smilezone project. Approximately 350 children (160 families) use York CAS Family Visitation Rooms for over 3,000 visits annually. The benefiting children and youth are ages 0 to 17 and come from an incredibly diverse demographic of all cultural backgrounds, gender identities, abilities, interests and religious affiliations. York CAS helps children from Newmarket, Richmond Hill and Vaughan.
As York CAS exists to protect children and youth and to strengthen families, it is incredibly important to have spaces where the parents and extended family can be together with their children in a safe, comforting and stimulating space. The Family Visit Rooms at York CAS are used for children who are either staying with friends, family members or foster parents while their families work to resolve issues; to have regular visitations with their families in a safe and controlled setting. Being away from home and family may be very difficult on the children and having regular visits with them can help ease anxiety, homesickness, transitioning and overall stress and unease from the situation. The Family Visits also are important in strengthening familial bonds; being able to visit with family in a positive environment in a fun and positive way also helps the transitioningbetween homes easier on the children and youth.