Staff at the Chatham-Kent Children’s Services in Chatham were decked out in purple in support of Ontario Dress Purple Day on Oct. 24.
According to the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS), the campaign was launched to raise awareness of the important role adults and communities play in supporting vulnerable youth, promoting every child’s right to safety and well-being in their life.
The OACAS had developed classroom resources, based on the theme, “It takes a community to care for kids,” to educate students about their network of supports. Research shows that ensuring that children and youth are aware of helping adults and organization in their support network offers them an important tool that lessens their vulnerability to harm.
“Youth tell us the most important thing we can do is listen. How can you protect a child or youth if you are not engaging with them,” said Nicole Bonnie, CEO of the OACAS. “On Ontario Purple Dress Day, we are asking adults and community partners to think more deeply about how they can better support the safety and well-being of the young people around them.”
Other community partners involved in services for children, including the Children’s Treatment Centre staff, also dressed in purple to support the campaign. All community organizations involved with youth were encouraged to engage them and let them know all the supports in the area that are available to help them.