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Children's Well-Being

This message features a special look at organizations advocating on behalf of children's well-being, and on web-sites with infomration on Ontario community-based programs for children's well-being. It is a quick look at a few organizations rather than a comprehensive listing. Please refer to any of these organizations for more information or submit your own contributions.

Special FLASH! May 25 - 31 Safe Kids Week!


Voices for Children is an Ontario-based coalition, building a movement for children that aims to change public attitudes about society's commitment to the well-being of all children and youth. Voices for Children believes that every Ontario community should make children and youth a priority--in its decisions and actions.

Voices for Children has an Internet Web Site at

Its public education materials -- fact sheets, community action guide, newsletters, background papers, a true or false quiz, french translations, coalition membership can bedownloaded, read or printed out. Or an e-mail message sent.

Check out the Fact Sheets, which seem to strike a chord with Ontario community organizations and individuals who are distributing them widely. Nearly 60,000 of them have been circulated in less than a year. Also, the Fact Sheets are based on source documents which too can be downloaded--complete with quotes, facts and figures and bibliographic citations. The *source document* link is near the end of each Fact Sheet. We just ask that you acknowledge them as the work of Voices for

Children if you use them in your work or in your community.

The LATEST EDITION on the Voices for Children Home Page is relevant to the Canadian federal election. You will find questions to ask all candidates about their commitment and their party's commitment and priority for children and youth.

Send us an e-mail if you use any of these materials. Use of the Internet is growing--just another way to join Voices for Children's *movement.*

[submitted May 20, 1997 by]

Barbara Kilbourn, Coordinator

Voices for Children

1200-415 Yonge St.

Toronto, ON M5B 2E7

(416) 408-2121 ext 269

(416) 408-2122 FAX

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The SPARROW LAKE ALLIANCE will be of interest to professionals working with children, and to parents, students, researchers, policy makers and others interested in the well-being of children.

The goals, structure and activities of the Alliance are intended to achieve the conditions necessary to get all Ontario children off to a good start in life.

The Sparrow Lake Alliance is a voluntary coalition of members of twelve professions and seven different service sectors that provide services for children, along with representatives of parents' and youth organizations.

The web site [] has information on: Who, Mission Statement, Steering Committee & Task Forces, Publications, Questions & Answers, Bulletin Board Contacts, and Links to Related Sites. For more information on the Sparrow Alliance send an e-mail to:

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Campaign 2000 is a non-partisan coalition of 18 national partners and a Canada wide network of 31 community partners committed to building Canadian awareness and support for the 1989 all-party House of Commons resolution to end child poverty in Canada by the year 2000.

Campaign 200 produces Report Card 1996, an annual report on the state of child poverty in Canada. Campaign 2000 notes that:

"In 1989, the Parliament of Canada declared war on child poverty.The target date for its elimination was the year 2000. In Report Card 1996, Campaign 2000 shows the progress made in reducing and preventing child poverty. In summary: The number of poor children has increased by 46%. If this rate of increase is allowed to continue, Canada could enter the new millennium with nearly twice the number of poor children as in 1989."

A comprehensive report, loaded with statistics follows, as well as an action plan.

For more information contact:

National Coordinator

Campaign 2000

c/o Family Service Association of Metropolitan Toronto

22 Wellesley Street E. Toronto, Ont. M4Y 1G3

Tel: (416) 922-8217, Ext. 241 Fax: (416) 922-9235

or email:

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D. "Better, Brighter Best" - Ontario Community Programs for Children

Information on these three innovative programs - Better Beginnings, Better Futures; Brighter Futures - Community Action Programs for Children; and Best Start - can be found on the Internet, through OPC's home page [ ] and through direct contact with each of the programs.

i. Better Beginnings, Better Futures [BBBF]

Better Beginnings is a 25 year longitudinal prevention policy research demonstration project. It is currently being implemented in 8 communities across the province of Ontario. Better Beginnings communities recently received a renewal of their funding from the Ontario government. For more information on these community initiatives contact:

The Project Design Co-ordinator - Carol Crill Russell , Senior Research and Policy Advisor,

Childrens's Services Branch, Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services, 4th Floor Hepburn Block, 80 Grosvenor St. Toronto, ON M7A 1E9 phone: 416-325-5329.

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ii. Brighter Futures Network - an online pilot with Community Action Programs for Children

Communities across the country are developing unique local responses to the needs of children and families. Local solutions can be helpful to others facing similar situations. This project attempts to bring together a representative group of community based initiatives through computer communication technology. Some projects in Alberta and Ontario were provided with hardware, software and on-site training. A directory to the e-mail contacts of Ontario and Alberta Brighter Futrues/ CAP-C projects in this pilot and a database of some of the Ontario CAP-C sites is available at:

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iii. Best Start - Community Action for Healthy Babies

Best Start is a population health program aimed at reducing the incidence of low birth weight. Two demonstration sites, the District of Algoma and the City of Barrie, received funding from the Ministry of Health from 1992 to 1998. The site coalitions support and mobilize their communities to promote the health of women and families before, during and after pregnancy. The sites use community wide health promotion approaches to address the range of risk factors associated with low birth weight.

Since September 1993 the central administration and resource centre for consultation and training for Best Start has been located at the Ontario Prevention Clearinghouse. For further information see the web site and resources at: