On Wednesday, October 27, FACS Niagara and Children’s Aid Societies across Ontario wore their best and brightest purple to raise awareness about the important role we all play in supporting vulnerable children and youth.

Dress Purple Day, held annually across Ontario, is an opportunity to show that we all care for one another and that help is available to all families. No one is alone. Children’s Aid Societies are proud to be one part of the circle of care that supports the health, safety, and well-being of children, youth, and families.

Dress Purple Day is also an opportunity to raise awareness that all young people have a right to safety at home, at school, and in the community.

“The work to strengthen families and keep young people safe requires a total community effort,” says Anna Bozza, FACS Niagara Executive Director. “We are pleased to work with many dedicated community partners to provide wholistic supports to Niagara’s families, children, and youth to help them reach their full potential.” This focus aligns with the Ontario Government’s child welfare redesign initiative based on enhanced partnerships and early intervention.

To commemorate this important day, the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies launched the #Idresspurplebecause campaign on social media. Participants are asked to share their reasons for dressing purple and how they support strong families.

FACS Niagara would also like to thank our local partners for showing their support. On the evening of October 27, the Welland Main Street bridge was lit up purple, as did the iconic Niagara Falls. The Niagara Falls Illumination Board reminds anyone travelling to see the falls to follow all public health guidance to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.

COVID has increased stressors on families. Anyone needing support is encouraged to reach out. FACS works to connect families to important community resources and our team often provides direct support and protection services. If anyone in the community has concerns about a child being at-risk, we encourage them to contact us any time at 905-937-7731 or toll free at 1-888-937-7731. FACS remains available 24/7 throughout the pandemic to respond to any referrals concerning the care and safety of a child.

Understanding the significant impact of the pandemic on people in the community, people can reach out to the Family Counselling Centre (FCC) for counselling services. The FCC continues to see increased demands for service during the pandemic, and calls are triaged so the most urgent cases are seen first.

Anyone needing counselling assistance during the pandemic is invited to call 905-937-7731, extension 3345. There is a fee subsidy program based on income and some programs and services may be offered free of charge.