Media and News OLD

Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions (SMFC) is pleased to announce that effective January 1, 2018, Geraldine Dooley-Phillips officially became its new Executive Director, assuming the executive leadership role of the organization following Susan Carmichael’s official retirement on December 31, 2017.

Read the full released statement here.

After a local man has been charged with a slue of human trafficking and sexual exploitation related charges recently, there is growing knowledge that this type of crime is not isolated in big cities. In fact, it is known that the traffickers tend to move victims around – particularly through the 401 and 400 highway corridors.

Oro-Medonte man faces more human trafficking charges

An Oro-Medonte man is facing more human trafficking charges after additional victims got in touch with police. Since the arrest of Isaac “Ike” Crooks two weeks ago, the OPP say they have been able to identify two more victims. At a news conference on Tuesday, police announced that the 58-year-old has been charged with two more counts of trafficking a person, sexual assault, obtain sexual service for consideration and material benefit for trafficking of a person.

A frightening statistic is that the average age of a young person lured and forced into the sex trade by a trafficker is 13 years old. In order to help raise awareness about this terrible crime among service providers in the region, the Child, Youth and Family Services Coalition of Simcoe County has organized an education day. The event will take place on June 1, 2017 at Liberty North in Barrie, Ontario.

Those interested in attending should review the Event Poster and visit the registration page to get tickets:



New report urges Ontario to study youth over time after they leave the care of children’s aid, to track problems they face and suggest ways to improve the system.

Read the full news story from the Toronto Star here:

Today, a special report detailing consistently bleak outcomes for youth who have aged-out of care across multiple jurisdictions was released by Jane Kovarikova, PhD candidate at Western University and a former youth-in-care. Jane is also a board member of Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions.

The research, presented at the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, was undertaken to better understand the child protection system’s lasting impact on the lives of young people leaving care. Irwin Elman, the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, commended Kovarikova’s work as a crucial step toward improving outcomes for youth aging-out of care.

“My Office is committed to harnessing the wisdom that comes from the lived experience of the children and youth it serves,” said Elman and, “Jane is an example of the many young people who put heart and mind into their efforts to ensure all children and youth are well served in our child welfare system.”

Typical outcomes for youth who age-out of care include:

  • low academic achievement
  • unemployment, underemployment, and poverty
  • homelessness and housing insecurity
  • criminal justice system involvement
  • early parenthood
  • poor physical and mental health
  • loneliness

Kovarikova suggests that evidence-based policy and system reform could prevent these life outcomes and empower youth after leaving care.

“Ontario does not systematically track what happens to young people after they leave care, nor study the long-term impact of growing up in the system,” said Kovarikova. “If you do not study youth outcomes after care then you cannot know if your policies or reforms are working!”

“All Ontario children, including the most vulnerable, deserve a fair shot at a bright future unhampered by the tragic circumstances of their past,” concluded Kovarikova.

Read more in the full report.

Our foster recruitment campaign #Foster40 has gained attention in provincial and local media. We wanted to get the word out about our need for foster homes in our region and keeping kids #CloseToHome, so we began telling the story locally.

Read our Press Release to learn more about the story.

“We know there are more families in our community that would help, if they understood the need,” said Nicole Middleton, Manager of Foster Care Recruitment & Development.

Here are links to some of the coverage we’ve received.

April 19 – Foster Recruitment on Rogers TV Daytime Story starts at 16:00.

If you are interested in fostering or adoption, fill out the form here so we can start the conversation!