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Safe and Caring Places for Children and Youth: Ontario’s Blueprint for Building a New System of Licensed Residential Services, July 2017

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Table of Contents

We are youth in care and this is part of our story
Some may say it’s our "#Trajectory"
We know that some policies are pre-existent
However, from experience they remain inconsistent
We’re representing children from every age range
We’re using our voice to implement #FundamentalChange

Please show me I mean more than a temporary smile
Remind me that I’m important and that I’m worthwhile
We may bring baggage but don’t give up on us
It will take time to open up and trust
We make mistakes like every human being
But please look beyond the behaviour you’re seeing
We know it’s not simple to do what you do
But just know there are supports there for you

Times will get tough and we may disagree
But please keep in mind the effects restraints have on me
Communication first, law enforcement last
We’re really not criminals, we just had to grow up fast
Accessibility is beyond what you see
Sometimes it’s about accepting our individuality
Please implement structure but include us in the plan
Be open to flexibility and we’ll be your biggest fan

So, if you’re listening and you’re still on the fence
Read between the lines, this is just common sense!

-Written by members of the Residential Services Youth Panel (2017)