The Centre for Family, Child and Adolescent Advancement (CFCAA) in Toronto, Canada, is a private donation funded and operated non-profit registered charitable foundation whose Mandate is to provide support services to parents and their children. All services of the foundation are free to the public. The Centre also provides support to non-custodial parents towards promoting their consistent, active and healthy parental involvement in the lives of their children.
Incorporated in late 2000, it took a number of years of working through the bureaucracy for the organization to finally achieve charitable foundation status in 2003. Because so much time had passed, the foundation regrouped and re-surveyed the research and community needs before finally beginning to implement its services. After the long-term program and staff development initiative, CFCAA officially launched its programs in early 2005.
The initial impetus of providing intervention services to people with long term risk concerns, came from one of the founder's experiences in co-developing a comprehensive intervention proposal to the Ministry of Corrections for incarcerated young adults suspected of having cognitive and learning impairments, which were thought to be responsible in part for their corrections involvement. While that proposal was accepted, due to the ill timing of government cutbacks at the time, it was never funded. Another of the founders who has an extensive mental health nursing background has long recognized the harmful effects of various mental health conditions on the children of those affected.
More broadly, the founders recognized that both in the mental health and cognitively impaired communities, services were woefully lacking in terms of dealing with parenting issues. From a commissioned literature review, CFCAA confirmed that the children of such circumstances are highly vulnerable to the perpetuation of family instability, academic problems, chronic under/unemployment, increased mental and physical health concerns and increased involvement with the social welfare and justice systems.
CFCAA is therefore dedicated to strengthening the family bonds, promoting a positive environment and breaking the perpetuation of long term maladjustment in such vulnerable family situations. The foundation strives to do so using a unique intervention model coupled with state of the art evaluation and outcome measurement protocols. Finally, in recognizing the particularly unique needs of the aboriginal and visible minority communities, CFCAA has sought partnership with, and has dedicated services for those communities.
Throughout its tenure the CFCAA comprehensive, wrap around family intervention program pilot project partnered closely with Native Child and Family Services of Toronto (NCFST), and subsequently the model was brought in house into the agency, with training and transitional support provided by CFCAA. For a summary of the program outcome details please see http://www.cfcaa.com/support-status.htm. Further, the program was reviewed by Healthy Communities (social determinants of health) Subcommittee and favourably sited as a model in Ontario Mental Health and Addictions Strategy: Creating healthy communities, Minister's Advisory Committee, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, January 2010.