CANADA, 14 May 2021 – To mark International Day of Families, an unprecedented, collaborative vision for Canada’s future was released, creating a foundation for a better tomorrow for generations to come. Inspiring Healthy Futures: A Vision for Canada’s Children, Youth and Families is the result of a months’ long collaboration with thousands of youth, parents, service providers, youth-serving agencies, cross-sector experts and researchers, and others who knew we had to do better for our children.
“Inspiring Healthy Futures is a commitment that will be the foundation for leaders, organizations and governments to create a healthier, stronger future for and with children, youth and families in Canada,” said Emily Gruenwoldt, President and CEO, Children’s Healthcare Canada, and Executive Director, Pediatric Chairs of Canada, two of four founding partners of the initiative, which also includes the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health (IHDCYH), and UNICEF Canada.
The urgency to identify shared priorities for action was pressing. According to UNICEF Report Card 16 (2020), Canada ranked 30th out of 38 wealthy countries in the health and well-being of its children – and that was before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As the pandemic began to unfold, it became clear that children, youth and families were being affected in unpredictable and enduring ways. We needed to make that visible to decision-makers, and we needed to bring together as many voices as possible, in order to be impossible to ignore,” said Lisa Wolff, Director, Policy and Research, UNICEF Canada.
Inspiring Healthy Futures will take an unprecedented, collective approach to move the needle, forging a path for Canada to become a leader on the global stage and measurably improving the outcomes of children, youth and families.
“Bringing this vision to reality will create a stronger Canada for children, youth and families today and for generations to come,” said Christine Chambers, Scientific Director, IHDCYH. “Our collective agenda will support meaningful action in the months and years to come.”
“To know that a vision for my future, and the future of all young Canadians and their families has so much support gives me hope,” said Vivek Gill, member of IHDCYH’s Youth Advisory Council and part of the collaboration’s leadership team. “This pandemic has been really hard, and having a way forward means a lot to my generation.”
You can read the Inspiring Healthy Futures vision: here
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UNICEF Canada’s One Youth is working to make Canada the best place in the world to grow up in. As the global UN agency for kids, UNICEF has worked to improve conditions for every child around the world for 75 years, and has saved more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization. UNICEF Canada’s One Youth brings that work to Canada by measuring child and youth well-being, and advocating for the right to a childhood.
Children’s Healthcare Canada is a national association representing health service delivery organizations serving children and youth across the continuum of care. Through purposeful partnerships, Children’s Healthcare Canada accelerates excellence and innovation in health systems caring for children and youth.
The Pediatric Chairs of Canada represents the Department Heads (Chairs) of Pediatrics within the 17 Canadian medical schools. Collectively they provide national leadership in research and education to promote the health and healthcare of children and youth in Canada.
About the CIHR Institute of Human Development Child and Youth Health (IHDCYH)
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is Canada’s federal funding agency for health research. IHDCYH is one of 13 CIHR institutes and supports research that ensures the best start in life for all Canadians and the achievement of their potential for optimal growth and development. CIHR-IHDCYH supports researchers located in universities, hospitals and other research centres, and creates linkages with other stakeholders across Canada.
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