Minister Gould announces funding for projects for the social inclusion and well-being of vulnerable children and youth

News Release

January 18, 2023, Ajax, Ontario         Employment and Social Development Canada


Canadians have been living with the impacts of the pandemic for almost three years. Vulnerable adults, families, children and youth have been among those most negatively impacted. As a result, many children and youth have struggled with social isolation. When services and supports are accessible and targeted at those who are experiencing negative impacts to their well-being from social isolation, they can help children and youth cope with these difficult challenges.

Today, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould, announced up to $24.9 million in funding for 17 projects that will ensure programs supporting social inclusion and the well-being of vulnerable children and youth are available in communities across Canada.

These projects will promote social inclusion by encouraging self-expression and empowerment through art, teaching youth how to build and maintain meaningful and healthy relationships, and enabling children to engage with their communities and culture. This funding is in addition to the $14.1 million announced in August 2022, to support 11 projects to help increase the financial well-being of low-income adults.

Minister Gould made the announcement at the Ifarada: Centre for Excellence, which will receive up to $1.7 million in funding for its project in the Durham region. Ifarada will develop programs to support Black and racialized youth to enhance their social, emotional and cultural pride, such as positive parenting workshops, child and youth counselling and school programs. Through a partnership with Durham Family and Cultural Centre, they will also offer youth services, including youth mentoring workshops, life skill development and business development.

The funding will be provided through the Children and Families component of the Social Development Partnerships Program. This program plays a unique role in furthering broad social goals by making strategic investments to support government priorities related to children and families, persons with disabilities, the voluntary sector, official language minority communities and other vulnerable populations. It provides an opportunity to work in partnership with social not-for-profit organizations to help improve the life outcomes of these target groups.


“We know how important it is to provide children with every opportunity to succeed. The projects announced today will help fight the challenges of social isolation that children in our communities are facing—a challenge that has only been heightened by the pandemic. With support from our Government, these organizations are creating welcoming spaces for children and providing them the opportunity to build meaningful relationships, engage with their community, and develop their social skills.”

– Karina Gould, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

“Ifarada: Centre for Excellence and Durham Family and Cultural Centre have seen increased demand for programs and services post-pandemic, particularly for families impacted by trauma, children and youth experiencing social isolation, and youth seeking mentorship. With this funding, we will expand our services, create space for youth to shine, and support families to thrive. Our Black-led, Black-owned, and Black-serving organization will build capacity to support the community and enhance equitable outcomes for those experiencing anti-Black racism and other forms of discrimination. Together, we are excited about the possibilities to build resiliency within our partnership for our young people and families.”

– Nicole Y. Perryman, Executive Director, Ifarada: Centre for Excellence

Quick facts

  • Under the Children and Families component of the Social Development Partnerships Program, the Government of Canada launched two calls for proposals on May 25, 2021, representing an investment of up to $39 million over five years, for projects to support the social inclusion of vulnerable children and youth and the financial empowerment of low-income adults. Organizations had until July 6, 2021, to submit their proposals.
  • Programming for children is geared to those 0 to 14 years of age, and programming for youth is tailored for those 15 to 30 years old.
  • Eligible organizations could apply for up to $3 million in funding for multi-year projects up to five years in duration.

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For media enquiries, please contact:

Mohammad Hussain
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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