What We Do

Raising Canada

Launched in 2018, Raising Canada is an annual series of reports on the state of the nation’s children. The report tracks the top 10 threats to childhood and highlights emerging threats like technology misuse and cross-cutting themes like access to healthcare and social services. For more than a decade, the state of childhood in Canada has been on the decline. Canada ranks 81st on the global Kids Rights Index, and 30th out of 38 affluent nations for protecting the well-being of children. As a country, we have been going in the wrong direction for far too long.

Kids in Canada Face a Polycrisis

Raising Canada 2023 is the sixth in an annual series of reports that track the top 10 threats to childhood. This year, the report highlights how children and youth have compounded, complex, and urgent needs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent “tripledemic”. The data also reveals that equity-deserving children and youth are disproportionately impacted by the top 10 threats – including young First Nations, Métis and Inuit children, people from racialized communities, 2SLGBTQIA+ youth and young people with disabilities.

What’s inside:

  • The latest data on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the “tripledemic” on kids in Canada
  • An equity, diversity and inclusion lens applied throughout the report
  • An analysis of the interconnection between threats
  • Artistic expressions and quotes from children across Canada
  • Recommendations and calls to action for the Government of Canada

Click here for previous reports.

View the 2022 Raising Canada event below:

Event Speakers

Naki Osutei

Associate Vice-President, Social Impact (Canada), TD Bank

Opening Remarks

Rhiannon Rosalind

President and CEO, The Economic Club of Canada, Founder of The Jr. Economic Club of Canada, CEO & Co-Founder of The Global Institute for Conscious Economics (GICE), and Member of the Council of Champions at Children First Canada


Lynn Barr-Telford

Assistant Chief Statistician of the Social, Health and Labour Statistics Field at Statistics Canada

Sara Austin

Founder and CEO of Children First Canada

Thalia Bueno

Thalia Bueno

Youth Advisory Council Member, Children First Canada

Dr. Joanna Henderson

Director, Margaret and Wallace McCain Centre for Child, Youth & Family Mental Health, CAMH

André Picard

Health reporter and columnist for The Globe and Mail


Michelle Mobarrez

District Vice President, Calgary Central, TD

Opening Remarks

Alana Riley

Alana Riley

Senior Vice-President, IG Wealth Management

Dr. Susanne Benseler

Director, Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Professor, Department of Paediatrics, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Husky Energy Chair in Child and Maternal Health, and Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation Chair in Pediatric Research

Sara Austin

Sara Austin

Founder and CEO of Children First Canada

Kiran Layal

Director of Brand Management, SureCall

Azaad Gill

Youth Panelist

Kluane Adamek

Yukon Regional Chief, Assembly of First Nations

Calls to Action

The following Calls to Action are a direct response to the findings in the Raising Canada report. They have been endorsed by Children First Canada’s Council of Champions, and developed with the input of children and youth from the Young Canadians’ Parliament:

  1. Lead For and With Kids: Establish a Federal Commissioner for Children and Youth, develop a National Strategy for Children and Youth, and develop a national Data Strategy on the health and well-being of young Canadians.
  2. Invest in Kids: Launch a Catalytic Investment Fund for Children over the next 4 years and publish a Children’s Budget.
  3. Raise Them With Rights: Support child rights education and provide children and youth with a platform to exercise their rights as leaders of today and tomorrow.

“When the pandemic ended, we expected life for our kids to get better. It didn’t. The research shows that children’s wellbeing has continued to deteriorate, and far too many kids are in a state of crisis. We cannot continue to ignore the serious threats that put children’s lives in jeopardy. Experts and advocates all agree that a better life for our kids is possible and we’re imploring all levels of government to take action now.”

~ Sara Austin, founder and CEO, Children First Canada.

Children First Canada gratefully acknowledges the support of the following organizations for the Raising Canada 2023 report:
  • The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids)
  • CHEO
  • IWK Health Centre 

Presenting Partner

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Take Care

Take Action!

Help spread the word about the top 10 threats to childhood and the impacts of COVID-19. Don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered. Check out our infographic and Calls to Action which you can share on social media.

Top 10 Threats to childhood in Canada

Get the Facts

Did you know that almost one in five children lives in poverty? Check out our infographic for more statistics about the top 10 threats facing kids and the impacts of COVID-19.

Drawing Contest

A Better Canada For Kids Drawing Contest

Children First Canada is launching a drawing contest for children 13 and under across Canada. Selected artwork will win some great prizes and be featured in our upcoming Raising Canada report, due out later this year.

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Drawing Contest

Call for Artwork | Raising Canada

A BETTER CANADA FOR KIDS DRAWING CONTEST Children First Canada is launching a drawing contest for children 18 and under across Canada.  Selected artwork will win some great prizes and be featured in our upcoming Raising Canada report, due out later this year.   Children are asked to think about how...

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