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On this page: The Alva Foundation | The Royal Bank of Canada | Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman Foundation


We are extremely grateful for the generous donations made by our contributors and are confident that the work conducted using these funds will have a direct impact on Canadian children living in vulnerable contexts.

The Alva Foundation

The Centre was established in 1985 with a gift from the Alva Foundation, formerly the Southam Foundation. The generosity of the Alva Foundation has played a large role in the Centre becoming a leading Canadian social research centre with established partnerships with local, provincial, and national child and family support services and advocacy organizations. The CRCF now hosts over 30 research projects supported by an annual average of $100,000 in funds brought in by a core group of a dozen faculty members, including a seven-year SSHRC Partnership Development grant in partnership with First Nations and mainstream Youth Protection service organizations, a more than tenfold return on the Alva endowment income.

The CRCF also houses the most important collection of data tracking over 400,000 children who have received Youth Protection services over the last twenty years. Centre researchers have been working with many local service providers including the Old Brewery Mission, Kahnawake Shakotiia’takenhas Community Services, the African Canadian Development & Prevention Network, and Batshaw Youth and Family Services. They have also been working with provincial organizations including the Ministry of Health and Social Services, the Association des centre jeunesse du Québec, and the First Nations Health and Social Services Commission of Quebec and Labrador, and national organizations ranging from Public Health Agency of Canada, the Assembly First Nations, the First Nations Child and Family caring society, and the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

RBC Children’s Services Research & Training Program (2008-2018)

A generous ten year grant from the The Royal Bank of Canada has permitted the creation of the RBC Children’s Services Research & Training Program at the CRCF which will support two key initiatives. The first initiative is to provide technical support and research training to assist policy makers and community-based children’s mental health service providers in developing their research and program evaluation capacity. In addition, the funds will be used to staff and maintain a data laboratory set up to extract and house administrative children services data from across the country. The second initiative is to support an RBC Internship Program that allows community professionals and students with research internship and training opportunities to develop their capacity to use research tools to evaluate the effectiveness of programs and services.

A portion of the funding received in 2008-2009 helped sponsor a national child welfare outcomes roundtable which successfully brought together provincial and territorial Directors of child welfare, policy analysts, Directors of major child welfare agencies, and key international researchers. This two-day forum allowed the group to set priorities for the Children’s Services Data Laboratory, introduce key stakeholders to the Laboratory, and stimulate a renewed interest and commitment in the collection, analysis, and use of data in social policy development.

Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman Foundation

In 2015, the Centre for Research on Children and Families (CRCF) received a very generous gift of $480,000.00 from the Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman Foundation. The gift will be used over three years to support scholarly work on childhood literacy’s programs, including the Love of Reading Initiative, and a post-doctoral fellowship.

The Love of Reading initiative is a strategically focused program with a sustained track record and strong profile in schools across Canada.  By targeting vulnerable communities, the program has the potential for playing a seminal role in promoting the well-being of children and in positively influencing their life trajectories.  Given the CRCF and the Love of Reading Initiative’s common interest in finding effective programs for high-risk children, we are very excited about the development of a partnership to build the evidence base to support literacy among vulnerable children.