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Ian's Story

I was in my 30s when the stresses of parenting caught up to my wife and I. Gina was working full-time while I worked two part-time jobs, and we argued constantly about our family’s financial struggles. One day, I left work to pick up our four children from school. When I arrived at home, Gina’s car wasn’t in the driveway and when she didn’t come home later that night, I didn’t know what to think. She had disappeared without so much as a note. At the time I was shocked and frustrated that I didn’t have any immediate answers. Realizing that I now had to care for and financially support our four children alone, I was overwhelmed with stress and spiraled into a depression. I lost one of my jobs and was no longer able to shop comfortably at discount stores. Eventually, one of my children’s teachers noticed the change and a phone call was placed to The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa. At first, I was reluctant to accept The CASO’s help – I thought they were going to take my kids away. Instead they worked with me to create a plan for my family.






Amy's Story

My husband Austin and I were high school sweethearts, just out of college and working as young professionals. We enjoyed a lot of the same activities and loved making new memories with Mia, our 6-year-old daughter. One weekend, we decided to plan a camping trip as a little vacation. When the day of the trip came, I remember us feeling uneasy because of the stormy weather. On the way, the storm grew stronger, and our lives changed forever. Pulling out from an intersection, Austin’s side of the vehicle was struck by another driver. After days in intensive care, he passed away. I was devastated. I never recovered from the loss and fell into a deep depression. Eventually, I lost my full-time job and had to take a part-time job at a grocery store close to home. It became difficult to shop for food and clothing even at discount stores. Mia’s daycare took notice of our struggle and decided to confront me about supports that I could reach out to. The CASO was recommended and I got in touch with a worker there. She sat down with me and we established a plan. I have been doing interviews for a while now and plan to get back into my field of work full time. I also have a mentor who is helping me with my parenting abilities, and I feel confident in raising Mia as a single parent.





Jean's Story

My name is Jean and I have a son named Michael. I was pretty good at what I did — completing roofing projects multiple stories high. Out in the suburbs, I was completing a project using an unreliable harness. I took an uncalculated step and slipped, falling two stories, ultimately damaging my back and the pain was unbearable. My doctor prescribed a medication to help with the pain. Before long, I was reliant on the medication to function and I quickly lost the ability to properly care for my son. At one of Michael’s hockey games, a concerned parent inquired about my problem. He recommended that I contact The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa – They connected me with resources to begin my journey to sobriety. They also worked with me to identify my strengths and create a plan for Michael. I’m still struggling with staying clean, as the pain is intense. At least Michael and I have a support system and we are on the right track.