Growing Up With Foster Care
Chris Wilson is the son of William and Hilda Wilson. Foster children have been a part of Chris’ life since he was a young boy. In 1991, Chris’ parents opened their home to foster care. Since that time he has had many foster brothers and sisters. Some of these children could walk and talk, some could not while others were severely delayed. His life has been shaped by the experiences that these children shared. This isn’t to say that life was always easy. Many times the strain of having high needs children taking all the attention took its toll. However, Chris always knew that his parents were doing their best and what was right.
Chris Wilson – A Man Abroad
In the summer of 2005, Chris decided to expand his horizons and travel to China. At first he taught English at a private school for children. Later he met his future wife and started two successful businesses. It was exciting to be in a country that was rapidly emerging from extreme poverty. There were some aspects of life there that were a reminder of China’s impoverished past. The main concern for Chris was seeing the lack of social services for orphaned children. When the recession hit in 2008, business started to turn so Chris and his wife decided to move back to Canada and work at his parents’ Ottawa foster care program.
Starting From The Bottom
The fact that Chris Wilson was the son of William and Hilda did not mean he didn’t earn his way. His first job was the bookkeeping. Next was filing and administrative tasks. After two years Chris was meeting with the Ottawa Children’s Aid and offering new program ideas to enhance the existing foster care services.
After Ottawa Children’s Aid decided to severely cut back its use of private foster care programs a decision was made for Chris to help manage the GTA program. Chris quickly took on the role of Resource Worker and eventually had to step in as acting Executive Director. The Ontario Residential Care Association asked Chris to become a Director in 2011.
Foster care is changing in Ontario. Currently there are many proposals at Queen’s Park to transform the child welfare system. Therefore, Chris is working hard to adapt Annie’s Havens to meet the challenges and opportunities on the horizon.