The Representative for Children and Youth supports children, youth and families who need help in dealing with the child-serving system.
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Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond is B.C.’s first Representative for Children and Youth. She was appointed in 2006, and was re-appointed for a second five-year term in 2011.
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Each region has staff known as “dispute resolution consultants” who listen to complaints and help resolve issues. You can find out how to contact the dispute resolution consultant for your region by asking your foster parent or caregiver, or by calling the Ministry of Children and Family Development customer service line at 1-877-387-7027. You can also contact us to get an advocate to assist you to connect with the dispute resolution consultant, or suggest other ways to voice your concerns.
One of our advocates can listen to your concerns and assist you with having your voice heard and considered by your social worker. If you are still not happy with the social worker’s decision, an advocate can help you to file a complaint about the decision and ask that the decision be reconsidered. You do have a right to have your say about decisions that are being made on your behalf.
You can have a family member, friend, support worker or someone else you trust with you when you call the Rep. Otherwise, you can have that person call the Rep for you. For the fastest result, it is best to either call by yourself or have someone with you when you call. That way you will be connected with an advocate within one business day. Callers requesting advocacy services for you will be responded to within three business days.
Custody and access situations are not designated services under our legislation. You should obtain the services of a lawyer in any legal matters. We may be able to refer you to other agencies that could assist you.