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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Dr. Jennifer Charlesworth is British Columbia's Representative for Children and Youth. She was appointed as Acting Representative effective Aug. 31, 2018, and confirmed in her appointment as Representative on Oct. 1, 2018.
Dr. Charlesworth has worked in the B.C. social and health care sectors since 1977. She lives in the traditional territories of the Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples. She is an award-winning teacher, author, activist and a parent of two vibrant young women who remind her daily of the power and promise of young people.
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If you have a concern about your children’s safety, contact the Children’s Helpline at 310-1234, or by dialing 0 and asking for the Children’s Helpline. Reports to the Children’s Helpline are forwarded to a Ministry of Children and Family Development office for assessment and investigation of abuse or neglect. Ask to speak to the team leader or supervisor if you are unsure about the Ministry’s response to your concerns.
It might be possible for you to stay with your foster family, but each young person's situation is different. The Rep can help you figure out what is going on and can help you make sure the people making decisions about you know that's what you want.
First, discuss your concerns with the team leader. If the problem persists, each region has a Dispute Resolution Office you can call to submit a formal complaint. Contact us for information, advice and support on the process.
You should call the Children's Helpline right away. Call 310-1234 (no area code), or dial 0 from any phone in B.C. to call the operator and ask for the Children's Helpline. The Rep can help children and youth in B.C. in many ways, but if you or someone you know is in danger and needs protection, it's best to tell someone you trust and get help as soon as you can.