The Representative for Children and Youth supports children, youth and families who need help in dealing with the child-serving system, provides oversight to the Ministry of Children and Family Development and advocates for improvements to the child-serving system.
The Representative serves all British Columbians under the age of 19, and is particularly concerned that young people in government care – such as those in foster homes, group homes or youth custody – do well. These children and youth face greater challenges than those in the general population, especially related to health and education, incarceration and dependence on income assistance.
The Representative does not work for the government. Rather, the Representative for Children and Youth is an Independent Officer of the Legislature and does not report through a provincial ministry.
The Representative’s work is based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and upholds the following values:
- Children have a right to be protected and kept safe
- Families are the best environment for raising a child
- Parents and extended family have the primary responsibility for a child
- Decisions made about a child should include their own views and input
For more information on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, please visit the UNICEF web site