VICTORIA – Three Canadians who have dedicated their lives to public service with a focus on children and youth were honoured recently by the Janusz Korczak Association of Canada during a ceremony at Government House.
The Representative for Children and Youth (RCY) can now advocate for more young adults who have aged out of government care following a regulatory change that expands the Office’s legal mandate.
Young adults up to their 24th birthdays who have aged out of care and who are on or eligible for an Agreement with Young Adults (AYA), or who are on or eligible for a provincial post-secondary tuition waiver, can now work with RCY advocates if they need help or advice.
The very thorough and comprehensive report entitled Oversight of Contracted Residential Services for Children and Youth in Care that was released last week by British Columbia’s Auditor General Carol Bellringer raises serious concerns – yet again – about a system of contracted residential services for children and youth in care that is no system at all and which continues to be beset by a litany of shortcomings.
This National Indigenous Peoples Day, it is more important than ever that we use the occasion to take action towards reconciliation. This is not symbolic, nor is it simply an aspirational goal. As recent initiatives such as the National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls have so clearly shown, it’s time for every one of us to do something, because good intentions are not enough.
The release of the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls is an important milestone for social justice in Canada. This exhaustive document, comprising more than 1,000 pages, explains why Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA individuals have been, and continue to be, subject to horrendous violence, abuse and overarching injustices in our society.
This is the ninth consecutive year that British Columbia is marking Child and Youth in Care Week, a time to honour young people living in the care of the government. As it is the first such occasion for me as your Representative, I want to pass on this important message directly to the more than 6,000 of you in various forms of care:
Children’s rights in Canada were under siege in 2018. Young people who are marginalized, vulnerable and involved with government systems, saw their rights curtailed and voices silenced. It is imperative that Canadians join us to demand their governments act to advance and uphold the rights of children and youth. To not take action is to fail them.
It has been my distinct pleasure during the past few days to appear at a number of events in Kelowna and Kamloops to celebrate Social Work Week in British Columbia, honouring those who have dedicated their careers to helping children, youth and families.
On National Child Day, Canada celebrates the rights of all children and youth under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). At my Office, we too celebrate this groundbreaking treaty that was ratified by Canada in 1991.
The all-party Select Standing Committee on Children and Youth today unanimously appointed Dr. Jennifer Charlesworth as Acting Representative for Children and Youth. Dr. Charlesworth will commence her position on August 31, 2018.