Grandparent Raising Grandchildren - Nature Camp
Message from Bernard Richard, Representative for Children and Youth for PSS Newsletter
May 5, 2017
I hope spring weather has sprung wherever you are after a long and busy winter. Thank you for this opportunity to update you on what has been happening at my Office since I last wrote in January.
First, as you may be aware, my initial appointment to the position of Representative for Children and Youth on Nov. 27, 2016 was in an acting capacity. On Feb. 16 of this year, my appointment to the position was formally confirmed by the Legislative Assembly.
My appointment followed on the heels of the release of my first report on Feb. 6, Broken Promises: Alex’s Story. This troubling report is about the suicide of a Métis youth who was soon to age out of care. In it, I made four recommendations, including: that the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) provide the level of support necessary to support successful foster placements for youth with extended family or another adult with a positive connection to the child or youth; that MCFD significantly increase oversight and financial accountability for contracted residential services; and, that it ensure Indigenous children in care are connected with their cultural background.
Ultimately, it is my hope that this report helps improve systems of care for B.C. youth and helps to ensure that nothing like this tragedy ever happens again. You can see the complete report and all the recommendations on our website at www.rcybc.ca/brokenpromises.
On March 30, I released my second report, Delegated Aboriginal Agencies: How resourcing affects service delivery. This report delivered the perspective of staff from B.C.’s Delegated Aboriginal Agencies (DAAs), and the findings were bleak. I found that underfunding of DAAs – both provincially and federally – is leading to Indigenous children being removed from their homes and placed in care simply because the funds are not there to provide support services to their families. I also found that despite the landmark Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling in January 2016 that federal funding of Indigenous child welfare is discriminatory, the federal government has not yet addressed the issue.
In addition, although there are promising signs that the provincial government intends to address many of the issues identified in the report, new resources are not yet in place and it remains to be seen whether they will be sufficient to meet the enormous challenge.
Ultimately, the purpose of this report is to establish a benchmark against which future improvements can be assessed. The report can be found on our website at www.rcybc.ca/daareport.
I have three other reports currently planned for the coming months, including one that examines education outcomes for children and youth in care, one about a young man who died by suicide at a B.C. hospital and an update on adoptions in B.C.
In other news, it was my very great pleasure on April 12 to be able to present the Janusz Korczak Medal for Children’s Rights Advocacy to Dr. Cindy Blackstock in Vancouver. The medal is awarded for outstanding contributions to the promotion of the rights of children in ways that encourage love for children, listening to children, fostering healthy children’s lives and building capacities in children in the spirit of Dr. Korczak, a Polish-Jewish author and physician who sacrificed his own life to protect orphans under his care during World War II.
Like Dr. Korczak, Cindy Blackstock is a determined and fierce advocate for children, and a deserving recipient of the medal. It was a moving ceremony.
Finally, since my appointment, I have been very much enjoying meeting as many of you as I can. It is inspiring to meet so many dedicated British Columbians who are working to improve the lives of vulnerable children and youth, and I continue to be humbled and honoured by the warm welcome you have given me.
Remember, if you or any youth or family you may know need help dealing with government, getting connected to programs or services or speaking up, call us. RCY advocates are available Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 1-800-476-3933. And don’t forget, if you are receiving or eligible to receive CLBC services, we can advocate for you until your 24th birthday. Don’t hesitate to call!
Representative for Children and Youth
Webinar - Child Protection, Family Law, and Kinship Care
Child Protection, Family Law, and Kinship Care
Click here to view: https://vimeo.com/208537767
In this one hour webinar offered jointly by Courthouse Libraries BC and Parent Support Services Society of BC, Christina Campbell and Jessie Caryl will define and review the scope of kinship caregiving in British Columbia, look at the Child, Family and Community Service Act (CFCSA) section which focuses on out-of-home living arrangements and sets out child placement priorities, view Ministry of Child and Family Development (MCFD) policy designed to implement these priorities, consider social worker practice, and examine access to federal government benefits. We then explore challenges raised by the current system of child welfare in British Columbia, offer a kinship care case study with a map to service paths, and conclude with key resources for lawyers and service providers engaging with kinship caregivers. The webinar is designed to improve access to information, advocacy, and government services surrounding child placement.
This webinar exploring intersections between kinship caregiving, family law and MCFD policy is presented by Christina Campbell, GRG Support Line Advocate and Social Worker, and Jessie Caryl, GRG Support Line Advocate and Lawyer of Parent Support Services Society of BC.
GRG Support LIne - 1-855-474-9777 firstname.lastname@example.org
GRG LIne Wins Award!
March 18, 2016
We are pleased to announce that our PSS Grandparents Raising Grandchildren (GRG) Support Line Advocates - Christina Campbell & Dennis Nkojo have been awarded the 2016 Field of Practice Award of the BC Association of Social Workers Richmond Delta Burnaby Branch. They were nominated for ongoing and passionate advocacy of children and youth. We are extraordinarily proud of Christina & Dennis and the important work done by the advocates on our GRG Support LIne over the years.
Dennis receiving his award Carol Ross receiving her award from the Canadian Association of Social Workers.
PSS and GRG’s in the NEWS!
"Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: Telling Our Stories" - Groundbreaking Documentary
The documentary Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: Telling Our Stories will provide a glimpse into the realities faced by several grandparent led families from across BC. These grandparents didn’t plan to be full time caregivers at this later stage in their lives. Their stories are varied, but many of the threads are the same: loss, isolation, grief, hardship, love and determination. The grandchildren are their priority and they need and deserve, love, stability and all the support possible to ensure they can succeed in life. “This documentary will make you laugh, make you cry, and we hope, make you think.”
Check out this trailer, that gives a glimpse into one of the stories.
School For All
School For All - Parent Support Services Statement