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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The Rep and her staff work to make sure young adults who are eligible to access Community Living BC services get the help they need. They listen to you and make sure your rights are respected whenever a decision that affects you takes place. The Rep and her staff can connect you with other available services and champions in your community, and will give you some tips to speak on your own behalf.
You will be connected to a youth and young adult advocate who will listen to your situation and your needs. They can offer you support, assistance, information and advice, as well as coach you to have a voice with decision-makers. If needed, they can also speak on your behalf to make sure your opinions are valued in the decision-making process.
Under our legislation, the Office of the Representative for Children and Youth cannot assist in custody and access situations. You would need to talk to your legal counsel regarding how to get your son’s voice heard in court. We may be able to refer you to other agencies that could assist you.
When you turn 19, you are no longer considered a child in care and you cannot typically live in a group home for children in care. One of our advocate can help provide information and discuss your options as you begin your transition out of care.