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.
FAQs View all
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.
You can have a family member, friend, support worker or someone else you trust with you when you call the Rep. Otherwise, you can have that person call the Rep for you. For the fastest result, it is best to either call by yourself or have someone with you when you call. That way you will be connected with an advocate within one business day. Callers requesting advocacy services for you will be responded to within three business days.
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.
A social worker within the Ministry of Children and Family Development will need to assess your situation to determine the reasons why you do not want to return home. If it is not safe for you to return home, the social worker can assist you in developing an alternative plan. Contact us to speak to an advocate if you are experiencing difficulties getting the services and supports you need from the Ministry of Children and Family Development.