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.
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You may feel like you are not being heard, or may feel unsupported in your community. You may not be aware of the different types of services and supports available to you. The Rep’s Office works closely with government and wants to make sure that you are an informed and empowered decision-maker.
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.
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.
For matters before the court, you need to engage a lawyer to assist you. Our advocates cannot act as lawyers or give legal advice. We may be able to help you in other matters relating to the removal, however, such as visits with your children, accessing services and supports.