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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Bernard Richard is B.C.'s Representative for Children and Youth. He was appointed effective Feb. 16, 2017.
Mr. Richard is a bilingual lawyer whose early career was in social work and as Secretary General of the Société Nationale de l'Acadie. He was elected to the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick, where he served from 1991 to 2003. During this time, he held several cabinet positions and also served as leader of the Official Opposition, Opposition House Leader and chair of the Official Opposition caucus.
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Part of the Representative’s role is to ensure that the programs and services in place are meeting the needs of children and youth in B.C. She has the authority to monitor and review these services and make recommendations for change if necessary.
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.
If you have a concern about your children’s safety, contact the Children’s Helpline at 310-1234, or by dialing 0 and asking for the Children’s Helpline. Reports to the Children’s Helpline are forwarded to a Ministry of Children and Family Development office for assessment and investigation of abuse or neglect. Ask to speak to the team leader or supervisor if you are unsure about the Ministry’s response to your concerns.
The Rep and his 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 his 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.