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 new 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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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.
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.
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.
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.