Physical and emotional maltreatment of children are all too prevalent. A focus on child safety is central to the work of my Office. It drives us to advocate for improvements to the childserving
system so the children it serves are safe and their futures as promising as those of their peers.
On the occasion of Social Work Week here in British Columbia, I commend frontline social workers in this province for their dedication and commitment to the safety and well-being of our most vulnerable young citizens and their families.
A major B.C. study released today shows that although children and youth in care are at higher risk of becoming involved with the youth justice system, early interventions targeted at risk factors can change the paths of these vulnerable adolescents. The study is a joint project of the Representative for Children and Youth, and the Provincial Health Officer.
The need for intensified government commitment to completing all of the Hughes recommendations is even more essential in challenging economic times, B.C.'s Representative for Children and Youth said today. Two other progress reports have been completed (Nov. 2007 and Nov. 2010).
All children deserve equal access to the same programs, supports, opportunities and hopeful futures, especially children and youth with special needs, and their families.
This is an update on the RCY report released in February 2008, which looked at the support system for children and youth with special needs. These reports examine how the Ministry of Children and Family Development and Community Living BC deliver these services.
In honour of Adoption Awareness month, I wish to thank our province’s adoptive families for their courage, commitment and compassion. The permanence you provide for children gives them a family and your investment makes an important contribution to society as a whole.
My office works with adoptive families most often in our advocacy role. A child-focused advocacy strategy is an important part of supporting vulnerable children. However, your role as parent for these children is what means most to them.
I would like to take this opportunity to offer my personal thanks to all foster parents in B.C., in honour of Foster Family month. The safe harbour you provide for children is tremendously important in their lives, as well as to society as a whole, and I commend you for your efforts.
Many children in care have experienced some trauma in their young lives. They need every ounce of support we can offer them. In fact, their success in life often depends on it.