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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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.
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.
Advocates are there to act on your behalf. The Rep’s Office doesn’t work for a Ministry or Community Living BC – it works for you.
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.