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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Jennifer Charlesworth has been the Rep since October 2018. She works to make sure that the rights and opinions of young adults with developmental disabilities as well as children and youth in B.C. are valued first and foremost in decisions that impact them.
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.
It might be possible for you to stay with your foster family, but each young person's situation is different. The Rep can help you figure out what is going on and can help you make sure the people making decisions about you know that's what you want.
You will be connected to a youth and young adult advocate who will listen to your situation and your needs. They can offer you support, assistance, information and advice, as well as coach you to have a voice with decision-makers. If needed, they can also speak on your behalf to make sure your opinions are valued in the decision-making process.