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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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.
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.
Each region has staff known as “dispute resolution consultants” who listen to complaints and help resolve issues. You can find out how to contact the dispute resolution consultant for your region by asking your foster parent or caregiver, or by calling the Ministry of Children and Family Development customer service line at 1-877-387-7027. You can also contact us to get an advocate to assist you to connect with the dispute resolution consultant, or suggest other ways to voice your concerns.
The Rep can't step in and change a decision that has been made about you, but we can help you get your views heard and considered with the people who can make those decisions. You have a right live somewhere you feel safe, so if you do not feel safe in your new foster home, please contact us.