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 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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One of our advocates can listen to your concerns and assist you with having your voice heard and considered by your social worker. If you are still not happy with the social worker’s decision, an advocate can help you to file a complaint about the decision and ask that the decision be reconsidered. You do have a right to have your say about decisions that are being made on your behalf.
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.
A social worker within the Ministry of Children and Family Development will need to assess your situation to determine the reasons why you do not want to return home. If it is not safe for you to return home, the social worker can assist you in developing an alternative plan. Contact us to speak to an advocate if you are experiencing difficulties getting the services and supports you need from the Ministry of Children and Family Development.
Social workers and team leaders have busy workloads and it may take them a while to get back to you. Be sure to leave them a voice mail, indicating the urgency of your call and when you called. If you are still frustrated by the lack of response from the social worker and team leader, contact us for assistance.