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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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.
If your concern is about your child being abused in foster care, contact your child’s worker or call 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. If you have already called the Children’s Helpline and still have concerns, contact us to speak to an advocate who can help you follow up with your concern.
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.
When you turn 19, you are no longer considered a child in care and you cannot typically live in a group home for children in care. One of our advocates can help provide information and discuss your options as you begin your transition out of care.