OCTOBER 1, 2010

In honour of Foster Family month, I offer my personal thanks to B.C’s foster parents, for their hard work and dedication to the young people they are helping.

There is a great proverb that says “one generation plants the trees, another gets the shade”. Know that the work you are doing to support and strengthen the lives of the children in your care is an investment that will result in a stronger and more resilient group of adolescents and adults, who will be better equipped to deal with life’s challenges.

Caring for children is one of society’s most important jobs, and as foster parents you play a very important role by caring for children whose families are unable to look after them.

The stability and safety you provide children, many who have experienced difficult times in their young lives, is essential to helping them heal and be successful at school and in their daily lives. Simple everyday things you do – like listening to them duringdinner-table conversations, making lunches and helping with homework – are the outward example of the care and nurturing you provide these vulnerable young people every day, and it makes all the difference in helping them thrive and grow.

Our staff does much work with foster families in the advocacy we provide. Every year we assist children, youth and families who are having challenges with the systems that provide service to them. Our role is to help ensure the voices of children and youth are listened to and respected, and their rights are considered when decisions are being made that involve them. A better future for all of us lies in our ability to listen.

Thank you again for your big hearts and hard work on behalf of some of our most vulnerable children and youth.

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond
Representative for Children and Youth, British Columbia