MARCH 10, 2008

“Child protection is not every social worker’s first choice. Beyond the formal skills, the job requires toughness, warmth, intelligence, compassion, decisiveness and determination. It has been called the hardest job in government.” Honourable Ted Hughes, BC Children and Youth Review

As we celebrate National Social Work Week across the country, I offer my personal thanks to each and every frontline social worker in this province and throughout the country who works diligently to try to keep our most precious resource, our children, safe from harm and to support the interests of vulnerable children and their families each and every day.

The theme for this year’s celebrations, Dignity and Justice for All of Us – Promoting Human Rights in a Culture of Diversity, speaks to some of the values that are the foundation of our work on behalf of BC children and youth. In fact, a significant focus is advocating on behalf of children and youth to ensure their rights and interests are protected and upheld. This includes respecting the rich cultural diversity within our province and how that diversity informs our approach to embracing and supporting the rights of our young people.

It is in the interest of every British Columbian to ensure social workers are supported in their work and have the training and tools they need to make decisions in the best interest of children and their families. However we can also support our social workers by advocating for environments that support children’s safety and well-being within our own families, neighbourhoods and communities. Our future and the future of our province lie with our children. We salute the personal dedication of all who work to enrich the lives of children and thank-you for your efforts on their behalf.

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