Nine is the critical number as we mark International FASD Awareness Day today. The ninth day of the ninth month is recognized around the globe to increase awareness of children born at a disadvantage because their mothers drank during pregnancy. Just nine months of alcohol avoidance during pregnancy gives a child an opportunity for a full and healthy life in which he or she can fulfill potential.
On this day 10 years ago, the United Nations declared August 12 to be International Youth Day. Today's society is the youngest ever, with about 50 per cent of the world's
population aged 25 years or under. More than at any time in our history, youth action, inclusion, and full participation are integral to planning the future.
Physical and emotional maltreatment of children are all too prevalent. A focus on child safety is central to the work of my Office. It drives us to advocate for improvements to the childserving
system so the children it serves are safe and their futures as promising as those of their peers.
On the occasion of Social Work Week here in British Columbia, I commend frontline social workers in this province for their dedication and commitment to the safety and well-being of our most vulnerable young citizens and their families.
In honour of Adoption Awareness month, I wish to thank our province’s adoptive families for their courage, commitment and compassion. The permanence you provide for children gives them a family and your investment makes an important contribution to society as a whole.
My office works with adoptive families most often in our advocacy role. A child-focused advocacy strategy is an important part of supporting vulnerable children. However, your role as parent for these children is what means most to them.
I would like to take this opportunity to offer my personal thanks to all foster parents in B.C., in honour of Foster Family month. The safe harbour you provide for children is tremendously important in their lives, as well as to society as a whole, and I commend you for your efforts.
Many children in care have experienced some trauma in their young lives. They need every ounce of support we can offer them. In fact, their success in life often depends on it.
“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