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NEWS RELEASE · 2nd June 2013
Ministry of Children/Families
Notice. Listen. Respect.

Stand with B.C. children and youth in care. It's a powerful slogan written by a group of young people two years ago to help create a week that celebrates children and youth in care.

June 2-8, 2013, is the third annual B.C. Child and Youth in Care Week to acknowledge and celebrate children and youth in care and to help combat negative stereotypes and social stigmas.

This week shines a positive spotlight on children and youth in government care around the province - from small, rural communities to large, urban cities. The week celebrates the individuality, accomplishments and talents of these young people and it encourages community members from all walks of life to stand in solidarity with young people in care.

A variety of private community events will be held throughout the province during the week. A provincial celebration event will be held with children, youth and caregivers, as well as ministry and partner organization representatives this week in Vancouver. The event will be capped off with an awards ceremony to honour 12 children and youth in and from care for their strength, leadership and inspiration to others.

The Ministry of Children and Family Development has worked with several key partners to promote the week and to plan the provincial event: the Federation of B.C. Youth in Care Networks, the Federation of Aboriginal Foster Parents, the B.C. Federation of Foster Parent Associations, the Adoptive Families Association of B.C. and the Public Guardian and Trustee of B.C. - as well as the children and youth themselves.


Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of Children and Family Development -

"This week is about celebrating the diversity, accomplishments and resilience of children and youth in and from care across the province. We want these young people to know that we are committed to caring for and supporting them and that - no matter what success means to each of them - we are here to help them achieve it."

Chrystal Kell, former youth in care -

"To grow, learn, acknowledge and honour children and youth in and from care is what B.C. Youth in Care Week means to me. To see the potential, the strengths, the achievements of these wonderful individuals and celebrate their growth and strength to get through all the obstacles that come their way."

"We are not just a statistic or a stigmatization - we are all courageous, brave and intelligent and we all have dreams that we will one day see through. We are children and youth in and from care and let me tell you - nothing will stop us."

Jules Wilson, executive director, Federation of B.C. Youth in Care Networks -

"Like all young people, youth in and from care need support from their community to become who they want to be. It's our collective responsibility to stand with youth in and from care and support them to pursue the goals and relationships they choose."

"We're so thrilled to be celebrating B.C. Child and Youth in Care Week for the
third year in a row."

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

"B.C.'s children and youth in care certainly deserve the recognition this week provides. They also deserve stable and constant support every day of the year, a good education, respect for their rights and strong adults in their lives who can serve as good role models."

"As Representative, I will continue to push for all these things as well as for improved planning for children in care and better mental health services - needs pointed out by our two most recent reports. Our office applauds children and youth in care for their strength, courage and persistence and for the contributions they make to their communities."

Quick Facts:

* Approximately 8,200 children and youth are in government care in B.C.

* It was a youth-driven idea to create B.C. Child and Youth in Care Week, which was first proclaimed in 2011, making B.C. the only province in Canada to celebrate such a week.

* The ministry works closely with the Federation of B.C. Youth in Care Networks, who provide support, transition and advocacy services to youth in - and from - care, and youth receiving ministry services.

Learn More:

To view the ministry's B.C. Child and Youth in Care Week webpage where you can read the proclamation and print off a poster, go to:

To find out more about youth programs and services offered through the ministry,
go to:

Learn more about the Federation of B.C. Youth in Care Networks:
Only a few months ...
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 4th June 2013
...there was a report by Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, Representative for Children and Youth that stated how the Ministry was failing the youth in care. How is it that suddenly "a provincial celebration event" is a priority. It is like a distraction from the problem is needed. How does this prevent more horror stories?
Comment by Janice Robinson on 4th June 2013
I believe the Ministry plays an essential role in the care of children who are being abused and neglected. But, the Ministry also falls short in crucial roles essential to successful child-rearing. I will mention two cases I know of, and maybe others will provide ideas of their own, here.

About twelve years ago, my best friend's troubled and angry fourteen year old son broke another skateboard. As usual, he played on her guilt as a single Mother, and demanded not only another skateboard, but also a snowboard and a season's pass to the local ski hill.

My friend had recently sought counselling on this, and other, matters. She held true to recent progress achieved in counselling, and made a courageous attempt to compromise with her abusive son, and also to hold him accountable and responsible for his own actions and words. Sounds reasonable, doesn't it?

My friend sat down with her fourteen year old son, and said if he chose to return to school successfully for one week, she would buy him the expensive skateboard, he demanded, with her next cheque. Should he continue in his scholastic efforts, she would acquire the desired snowboard and ski hill pass when the hill opened. Sounds reasonable, doesn't it?

That was the last moment my best friend's son was in her care. Her son mocked her efforts at compromise, and said he did not have to listen to her, or obey her. He said he was sick and tired of her bush_t, could shove her counselling, and the counsellor, up her _ss. He was not going to sit all day, and listen to the bush_t of phoney, stupid teachers. He told her, "I'm going down the street, and telling the ministry that you been f_ck_ing beating me, and you'll see how stupid you are! Now, get outta my way, bi_tc_!" When she tried to get him to stop, and cool off, he punched her, and marched out the door, and down the street to the ministry.

The ministry put him up at the Costa Lessa Motel, occasionally cooked for him when not ordering out, bought him his new skateboard, snowboard, and season pass at the ski hill, sent him to a class where he might as well have been cutting out paper dolls, never encouraged him to set foot in a valid classroom again, and gave him an allowance..."no strings attached." It was a parental horror story. (One day, her son's mental health youth counsellor, in a scheduled session, told her she reminded him of his own Mother who murdered his Father! She never returned.) Still sound reasonable?

Essentially, my best friend's son was raised/parented by the ministry since the age of fourteen. He became one of the area's most prolific, and violent, marijuana and crack cocaine dealers. Currently, he is serving federal time for a sexual offense involving a fourteen year old girl. He learned how to read and write in jail. I want the ministry to honour and respect him too.

There are hundreds of adult children, raised by the Ministry of Children and Families (and organizations that operate because of their mandates) stewing in prisons across Canada.
There are hundreds of heartbroken, and powerless parents, still seeking relationship with their ministry-raised children.

I want "The Ministry" to honour and respect them too.
How many program dollars is a dead native child worth?
Comment by david dickinson on 3rd June 2013
Shame on these people for celebrating while there is no money to investigate the role of the Ministry in Jor-El's murder. Disgusting.