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."
* 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.
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: http://www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/foster/incare_week.htm
To find out more about youth programs and services offered through the ministry,
go to: www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/for_youth.htm
Learn more about the Federation of B.C. Youth in Care Networks: www.fbcyicn.ca
Only a few months ...