February 2023 Child and Families Report

By Sheila Pepper, Child and Family Convenor


New information this month is a pilot project by BC Family Connections at four centres in BC for support and services. Family connections centres will provide a one-stop location for support, therapy and information. Centres will provide the same core services to everyone. Families will be able to access a centre from their local community. Smaller communities will have access using mobile services or virtual technology. Centre teams will create a comfortable, welcoming, inclusive and safe space by using a trauma-informed, culturally safe and respectful approach. Centres will be run by service providers contracted by the ministry.

Please consult challenges faced by BC families:


This report lists the many challenges families face: income security, employment, physical and mental health, addictions, housing, food, education, child care and protection, neighbourhood and community safety, violence, and legal issues.

Here is a link to the BC Child, Family and Community Services Act:


Another link to Children’s Rights and Participation in Family Law in BC:


Family caregiving at both ends of life is increasing for BC families. Additional services for parent, adolescent and family therapy are more in demand. The long Covid shutdowns have been complicating service availability.

The Minister of Child and Family Development is the Honourable Mitzi Dean and the Deputy Minister is Allison Bond. They have set up a new Indigenous child support program including aspects of reconciliation.


November 2022 Child and Family Report

By Sheila Pepper, Child and Family Convenor


Children and their families have continued to struggle with inflation and higher prices for almost all consumer goods they rely on every week: from housing, food, clothing, health and transportation basics, to education and community social connections. Over the summer and early fall, many of the BC advocacy organizations have been pushing the municipal and provincial authorities to follow up on their promises and expectations of improvements in these most important issues:

  • Bill 273, repeal of Section 43: Criminal Code defence of physical discipline of children. This has been a long time coming, as so many in previous generations considered this practice acceptable.
  • BC universal child care needs action, with special attention to new immigrant and refugee families. Language and social isolation contribute to these families’ difficulties in accessing all the help they need to return to work in their fields of expertise or some other field more easily accessed in Canada.
  • Several BC First Call Child and Youth Advocacy Society initiatives include: Living Wage for Families, Fostering Change, and Making Ends Meet. For more information see their web site here.
  • The Child and Youth Support Network is advocating for extended support for all children and youth to age 21, from the present 18, when they age out of provincial support. There are programs for independent youth/ older teens who have to leave foster families. These supports include housing, education, work experience, and food. More information on all these supports will be coming shortly.