The Representative while serving all British Columbians who are under the age of 19, does focus principally upon children and young people who are in government care, that is, those in foster homes, in group homes or in youth custody. These children and youth face greater challenges than those in the general population, especially related to health and education, incarceration and dependence on income assistance. And that stat is not due only to the environs from which they have come but also due to being apprehended and withheld from caring parents in many cases. Representative is also mandated to support children, youth and families who need help in dealing with the child-serving system, provide oversight to the Ministry of Children and Family Development and advocate for improvements to the child-serving system.The United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child are the inspiring foundation for the work of the Representative with reference to several values among which are,
• Children have a right to be protected and kept safe
• Families are the best environment for raising a child
• Parents and extended family have the primary responsibility for a child
• Decisions made about a child should include their own views and input
For more information on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, please visit the UNICEF web site.
To view the articles of the convention with illustrations by First Nations and Aboriginal artists, click here.