On May 14, 2015, we visited the Evergreen Cultural Centre in Coquitlam for the second Fostering Change Community Conversation. These dialogues are designed to get communities talking and learning from each other, while identifying local people, resources and connections for young people transitioning from foster care.
Close to 30 participants from the Tri-Cities area joined us on a sunny spring afternoon. Like in our Surrey Community Conversation, we used our Asset Mapping tool to identify community supports that already exist for young people.
Joined up thinking
We challenged participants to think broadly about challenges and opportunities. How can we ensure that young people are connected to people and resources that could help make their path to adulthood a little better? And who else should we be talking to in order to make this happen?
We heard that there’s a lack of political will to improve the lives of young people. That there are mental health challenges associated with not having safe, secure and consistent relationships during youth.
Participants also told us many children have come through trauma that will affect how they approach, manage and handle daily situations. From a lack of love to physical abuse – there are many overlapping issues to deal with.
We learnt that engaging the broader community is important.
We learnt that engaging the broader community is important. That we should be asking businesses and community organizations to support with expertise, training, work opportunities, etc.
Finding our way
We loved the energy of the Coquitlam audience. The crowd provided the enthusiasm and knowledge we need to really stay excited about the direction we’re taking with Fostering Change.
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