Reaching Out: Fostering Change in Abbotsford

In the East Fraser Region there are currently about 850 youth in care, 66 of whom will age out in 2015. Supporting these young people is achievable, and a topic that participants from the Abbotsford area convened to discuss at The Reach Gallery Museum on May 25 for our fourth Fostering Change Community Conversation.

Our Community Conversation process is designed to get communities talking and learning from each other. Over the course of these dialogues, we’ve sharpened our Asset Mapping process to get participants thinking about the support – and gaps – that exist for youth in the community.

Building 24/7 relationships and resources

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We heard from participants that young people need safe places – preferably one-stop-shops. Youth ageing out of care may not know what services they need or how to access them.

Relationships were also identified as vital. We heard a need to move beyond providing support between 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday. How can we create relationships and resources that are accessible 24/7?

Building an inclusive, collaborative system

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We listened to participants share their desire for a meaningful shift in the entire system. More rounded care, changes in legislation, more inclusive support systems, and a multifaceted funding approach that reflects all aspects of a young person’s life and the variety of organizations that support them.

We admire communities that collaborate

We were impressed with the work of the community in Abbotsford at connecting social and community services. We admire communities that collaborate, and look forward to sharing these learnings with other communities. 

Thanks to our partners at BC’s Representative for Children and YouthFederation of BC Youth in Care NetworksMcCreary Centre SocietyFirstCall BC and the Public Guardian and Trustee for supporting this event.

Our last Community Conversation is June 16 at the Roundhouse Community Centre in Vancouver. Find out if there are any spaces left, and don`t forget to join the Fostering Change community.

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