Susan Russell published Fostering Change's Letter to The Premier 2021 in Our Work 2021-07-14 15:11:02 -0700
We regularly write to The Premier to remind him of his past commitments to ensure that support reaches all youth, not just a few.Read more
This letter was consulted on by the community. It is centered to the needs of the community. Thank you to the Fostering Change Youth Team for continuously informing our advocacy to ensure all youth leaving care are supported.
On October 24th 2018, we wrote to secure the commitment that "the AYA program with the goal of offering supports to all youth aging out of care who need it, and not just a few. On June 26th 2020, we wrote an ask to further increase investments in the community.
Check out our most current letter, sent July 7th here.
Susan Russell published National Council of Youth in Care Advocates in Our Work 2021-07-14 14:08:56 -0700
Since March 2019, the National Youth in Care Advocates gathered networks of youth in care and youth alumni from care to increase and coordinate their advocacy efforts to create National Standards for youth transitions from care.On June 23rd we wrote to the Minister of Child and Family Development, Mitzi Dean about the our best practices related to youth transitions including National Standards and what it means to age out of care supported.Read more
Check our letter to the Minister here.
This campaign is meant to meet you where you are at!That could look like:- When attending the meetings, and events attend in the way that speaks to you.- Camera's for zoom meetings are optional, intentional participation is encouraged.- If you have an issue with the way anything happens, you are very much encouraged to approach me and we can create a container to chat together that's grounded in respect and kindness.
What does a campaign organizer do?My role is to offer you activities that build your capacity in this social movement.
What does Fostering Change do?
Our collective goal is to change the landscape of transitions from care in BC through lobbying activities.
What is the campaign asking for?
-An automatic enrollment into Agreements with Young Adults post-majority support program upon leaving government care. (Universal support)
-Dependable, price indexed financial resources that pay rent, food, hygiene, tuition and start up costs. (Comprehensive support)
Are campaign activities paid?
Fostering Change as a campaign offers honorarium to support your attendance in team meetings, workshops, presentations and relevant peer networking
How much will I receive?
You will be supported in team meetings and workshops at living wage per hour
i.e 3 hour workshop (3 hours = $60)
Not every activity is a paid activity, we will be clear on which ones those are before you attend.
How do I get the money?
We offer several ways to get you the support we offer!
- in person drop off (After August 2021 due to COVID restrictions)
Can I have my meeting support money ahead of the meeting?
We do not offer this as an option.
Can you send me food? Or lend me money?
We do not offer the option to send food through Skip, DoorDash or any other food delivery service. We also do not offer the option of grocery or finance drop off before meetings or any other time.
We are happy to point you in the direction of a youth serving agency that might be able to help.
At Fostering Change we believe all youth should look forward to their 19th birthday.
Fostering Change is focused on improving outcomes for youth leaving government care. The 2 pillar approach of Youth Development and Policy Advocacy create a unique climate of change for all youth in/from care. We are supported in our work by First Call Child and Youth Advocacy Society and together, we are committed as ever to improving the lives of children, youth and their families through good public policy.
It's grassroots, and in British Columbia, Canada, on traditional, unceded territories of the many Coast Salish Peoples.
Our role is to engage youth in advocacy through capacity building workshops, peer network building, awareness raising and through advocacy action. Our focus demographic of youth we seek to engage are youth (under the age of 30) who have lived expertise in government care, all care statuses accepted. Fostering Change is a non-membership required, non-partisan and peace based campaign that lobbies to create change through various mediums.
Youth are leaving care unsupported
- Over 40% of homeless youth have been part of the child welfare system
- 45% of youth from care aged out without any high school credential (2016/2017)
- 65% of BC youth in care are Indigenous, yet they make up only 10% of the under 19 year old's in the general population.
- Educational, economic, social, and holistic wellness outcomes for many youth aging out of care are drastically lower when compared to their peers not in care.
Adequate and reliable - the support British Columbians provide their children
• An automatic enrollment into supports for all youth in and from care regardless of time spent in care, or care status.
• Guaranteed and equitable access to financial assistance - including start up costs for independent living, tuition waivers, and safe dignified housing.
We attracted over 17,000 petition signatures from allies like you demonstrating that the public want to see action on this issue by government, business, and the community.
Since 1987,75 reports centered on youth in care and the ‘aging out’ of care process have been published across Canada, amounting to over 435 concrete recommendations for change to child protection policy and practice targeted to the transition to adulthood for youth in care. Check out the reports and recommendations in summary document "A Long Road Paved with Solutions" complied by Dr. Melanie M. Doucet.
Connect with Campaign Organizer Susan Russell-Csanyi to learn more ([email protected]) (604-970-5462)
Fostering Change is a campaign hosted by First Call Child and Youth Advocacy Society. First Call does not sell, trade, or rent our mailing lists or contact information.
- For the past seven years First Call has been housed at Vancity Community Foundation (VCF) and we thank them for their invaluable support.
Overall, our toolkit below is meant to lift youth voice and bring awareness to the issues and solutions to support the 700 youth who age out of care in British Columbia. We applaud the continuously courageous efforts of the youth who belong to the Fostering Change Team, and those who took the time to share/contribute to the toolkit.
We hope this provides you the tools and confidence to hold the candidates accountable to their promise of improving transition supports.
Policy advocacy is one of many kinds of advocacy! At Fostering Change we are focused on changing the laws that affect the lives of youth transitioning from government care across British Columbia. This means that we engage in activities that will get decision makers (typically - Ministers, Assistant Deputy Ministers, and MLAs) attention so they can change the fine print that makes eligibility to post majority services, like Agreements with Young Adults, inaccessible to most youth leaving care.
2 Step Approach
Team development - activities to increase your confidence in advocacy.
- team meetings to set up campaign activities
- time to connect with peers from care
- celebration of each other and the work we do together
- workshops to increase knowledge of policy levels, writing skills and more!
Everyone who works with the campaign has lived expertise in the child welfare system.
We invited all youth (anyone under 30) and with lived expertise in care (all care statuses) to join us!
Policy Advocacy - peaceful, intentional lobbying.
Everything we offer for activities is connected to the change we want to see using:
- Awareness raising activities (rally's, public events)
- Policy Solutions Day (a day of meeting with provincial decision makers)
- Letter's to decision makers, media interviews, writing for paper
We are not a front-line youth serving organization, but exist to serve policy change so that all youth will leave care supported
and looking forward to their 19th birthday.
First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition & Fostering Change
First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition supports the Fostering Change Campaign's staff and youth team to do it's work. They also house 8 other campaigns, like Living Wage for Families and the Child Poverty report card. All campaigns serve to change the policy that serve British Columbian children and youth.
First Call is a non-partisan coalition of over 108 provincial and regional organizations who have united their voices to put children and youth first in BC through public education, community mobilization, and public policy advocacy.
Coalition members work together to make sure all BC’s children and youth benefit from the 4 Keys to Success for Children and Youth:
- A strong commitment to early childhood development
- Support in transitions from childhood to youth and adulthood (Fostering Change campaign)
- Increased economic equality
- Safe and caring communities
First Call's Vision
BC’s children and youth have the rights, opportunities and resources required to thrive.
First Call's Mission
To put BC’s children and youth first through public education, community mobilization and public policy advocacy.
Fostering Change is a campaign hosted by First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition. First Call does not sell, trade, or rent our mailing lists or contact information.
WE ARE EVERYWHERE is dedicated to the 1000 youth who age out of government care annually. The content of this book was created in part through community-engaged gatherings of art making, conversation, and inquiry based on the question: “What do I know now that I would tell my 19-year old self?” The extraordinary ordinary individuals you will meet in the book all have the shared experience of being in government care.
Inspired by the generosity of the individuals featured in this book and by the remarkable photographs of Sarah (a.k.a Emmet) Race. We are Everywhere is intended to be words of advice to youth who are still in care, but this book will challenge all its readers to reconsider the narrow story of those who survived government care.
The spirit of this collection of interviews is an invitation to us all; particularly to our 19-year-old selves, whether we experienced government care or not, to learn from the collective insights and wisdom of these generous and amazing people.
The online availability of We Are Everywhere was made possible by the generous support & mentorship of:
Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada: www.cafdn.org
McKellar & Martin Publishing: www.mckellarmartin.com
Bright Wing Media: www.brightwing.ca
Launch Pad Publishing: www.launchpadpub.com
A response from Minister Dean and Minister Chen on what they are doing to abolish child poverty in your community.Read more
Commitments that are echoed from the last provincial election that we are still waiting on to improve community outcomes.Read more
Have you ever been curious about who makes the decisions that affect you, their roles, accountability and your role as an advocate?Read more
Check out these colorfully engaging infographics!
Susan Russell published March Deadline - Extended Supports Policy Note in Our Work 2021-01-12 12:47:49 -0800
For the holiday season our team organized a themed card, and a policy note detailing how decision makers can best support their community of youth in/from care this, and all seasons.
Check out the letter TRRUST's Collective Impact of over of over 60 organizations and 250 members wrote to Kennedy Stewart, Mayor of Vancouver, in working to achieve system-wide improvements in the outcomes for youth transitioning out of government care in Vancouver, British Columbia.Read more
Do you have a question about Fostering Change?
- Some answers about the campaign and advocacy basics might be found here.
- We also encourage a flip through some of our shared research that might help answer questions about data - you can find that here.
- Check out what we've been up to in 2020 year here - it will help you know what to expect next year!
Couldn't find what you were looking for?
Contact Campaign Organizer - Susan Russell-Csanyi
This video was created to highlight the campaigns activities this year. We are so full of gratitude that we are fueled by youth, allies and advocates to take up the space to offer these opportunities!Read more
These graphics serve as a haunting reminder and to boost awareness about youth transitions. Check them out if you dare!Read more
Susan Russell published The Candidates Commitments to Youth Transitions in Our Work 2020-10-20 14:33:28 -0700
The BC NDP, BC Liberals Party and BC Greens Party were asked 4 questions about improving youth transitions.Read more
Check out the commitments here.