You have the right to be yourself, to be heard, to be healthy and to be safe. The Representative for Children and Youth has a dedicated team of advocates to help ensure your needs and interests are upheld. They work to make sure your case plan includes your voice, and that your views are heard and considered by decision-makers.
A hand through the system
Advocates are available to help with:
- Your rights and making sure they are respected
- Connections to programs and services available so that you thrive
- Providing support to speak up in a way that might solve your problem
- Being a part of discussions about the care and services you receive and the decisions made about you
- Transitions out of MCFD care
- Transitions for youth eligible for Community Living BC services
Young adults up to their 24th birthdays who have aged out of care and who are on or eligible for an Agreement with Young Adults (AYA), or who are on or eligible for a provincial post-secondary tuition waiver, can now work with RCY advocates if they need help or advice.
More information on how the Rep’s advocates can help is available here.
Case profiles of RCY advocacy for youth and families are available here.
Get in touch
You might be in a home that doesn’t feel right, be concerned about your transition out of MCFD care, feel like no one is listening to you, or be in a crisis. Advocates can help you explore possibilities for solutions, while making sure your rights are respected and your voice and views are considered.
What the Rep can’t do
The work done by the Office is effective, but has some limits. The Rep and advocates cannot:
- Override decisions made by MCFD or other organizations
- Speak in court for you
- Represent you in a custody or parental access case
- Provide child protection services
- Act on behalf of a young person in a Representation Agreement or application for Committeeship
MCFD complaint process for youth
MCFD has a complaint process in place to ensure that your voice is heard, and your needs are met. Advocates such as the RCY can help you make a complaint.
You can make a complaint to MCFD or a DAA if you:
- Need support or access to services.
- Need more help than you're getting.
- Didn't get the service you asked for.
- Were treated unfairly.
- Think nobody is listening to you.
- Don't know why something happened.
- Feel that your needs were not met, or your rights were ignored.
Email your complaint to MCF.Info@gov.bc.ca – include your name, city, email, phone number, what your concern or feedback is and how and when they can reach you.
Call and ask to speak with a complaints specialist – 1-877-387-7027.
Read more about MCFD’s complaints process here.
A community resource
The Representative has a team dedicated to youth outreach. The Indigenous Youth Leadership Team holds forums to engage with Indigenous youth in care throughout the province. The Social Media Youth Team advises and creates content for the Rep’s youth Facebook page (@RCYBCyouth) , youth Twitter account (@RCYBCyouth), Instagram account and YouTube account and produces media such as Louis’ Welcome to My World podcast.
Both teams have occasional job postings for youth in and from care.
The Representative has put together a self-advocacy guide to help you get your needs met. You can read it online here.