THE Select Standing Committee on Children and Youth has released a report on its review of the Representative for Children and Youth Act.
The report describes the committee’s 28 recommendations intended to clarify and address gaps in the representative’s mandate and to modernize and strengthen the language and provisions in the act. The report also highlights how the act needs to be updated to better align with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and support reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.
“We heard that some children and youth are unable to get the support they need because of gaps and limitations in the representative’s mandate,” said Jinny Sims, committee chair, on Wednesday. “The committee recommends targeted changes so the representative can better advocate for vulnerable children, youth, young adults and their families.”
Mike Bernier, deputy chair, said: “The representative plays a critical role in providing oversight of programs and services in the child- and youth-serving system. The committee identified several areas where the act could be strengthened to support this important work.”
Sims added: “Committee members also acknowledge the importance of including Indigenous perspectives in the act. Our recommendations call for additional consultation to determine how the act and the representative can best support Indigenous rights.”
The act requires the committee undertake a review at least once every five years. In the course of its work, the committee:
* received briefings from the representative and government officials;
* accepted written input from organizations and individuals;
* invited organizations to make presentations at a public hearing; and
* received responses to an online survey.
Further information about the committee, including its report, is available online: https://www.leg.bc.ca/cmt/cay