The B.C. Government has introduced legislation to create a Representative for Children and Youth, acting on a key recommendation from the Hughes Report.
Under Bill 34, the Representative for Children and Youth Act, the representative will have the right to any information in the custody of a public body necessary for the performance of his/her duties. The representative’s role will be to:
- Support, assist, inform and advise children and their families;
- Increase the accountability of ministries and other public bodies, by monitoring, reviewing and auditing the provision of designated services; and
- Review, investigate and report on critical injuries and deaths of children in the child welfare system.
Where children and their families are receiving services through designated programs, the representative will provide information and advice about those services and advocate on behalf of those represented.
If a child who is in a foster home, group home or facility or who is receiving services from another designated service provider asks to communicate with the representative, the service provider must immediately forward that request to the representative.