Since 1982, The Federation has been a strong representative voice for BC’s social care sector. We bring forward issues and concerns—as well as possible solutions—on behalf of our members, their clients, and the broader community services sector. We engage in collaborative action with our allies and partners to overcome challenges and improve community practice, programs, and public policy in British Columbia.
With a volunteer board, a small staff team, and many issues to address, we choose our areas of focus carefully. At times we will take the lead on an issue. At other times we offer support to another organization better suited to the work required. And we do our best to inform and support our members when there are engagement and advocacy opportunities that they can get involved in.
Below are a few such opportunities. If you have any questions or want assistance from The Federation team, please reach out to us.
Liz Barnett, Interim Executive Director
Rebecca Lang, Associate Executive Director
If you would like an overview of the Ministry of Children and Family Development’s transformation of the child and family services system or updates on priority initiatives, you can bookmark the MCFD Transformation page.
It also includes an overview of the key strategies the ministry is focused on to achieve the goals of its service plan, links to the most recent Indigenous Child and Family Service Newsletter, and information about changes being proposed for specific policies, practices, regulations and/or legislation.
Help make hitting children illegal
For many years, child advocates, experts, and organizations have undertaken a campaign to have Ottawa repeal Section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada—the section that permits a defence against charges of physical punishment of children. This section puts Canada at odds with over 60 different countries that have now outlawed such punishment.
More than a dozen bills over the past few decades have sought to repeal or amend Section 43 and failed. Another piece of legislation that would remove this section, Bill C-273, is in the House of Commons and could finally make this happen if it gains enough cross-party support.
Repealing Section 43 is Call to Action #6 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Pediatricians, psychiatrists, child and youth mental health experts, and many others are also in support.
If you would like to lend your support, find out who your Member of Parliament is and write them a letter encouraging them to support Bill C-273. If you would like a template of an email to send, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Priorities for the next BC budget
The Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services holds an annual consultation on the provincial budget to seek feedback and recommendations from citizens and organizations. The Federation makes a submission and presentation each year and encourages our members to do the same.
Pre-registration for the Budget 2024 Consultations is now open. The committee is inviting British Columbians and organizations to indicate their interest in presenting to the Committee by March 30, 2023. The consultation meetings will take place in June. Additional opportunities to provide input will be available in late May.
We encourage all Federation members to consider presenting to the committee and sharing your priorities for next year’s provincial budget. If you would like assistance preparing your presentation or recommendations, The Federation assists members in doing so. Contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to begin this process.
Indigenous Child Welfare Director Role
In collaboration with Indigenous Peoples, the Ministry of Children and Family Development is developing an Indigenous Child Welfare Director role within the ministry. This new role will oversee child welfare services for Indigenous children, support the goal of reducing the number of Indigenous children in care, and guide the ministry in upholding Indigenous jurisdiction.
They are inviting Indigenous peoples, partners, and organizations to help design the Director’s roles and responsibilities. To participate or learn more contact Wendy Norris at email@example.com.