The Child and Youth Advocate blog has moved!

Thank you for visiting First Call’s Child and Youth Advocate blog. We have moved!

To find the most up-to-date news on the child and youth sector – campaigns, issues, research, resources, opportunities and events – please visit us at firstcallbc.org/news

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First Call federal election toolkit – Vote to put children and youth first

Just in time to ask your candidates when they come knocking or to bring to your all-candidates’ meetings, First Call has released its 2015 Federal Election Toolkit. The toolkit supports individuals and community groups in their advocacy for legislation, policy and practice that put children and youth first in the October 2015 federal election. It is built around the 4 Keys to Success for Children and Youth and includes useful voting info and questions to ask candidates.

Thanks to First Call member organizations and allies with cross-sectoral expertise for contributing many of the facts, ideas and recommendations in the kit.

Download First Call’s election toolkit and share it with your networks.

Find a roundup of 2015 federal election toolkits and calls to action related to children and youth on the Child and Youth Advocate blog.

The Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) has also developed an advocacy toolkit to ensure that child and youth health issues are top of mind during this election campaign.

The CPS is asking all parties to commit to:

  • Establishing a Federal Commissioner for Children and Youth
  • Reducing child and youth poverty
  • Fully implementing Jordan’s Principle
  • Permanently reinstating the Interim Federal Health Program for refugees

More information on these priority issues, as well as tools and resources can be found in English and French

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First Call 2016 BC budget consultation

September 21, Adrienne Montani presented on behalf of the First Call coalition to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services regarding the 2016 provincial budget. In her presentation, entitled Will BC’s 2016 Budget Put Children and Youth First?, Adrienne highlighted what a budget that addresses the needs of BC’s children and youth would look like.

You can find First Call’s written submission online at bit.ly/1iKKTIX

We strongly encourage you to make a submission and to echo our recommendations (if you haven’t already done so). Here’s the website where you can make a video, audio or written submission. The deadline for submissions is midnight Thursday, October 15, 2015.

If your organization has already made a submission please send us a copy so we can circulate it.

See also the Budget 2016 Consultation paper by the Minister of Finance.

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Take the Raise the Rates’ 4th annual Welfare Food Challenge – November 3-9

First Call is a member of the Raise the Rates coalition. They’re looking for participants for their fourth annual Welfare Food Challenge, which highlights how inadequate current social assistance and disability rates are to live on. It runs later than usual this year because of the federal election, from November 3-9.

Last year First Call Steering Committee member Derek Gent and his family participated, you can read their thoughts on the experience here.

Participants will only eat the food they can buy with $21. Why $21?

Find more info and sign up at welfarefoodchallenge.org

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CPABC navigator service for youth with disabilities aging out of support

Youth living with disabilities need much help looking to the future to plan to attain their own hopes and dreams. Too often, parents and individuals do not realize the sparsity of available services. An early start will help people find the supports they need so that entering adulthood can be as hopeful for a person with a disability as it is for their fellow graduates.

To support youth in transition, the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC (CPABC) is expanding its community connector services to include assistance for parents and youth transitioning to adult services. Jeanne Morton will be acting as navigator, helping you to find and coordinate resources. To access navigator services, call the CPABC office 1-800-663-0004 or 604-408-9484 or email Jeanne directly at jeanne@bccerebralpalsy.com

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Brain studies highlight importance of anti-poverty policies for children

New studies using brain scan technology vividly illustrate the harm associated with growing up poor. These findings underscore the importance of policies to improve poor children’s environments, scientists say.

Children living in poverty had an average of 7 to 10 percent less grey matter in the frontal lobe, temporal lobe, and hippocampus — areas of the brain tied to learning and educational functioning — than children above 150 percent of the poverty line, according to the latest study, from the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Read the entire post from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Source: CSRL E-news

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Stats Can: Bisphenol A and child and youth behaviour

A Statistics Canada study raises concern about a common chemical, bisphenol A (BPA), found in most plastic products and its impact on children and youth behaviour.

“Results: Children aged 6 to 8 had higher BPA concentrations than did older children and youth. Concentrations were significantly higher among children and youth exposed to second-hand smoke every day or almost every day and those in low or lower-middle income households. Higher BPA concentrations were associated with hyperactivity among girls and lower prosocial behaviour among boys.”

Read the study

Source: HELP E-news

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