This week is BC Child and Youth in Care Week, organized by our friends at Federation of BC Youth in Care Networks. Young people in care advocated for this special week so their brothers and sisters can grow up feeling celebrated for their diverse talents and accomplishments, surrounded by a supportive community who stands with them. They also wanted to raise awareness about the barriers they face and fight the stigma that comes with being a “foster kid.” The goal of the week is to raise social awareness and shift negative perceptions; to recognize children and youth in care, like all young people, as individuals with talents, contributions, and dreams.
We were thrilled that one of our youth in care received a BCCYIC Week award from Katrine Conroy; Minister of Children and Family Development! Ceda, age 16, was nominated by her social worker Angelle Colli, who describes Ceda as “an amazing young lady with lots of hopes and dreams she is working towards.” One of Ceda’s goals is to join the military and she has been working extremely hard academically and personally to make that dream come true. Angelle describes Ceda has a very caring person. “Ceda will encourage other youth and reach out to them if they are struggling and offer support.” Congratulations to Ceda and Angelle!
We had a contest asking kids to draw or paint their feelings of being a child in care. We received many excellent entries, and the winners were chosen by a panel of Xyólheméylh Board members and our Elders Advisory Council. The first prize submission was turned into a greeting card for the Agency which was sent along with team messages and a subway giftcard to all our children and youth in our care. Congratulations to Dustin for his amazing artwork and message.
In other BCCYIC Week news, we also shared submissions from the art contest we organized with children and youth in care last month with our colleagues at the Provincial Office at the BC Ministry for Children and Family Development. They loved them so much that Minister Katrine Conroy chose one submission to be featured on a graduation card that she will be sending to all Children in Care in the province. Congratulations to Lucas J. who titled his artwork “Opportunity to Fly.” According to his social worker, Reiza Melsom, Lucas was very excited to have his artwork chosen by the Minister.
Thank you to all our staff, caregiver support parents, families and communities who continue to support our children in care celebrating and honoring their awesomeness!!