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Re-launch of the Centre for Safe Schools and Communities Speaker’s Bureau!

The University of the Fraser Valley’s Centre for Safe Schools and Communities has updated the Speaker’s Bureau for your convenience.

The Speakers Bureau is a community resource that lists more than 70 provincially accessible workshops featuring topics related to safety, health, social responsibility, and social justice to support the well-being of children and youth in B.C. Each resource is organized by category and listed by title, with the speaker/organizations name, a brief description and contact information. We welcome your suggestions to improve and expand this listing. This collection is a living document and therefore subject to on-going revision.

 See the new and improved Speaker’s Bureau here!


New Fact Sheet on Parental Separation and Young Children Just Released

“Parental Separation of Young Children” reviews the importance of maintaining the parent – child bond amid situations where attachment can become strained. This may occur as a result of parental incarceration, divorce, military deployment, or even death. Secure parent-child attachments provide children with internal resources to support their social and emotional well-being highlighting the importance of a caregiver’s ability to be sensitive and responsive to a child’s distress.

Find the fact sheet here http://blogs.ufv.ca/cssc/fact-sheets/

New Report on Youth Substance Abuse

Just released by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, Childhood and Adolescent Pathways to Substance Use Disorders investigates the different ways in which youth can be positively and negatively influenced to make decisions regarding substance use. Focusing on the influences of peers and family, the report highlights that prevention needs to occur early in life including young children. Locating the potential risk factors is regarded as a primary concern when addressing substance use along with finding healthier alternatives. The report confirms that substance abuse prevention and intervention needs to be a community effort to help youth in making correct decisions

Read the full report here

On the Rights of Indigenous Children

 The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (article 27) establishes the right of every person, in community with other members of his or her group, to enjoy his or her own culture, to profess and practise his or her own religion or to use his or her own language. The right is both individual and collective and is an important recognition of the collective traditions and values in indigenous cultures.

The Convention of the Rights of the Child (article 30) is quite clear: in those States in which ethnic, religious, or linguistic minorities or persons of indigenous origin exist, a child belonging to such a minority or who is indigenous shall not be denied the right, in community with other members of his or her group, to enjoy his or her own culture, to profess and practise his or her own religion or to use his or her own language.

In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Declaration provides important guidance on the rights of indigenous peoples, including specific reference to the rights of indigenous children in a number of areas.

Since then, the United Nations Committee on the Right of the Child has had the opportunity to reflect on the rights of indigenous children and has published its General Comment No. 11 (2009) – Indigenous children and their rights under the Convention. The Committee reminded State parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child that they should provide meaningful opportunities for indigenous and non-indigenous children to understand and respect different cultures, religions, and languages.

States should always ensure that the principle of the best interests of the child is the paramount consideration in any alternative care placement of indigenous children. They must pay due regard to the desirability of continuity in the child’s upbringing and to the child’s its General Comment No. 14 on the right of the child to have his or her best interests taken as a primary consideration provided more detailed guidance on the application of this crucial human rights concept.

When indigenous children are overrepresented among children separated from their family environment, as they are in British Columbia, specially targeted measures should be adopted in consultation with indigenous communities in order to reduce the number of indigenous children in alternative care and prevent the loss of their cultural identity. Specifically, if an indigenous child is placed in care outside his or her community, the State must take special measures to ensure that the child can maintain his or her cultural identity.

This information has been provided by Yvon Dandurand, Centre’s Associate and faculty member in the School of Criminology and Criminal justice at UFV. Yvon has many years of experience working with the United Nations as part of his commitment to improving the rights of children in Canada and Internationally.

For resources and links to the fact sheet, click here

Did You Know? New Model Created by The Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

The Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, led by UFV’s Yvon Dandurand, created a new draft model named “Model Strategies and Practical Measures on the Elimination of Violence Against Children in the Field of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice” which was released on May 16th, 2014.

This systemically oriented model aims to provide a friendly and interactive approach for criminal justice practitioners when working with children and youth in the criminal justice system. It attempts to recognize the unique circumstances presented when children come in contact with the system. Designed as a guide for practitioners, the model provides a way in which to deliver a high standard of crime prevention and human rights advocacy. The hope is that the model will lead to greater consistency in the application of the law and policies for interacting with children.

More information regarding the model strategies can be found here

Information about the June 13 meeting can be found here

New Article on Cyber Bullying Released

The Department of Justice has released a new edition of the Victims of Crime Digest which contains information regarding the current information on cyber bulling and also where current understanding of the topic can be improved. The article concluded that while there is legislature regarding cyber-bullying through federal, provincial and municipal governments there is a distinct lack of understanding of the subject. This lack of understanding ranges from a concrete legal definition of cyber bulling and also regarding other issues such as the connection between cyber-bullying and suicidal ideation.
To read more about this and to review recommendations for schools, communities, and families view the article called Victims of Crime Research Digest click here

Children’s Rights in School: A survey for youth


The University of Ottawa, in partnership with Ryerson University, is working to develop a new way to approach anti-violence efforts in schools that is based on child rights.

As part of this project, they are inviting young people to participate in an online survey that will allow them to share their experience and perspectives, and to contribute to the understanding of the relationship between child rights and anti-violence efforts in schools.

To participate in the survey click here.


Prime Minister’s Awards for Teaching Excellence and for Excellence in Early Childhood Education

The Prime Minister’s Awards (PMA) forTeaching Excellence honour innovative elementary and secondary school teachers from across the country in all disciplines who instill in their students a love of learning while utilizing information and communications technologies to better equip their students with the skills needed to excel in a 21st century society. If you know a K-12 teacher or an early childhood educator who deserves to be recognized for their outstanding work, nominate them for a PMA award!

For more information click here.

Think Fun Camps coming this summer!

University of the Fraser Valley’s Philosophy Department, Vancouver’s Institute of Philosophy for Children, and the Centre for Safe Schools and Communities are working together to bring “fun” and “thinking” together with the Think Fun Camps! There will be three camps for each of the three weeks (9 camps altogether) starting on July 7th.  Think Fun Camps will equip youth with skills like problem solving to help children explore different ideas while thinking innovatively.

For more information on Think Fun Camps, please click here.

To view a flyer, click  here.

To view a brochure, click here

New Resource Sheet on Mental Health

A resource sheet featuring Canadian Mental Health Resources is now available on the Centre’s website! This summary sheet provides a list of the organizations that offer mental health resources and links for further information.

To see the resource sheet click here.