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First Call’s 2014 BC Child Poverty Report Card

new1First Call has released BC’s annual report card on child poverty. It found that one in five BC children live in poverty. Disappointingly, this is the same rate as when First Call started tracking child poverty rates nearly two decades ago. In fact, since 1989, there has been an increase in BC’s child poverty rate from 16% to 21% in 2012.

This year also marks 25 years since the House of Common’s resolution was unanimously agreed upon to end child poverty in Canada by the year 2000. While the statistics in the report are dismal, the report card has received much attention and provides hope that British Columbians care about the issue of child poverty and are ready for government to take action.

To read the report card, click here.

New Canadian Journal on Children’s Rights

newStates have the duty to take appropriate measures to effectively protect children from all forms of violence. As we are celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the United Nations General Assembly adopts a new practical instrument to assist States in giving full effect to the provisions of article 19 of the Convention. Its focus is on the field of crime prevention and criminal justice. This article introduces the new instrument, describes some of its main features and relates them to many of the difficult challenges a society faces in preventing violence against children. Yvon Dandurand, Centre’s Associate and Faculty Member in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, authored this journal.

To read this journal, click here.

New Fact Sheet Release! “Bars that Cause Scars”

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The new fact sheet examines children with justice involved parents. Specifically, it provides a summary of some of the challenges children endure as a result of their parent’s involvement in the criminal justice system. For example, some major obstacles for children who endure disruption arise from: child welfare and protection issues; developmental challenges including trauma; relationship strain between parent and child; educational set-backs; the effects of stigma; and increased risk for future criminal justice system contact. This fact sheet explores these obstacles and concludes by offering suggestions for service providers and criminal justice professionals to help alleviate this problem.

To read the fact sheet, click here.

New Report Release! In the Best Interests of the Child: Strategies for Recognizing and Supporting Canada’s At-Risk Population of Children with Incarcerated Parents

The report, In the Best Interests of the Child: Strategies for Recognizing and Supporting Canada’s At-Risk Population of Children with Incarcerated Parents (by Amanda McCormick, Hayli Millar and Glen Paddock) is now available.

Little_Boy_Holding_BarsWorking in collaboration with faculty associates from UFV’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice and School of Social Work, the Centre for Safe Schools and Communities has developed a best practices model for responding to children who have a parent in the criminal justice system. This report examines current tools and strategies used in BC and other jurisdictions in Canada and internationally to intervene and/or prevent the cycle of criminal justice contact for children of an incarcerated parent, to reduce their risk of involvement with Child Protection Services, and to aid their resiliency. An expert working group review occurred on December 5th, 2013 to raise awareness of this issue among government, NGO’s, academics, and students. This completed report forms a basis for continuing to work together in communities to support a largely invisible demographic of children and youth in BC.

To download the report, click here.

To read the news release, click here.

New Fact Sheet on Parental Separation and Young Children Just Released

“Parental Separation of Young Children” emphasizes 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/

 

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!

http://blogs.ufv.ca/cssc/speakers-bureau/

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

 
 

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