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The Society for Children and Youth of BC (SCY) is a unique provincial organization dedicated to improving the well-being of children and youth in British Columbia.

Since 1974, the Society has focused on providing a strong voice representing children and youth. We provide support to adult duty bearers to improve the well-being of children and youth in British Columbia.

Using the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as a foundation, SCY has a track record of creating and delivering programs that have motivated change in research, legislation, policy, and practice in Canada.

Why Child Rights?

SCY bases our work on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) because it reflects a well researched global consensus on what childhood should be. It outlines the minimum standards for the healthy development of children and youth. When Canada ratified the UNCRC in 1991, it expressed its willingness to be bound by the Convention and uphold the rights enshrined within it.

Youth Advisory Committee

As a youth serving organization, ensuring young voices are meaningfully involved in our leadership is of central importance to us. Our Youth Advisory Committee is a paid group of young people that help steer our programs and priorities. This group of youth represents many different geographic regions of BC, racial, cultural, and gender identities, and a wide array of lived experiences. We are very grateful for their service to our organization.

Interested in joining the Youth Advisory Committee? We accept applications on an annual basis. Contact us to learn more!

Our Vision

A British Columbia where children and youth are seen, heard and valued.  

Our Mission

To improve the well-being and resilience of children and youth in BC through the advancement of their civic, political, economic, social, cultural and legal rights. 

SCY’s Rationale

The Society for Children and Youth of BC (SCY) recognizes that adult duty bearers need to advocate for the rights of children and youth of BC as listed in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in order to improve their well-being.

SCY’s Priorities

  • Child and Youth Rights 
  • Child and Youth Friendly Communities 
  • Social Justice 
  • Organizational Resilience 

Anti-Racism

SCY is committed to the work of dismantling racist and colonialist systems, which is not separate from the realization of children’s rights, but deeply intertwined. Our location in BC on unceded territories is a reminder of the ongoing legacy of colonialism and the importance of working toward true reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.   

Staff

Stephanie Howell

Position: Executive Director
Email: stephanie (at) scyofbc.org
Categories: Staff

Stephanie Howell (she/her/hers) has worked in the non-profit sector for over 20 years, both on the front line and in administration. Before joining SCY, she worked as a consultant in research, program, and policy writing. She has a degree in Psychology from the University of Victoria. After living in Northern BC for many years, Stephanie and her family have now made Vancouver home.

Stephanie Howell

Executive Director

Stephanie Howell has worked in the non-profit sector for over...

Ildikó G. Kovács

Position: Child and Youth Friendly Communities Planner
Email: ildi (at) scyofbc.org
Categories: Staff

Ildikó has a background in Psychology, Environmental Studies and Community Planning, and comes to SCY with years of child and youth engagement and leadership experience as a researcher, support worker, mentor, and outdoor educator. Ildi is driven by a passion for human rights, sustainability, and social justice, and a desire to better understand how children’s changing social, cultural, and physical environments affect their health, well-being, and resilience. She integrates participatory planning methods with social and environmental justice education in community-based work and research.

Ildikó G. Kovács

Child and Youth Friendly Communities Planner

Ildikó has a background in Psychology, Environmental Studies and Community...

Margie Sanderson

Margie Sanderson

Position: Operations Manager
Email: outreach (at) scyofbc.org
Categories: Staff

Margie (she/her/hers) has been passionate about advancing young people’s rights for as long as she can remember, dating back at least to age 9 when she rallied her classmates to petition for changes at their elementary school. She has a particular interest in child-inclusive design, and a background working with youth in educational contexts, including 3 years on staff at a democratic free school. She has led classes, workshops and discussion groups on children’s rights for youth and adults. Outside of work she enjoys exploring Vancouver on her bike and is always planning her next outdoor adventure.

Margie Sanderson

Operations Manager

Margie has been passionate about advancing young people’s rights for...

Suzette Narbonne

Position: Managing Child and Youth Lawyer
Email: CYLC (at) scyofbc.org
Categories: Staff

Suzette Narbonne was called to the Manitoba bar in 1989 and began her career in The Pas with Legal Aid Manitoba. As counsel she travelled to isolated First Nations communities, conducting free legal advice clinics and litigating for her clients in criminal and family law cases– often in makeshift courts convened in band offices, recreation centres and hydro halls.

Since 1995, she has practiced law in BC.Suzette joined the Child and Youth Legal Centre at its inception in 2017, where she is managing lawyer. She has helped to shape the vision of child representation in BC. She has mentored many lawyers through the CBA, has served as a Governor for the Law Foundation of BC, as a Bencher of the Law Society of BC and as the Chair of the Legal Services Society. She currently serves on the executive of the children’s law section of the CBABC.

Suzette Narbonne

Managing Child and Youth Lawyer

Suzette Narbonne was called to the Manitoba bar in 1989...

Alicia Hubbard

Position: Child and Youth Lawyer
Email: CYLC (at) scyofbc.org
Categories: Staff

Alicia Hubbard (she/her/hers) graduated with distinction from the University of Victoria in 2004, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. Alicia studied law at the University of British Columbia, where she obtained a Juris Doctor degree with a specialization in Law and Social Justice in 2011.

While in law school, Alicia completed an internship with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. After completing law school, Alicia worked for West Coast Prison Justice Society advocating for prisoners in B.C. with regard to health care, human rights, and liberty issues.

In 2012, Alicia began articling at Verdurmen & Company in Salmon Arm, B.C. She was called to the bar in 2013 and continued practicing law in Salmon Arm and surrounding communities, primarily in the areas of child protection, criminal defence, and family law.  Alicia has represented clients in the Provincial Court of British Columbia and the Supreme Court of British Columbia.  Alicia began representing children at the Child and Youth Legal Centre in June 2018.

Alicia Hubbard

Child and Youth Lawyer

Alicia Hubbard graduated with distinction from the University of Victoria in...

Michael Zimmerman

Position: Managing Lawyer (Roster)
Email: CYLC (at) scyofbc.org
Categories: Staff

Michael Zimmerman began his legal career in New Brunswick. In 2014 he moved to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, where he oversaw the operations of provincial family justice services and the development and implementation of the Office of the Children’s Lawyer Program. Michael also directed the development/amendment of the following statutes: Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, Judicature Act, Maintenance Enforcement Act, Family Law Act, Adoption Act, Child Protection Act, Child and Youth Advocate Act as well as the corresponding reform of impacted policies and programs.

In 2020 Michael moved from Prince Edward Island to Bowen Island. He is a Family Law Lawyer and works as the Managing Lawyer (Roster) with the Child and Youth Legal Centre. Michael is currently the Communications Officer for the CBA Child and Youth Law Section and Co-Chair of the CBABC Children’s Law Section.

Michael Zimmerman

Managing Lawyer (Roster)

Michael began his legal career in New Brunswick. In 2014...

Headshot of Adrienne Edmunds

Adrienne Edmunds

Position: Child and Youth Lawyer
Email: [email protected]
Categories: Staff

Adrienne Edmunds joined the Child and Youth Legal Centre in 2021 after spending more than a dozen years with the Department of Justice & Public Safety in Newfoundland and Labrador as a Crown Prosecutor and as Director’s Counsel in child protection litigation. Prior to that, Adrienne was Counsel in Aboriginal Law Services for Justice Canada in the Prairie Region. She has been called to the bars of Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, and British Columbia.

Adrienne has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Family and Social Relations from the University of Guelph with a focus on lifespan development and family systems theory, and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of British Columbia. Adrienne has also received her Master of Laws from Osgoode Hall, York University in Family Law.

A Labrador Inuit woman, Adrienne spent much of her career working among Indigenous issues, communities, and families including regularly providing justice services to remote First Nations reserves and Inuit communities. Adrienne was a long-standing Bencher for the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, where she served on the Access to Justice and the Indigenous Education and Action Committees. Adrienne also volunteered for many years on the Western Hemisphere Committee of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, and currently serves on the national board for Girl Guides of Canada.  She has regularly presented across Canada and abroad on leadership development, non-formal education, Indigenous legal issues, gender equality, and child protection.

Adrienne is passionate about ensuring kids feel seen and heard as their families move through intimidating court processes, and empowering kids to develop self agency and exercise voice and choice in shaping their own lives and the world around them.

Adrienne Edmunds

Child and Youth Lawyer

Adrienne Edmunds joined the Child and Youth Legal Centre in...

Susan Lealh

Position: Senior Legal Assistant
Email: CYLC (at) scyofbc.org
Categories: Staff
Susan (she/her/hers) has a background in legal studies and comes from working at a law firm. She has over 5 years of experience as a Legal Assistant handling a wide range of administrative tasks and has also participated in a variety of professional development courses related to family and children’s law matters as well as trauma-informed practice. Seeking to make a meaningful impact with her career, Susan joined the Child and Youth Legal Centre shortly after its inception in 2017. Outside of work Susan enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and her German Shepherd, Dre.

Susan Lealh

Senior Legal Assistant

Susan has a background in legal studies and comes from...

Zoe Howell

Position: Project Coordinator
Email: [email protected]
Categories: Staff

Zoe (she/her/hers) is a community planner working at the intersections of community building, social justice, and child and youth advocacy. She is passionate about addressing urban inequities and generating responsive decision-making that builds engaged, resilient, and healthy communities for children and youth. Zoe has a particular interest in affordable housing, child and youth friendly community planning, food systems, and Indigenous planning.

Zoe has experience working at the community-level and with local governments in outreach, engagement, and policy development. Zoe has a Master of Community and Regional Planning from the University of British Columbia, with a specialization in social planning and policy for inclusive communities. Zoe also holds a BA in sociology and psychology from the University of British Columbia Okanagan.

Zoe Howell

Project Coordinator

Zoe (she/her/hers) is an aspiring community planner working at the...

Mario Parent

Position: Child and Youth Advocate
Email: CYLC (at) scyofbc.org
Categories: Staff

With over 10 years of experience in child and youth work he’s had the honour of serving the community in a variety of roles. Mario comes with a background in administrative support for not-for-profits, and Indigenous land-based cultural education. Driven by commitments to uphold anti-oppressive and decolonial values Mario takes pride in engaging his practice with Indigenous guiding principles and frameworks. Beyond work Mario enjoys music and spending time with his cat Finn.

Mario Parent

Child and Youth Advocate

Mario is currently obtaining a bachelor of arts at UBC...

Zain Abdulla

Position: Articling Student
Email: [email protected]
Categories: Staff
Zain (she/her/hers) is an Articling Student at the Child and Youth Legal Centre, after having spent a year working as a Legal Advocate at the Centre. She earned her BCL/JD degrees from McGill University and holds an MA in human rights law from SOAS University of London. Zain has represented clients challenging their involuntary detention in psychiatric facilities and is currently representing clients in family law and family policing matters.

Before joining the Child and Youth Legal Centre, she worked with organisations including Access Pro Bono, Atira Women’s Resource Society, and Nunavut Legal Aid. Zain’s practice is informed by values of decolonisation, anti-racism, intersectional feminism, harm-reduction, and self-determination. She is deeply passionate about access to justice and empowering her clients by advocating with and for them. Zain is bilingual in English and French.

Zain Abdulla

Articling Student

Zain comes to SCY with a law degree from McGill...

Chrissy Kendrick

Position: Social Worker
Email: [email protected]
Categories: Staff
I graduated from UBC with a master’s degree in social work in 2006. I have spent my social work career, thus far, working in health care and victim services. I am thrilled to be joining the SCY team and to given the opportunity to support children and youth whom are impacted by the legal system.
I am originally from Victoria and I moved to Vancouver in 2002. When I’m not working I love to be spending time with my family camping, preferably on one of the beautiful Gulf Islands.

Chrissy Kendrick

Social Worker

I graduated from UBC with a master’s degree in social...

Photo of Janice Seguit

Janice Seguit

Position: Legal Assistant
Email: [email protected]
Categories: Staff

I studied in a legal assistant program and worked at a law firm for almost 2 years. I joined the Society to advocate for the children, that they have a voice and can be heard. As I have my own child, I want her voice to be heard and to live in a society that protects her rights to grow up in a safe and healthy environment. My interests mostly focus on making memories with my daughter, doing things like watching movies together, going for a walk, and travelling if we can.

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Janice Seguit

Legal Assistant

I studied in a legal assistant program and worked at...

Therese Narbonne

Position: Roster Admin Manager
Email: CYLC (at) scyofbc.org
Categories: Staff

Therese Narbonne received her Masters of Education, at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON.  She has a background in management, program planning and evaluation, data management and child development.  During her time as an educator and administrator, Therese participated in various committees and initiatives to support and promote indigenous or vulnerable student populations. Her goal was for students who attended public school to see themselves represented in the staff and school environment.  Therese is passionate about safeguarding children and youth’s wellness and amplifying their voice. During her two-year term as President of the Board of Directors of the Phoenix Centre for Children and Youth, in Renfrew County, she established the role of a youth director.  Therese’s experience in the BC legal system has been as an office assistant and in various contractual roles for SCY.  Therese is excited to be a part of the dynamic Children and Youth Legal Centre team. 

In her spare time, Therese’s mental wellness activities include traveling, running, cross country skiing, designing clothing, volunteering, gardening, acting, zooming with family, trail walking with her dog, and being bossed by her cats.

 

Therese Narbonne

Roster Admin Manager

Therese Narbonne received her Masters of Education, at Queen’s University...

Soomin Yoon

Position: Intake Worker
Email: [email protected]
Categories: Staff
Soomin has a background in psychology, and comes from over 10 years of working with individuals, families, and children as a frontline worker/coach. Soomin joined the SCY in 2022 in the hopes of contributing to the society’s vision of children and youth being seen, heard, and valued.

Soomin Yoon

Intake Worker

Soomin has a background in psychology, and comes from over...

Prabrhaj Sidhu

Position: Legal Assistant
Email: cylc @ scyofbc.org
Categories: Staff

Prabhraj has a diploma in Legal Administration and has experience working in a Law Firm. She joined the Child and Youth Legal Centre because she passionately believes in the rights of young persons and vulnerable groups. In the past she has volunteered with various non-profit organizations, including shelter homes for children dealing with substance abuse.Outside of work she really enjoys cooking, gardening and travelling with her partner.

Prabrhaj Sidhu

Legal Assistant

Prabhraj has a diploma in Legal Administration and has experience...

Alice Park

Position: Education and Outreach Projects Coordinator
Email: [email protected]
Categories: Staff

Alice is a former lawyer and teacher who is passionate about advocating for children and youth. Her experiences working in both fields have given her a unique perspective on the challenges facing young people today, and she joins SCY in hopes of finding ways to support them. Alice believes that every young person should be given the chance to reach their full potential and she is committed to making a positive impact in their lives.

Outside work, Alice enjoys spending time with her family and friends, and particularly likes saying hello to spring in Vancouver each year.

Alice Park

Education and Outreach Projects Coordinator

Alice is a former lawyer and teacher who is passionate...

Sara Hernandez

Position: Administrative and Communications Coordinator
Email: [email protected]
Categories: Staff

Sara is a graphic designer and small business owner, interested in community engagement and advocacy against gender-based violence. In her spare time, you can find her running, playing rugby, or teaching ceramic workshops out of her Chinatown studio.

Sara Hernandez

Administrative and Communications Coordinator

Sara is a graphic designer and small business owner...

Priscilla Xu

Position: Finance Officer
Email: [email protected]
Categories: Staff

I have over 5 years of experience in Accounting and Finance providing bookkeeping services to both for-profit and non-profit organizations. I am very excited to join SCY and be able to contribute to a team that is dedicated to improving the well-being of children and youth in BC. In my free time, I enjoy going to the park with my family and friends, biking, and watching cooking shows.

Priscilla Xu

Finance Officer

I have over 5 years of experience in Accounting and...

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Carlie DeBuck

Position: Child and Youth Advocate
Email: [email protected]
Categories: Staff

Carlie (she/her) comes to SCY with a background in child and youth care. She has 8 years of child and youth work experience while employed by not-for-profit organizations. She’s had the honour of serving the community in various roles, most recently of which was working as a Youth Care Counsellor in a residential setting.

Carlie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in Sociology from the University of Guelph. In addition to holding an advanced diploma in Child and Youth Care from the Humber College Institute of Technology. She works from a person-centered/strength-based approach with a focus on both trauma-informed care and harm-reduction strategies. Her belief that individuals are the experts on their own lives, aligns with SCY’s vision of a British Columbia where children and youth are seen, heard, and valued.

Carlie DeBuck

Child and Youth Advocate

Carlie (she/her) comes to SCY with a background in child...

Naomi Pineda Ventura

Position: Intake Worker
Email: [email protected]
Categories: Staff

Naomi (she/her) comes to SCY with 2 years of experience facilitating consent based sexual education on behalf of VCH, in high schools across Vancouver. She firmly believes and strives towards creating and upholding safe spaces for both children and youth. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, singing, playing with her dog, and hitting the gym.

Naomi Pineda Ventura

Intake Worker

Naomi (she/her) comes to SCY with 2 years of experience...

Chantal Kirouac

Position: Project Coordinator - Walking School Bus
Email: [email protected]
Categories: Staff

Chantal joined SCY with a background in sports and recreation program/event planning and community development. She has experience working with children and seniors in various settings creating spaces for them to be involved in their community. With a passion for being active, Chantal has worked with various schools to offer students the opportunity to participate in sporting activities.

Chantal has a BA in Political Science and Sociology and has a passion for meeting the needs of communities. Outside of work, Chantal enjoys running, biking and swimming as she trains for her next triathlon, exploring the islands around Vancouver by bike, and spending time with her cat!

Chantal Kirouac

Project Coordinator - Walking School Bus

Chantal joined SCY with a background in sports and recreation...

Angela Lloyd

Position: Legal Assistant
Email: [email protected]
Categories: Staff
Prior to joining the Society, Angela worked as a legal assistant at a family law firm for 2 years. Angela is currently completing the paralegal certificate program and brings to SCY a passion for children’s rights and desire to empower children and youth through advocacy.
Angela is a mother of three children and has spent time volunteering in the school and coaching.  Angela enjoys watching her children’s sports, going to the gym and hiking.

Angela Lloyd

Legal Assistant

Prior to joining the Society, Angela worked as a legal...

Board of Directors

Our volunteer board brings experience and passion to our work. They provide governance  and are accountable to SCY, to the people we serve, and to communities, governments and funders who support the activities of SCY. Without them our work would not be possible.

Brynne Redford

Position: Board Chair
Email: info (at) scyofbc.org
Categories: Board Members

Executive Director, Estate and Personal Trust Services with the Public Guardian and Trustee

Brynne has a background in law and public health and for the last decade has worked in the BC Public Service in various positions providing services and support to vulnerable populations. Brynne previously worked as the Executive Director of Child and Youth Services with the PGT, the Director of Justice and Safety Programs with the Community Safety and Crime Prevention Branch, a Regional Director and Coroner with the BC Coroners Service, and as an Advocate and Senior Advocate with the Representative for Children and Youth. She has her Bachelor of Health Sciences from McMaster University, Bachelor of Laws for the University of British Columbia, and Master of Public Health from Simon Fraser University. Brynne is passionate about protecting and promoting the rights of children and youth. She lives in Vancouver and in her spare time likes travelling, cooking, reading, and riding her bike in the sunshine.

Brynne Redford

Board Chair

Executive Director of Child and Youth Services - Public Guardian...

Erin Hood

Position: Board Vice Chair
Email: info (at) scyofbc.org
Categories: Board Members

CPA, CA

Erin has been involved in the non-profit sector in various capacities throughout her career. She is drawn to examining social issues, advocating for change, and investing in the local community. Her role as part of the Foundation family perfectly blends her passions and interests with her skills gained through her background as a Philosophy major and a designated CPA, CA. Outside of work, having grown up as a competitive figure skater, Erin continues to feel fulfilled by a variety of athletic pursuits as a dedicated weekend warrior. She can often be found drinking good coffee, eating healthy food, and cultivating relationships with those she is closest to.

Erin Hood

Board Vice Chair

CPA, CA

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Agnes Huang

Position: Board Secretary
Categories: Board Members

Bio Coming Soon

Agnes Huang

Board Secretary

Bio Coming Soon

Brittany Bingham

Brittany Bingham

Position: Board Director
Email: info (at) scyofbc.org
Categories: Board Members

Director, Indigenous Research Vancouver Coastal Health Aboriginal Health Centre for Gender & Sexual Health Equity

Brittany (she/her/hers) is shíshálh (Sechelt) mixed ancestry and proud mom to two beautiful children. Brittany obtained her MPH and PhD in Health Sciences from Simon Fraser University. She is an Assistant Professor of Social Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine at UBC, Director of Indigenous Research at Vancouver Coastal Health Aboriginal Health and the Centre for Gender & Sexual Health Equity (CGSHE). She has worked in various capacities in research with Indigenous communities and policy for over 15 years. She is passionate about community-driven research, Indigenous research methods, health equity, Indigenous women’s health, housing and homelessness, cultural safety and reconciliation. Brittany’s research currently has a focus on conducting community driven studies that can inform action on the MMIWG calls to justice. Brittany has previously served as a board member for the Public Health Association of BC, Mom2Mom and the Combining our Strength Council at the Minerva Foundation. Brittany is a passionate advocate for Indigenous youth and children’s rights. In her spare time she loves to be near the ocean or in the forest with her family exploring the BC coast.

Brittany Bingham

Board Director

Director, Indigenous Research Vancouver Coastal Health Aboriginal Health Centre for...

Graham Lindsay

Graham Lindsay

Position: Board Director
Email: info (at) scyofbc.org
Categories: Board Members

Indigenous Wellness Specialist with the Outreach Team with Northern Health

Graham Lindsay is Tsimshian with roots in both Metlakatla and Gitgaata and is a member of the Raven clan. Previous to his current role, he worked in probation for 10 years, with experience working with most of the communities spanning the Pacific Northwest. Graham received his B.A. in Criminology from Simon Fraser University. Graham believes it is a privilege to be part of the SCY board. He believes that supporting children and youth is imperative for a healthy society. He now lives in Prince Rupert with his partner and two children.

Graham Lindsay

Board Director

Youth Probation Officer, Ministry of Children and Family Development

Neil Ma

Position: Board Treasurer
Categories: Board Members

Neil has a public practice and industry background and is experienced in tax, audit and all facets of public practice. He was admitted to partnership with Bousfield and Associates, CPA on January 18, 2022. He obtained his CPA designation in 2020 and became a Certified Fraud Examiner and Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist in 2021. Neil graduated from The University of British Columbia with a BSc in Statistics in 2008 and a Masters of Management in 2009.

Outside of work, Neil is involved in the communities and sits on the boards of the following organizations: Hastings Sunrise Community Policing Centre, Society for Children and Youth of BC, Richmond Gateway Theatre Society, and Phoenix Vocal and Performing Society.

Neil Ma

Board Treasurer

Neil has a public practice and industry background and is...

Honourary Members

Volunteers

Joseph Rosen, MSW, Past President SCY

Frances Grunberg, MSW, RSW, Past President SCY

Tom Berger, QC, Lawyer (deceased)

Flora McLeod (deceased)

Basil Robinson, Social Worker (deceased)

SCY’s work is enriched by the contributions of our volunteers and internship students.

Thank you to:

Gautam Parhar, Danika Howell, Daphne Howell, Guille Jimenez, Michael Gargaro, David Eupen and Marissa West

If you’d like to volunteer with SCY, please contact us at [email protected].

History

Since 1974, the Society has focused on providing a strong voice representing children and youth and advocating for their well-being in British Columbia. Using the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) as a foundation, SCY has a track record of creating and delivering programs that have motivated change in legislation, policy, and practice in Canada. Here are some of the highlights of our history to help you understand the context for our work:

  • Government disbands Vancouver Children’s Aid Society
  • 1974 Action Society for Children (ASC) – founded by past board members of Vancouver Children’s Aid Society

  • Society focused on providing a strong voice in the province representing children and youth

  • Became the BC branch of the Canadian Council on Children and Youth – working to defend the rights of youth

  • 1978 ASC changed name to TRACY of BC (Taking Responsible Action for Children and Youth) – working to promote awareness of the needs of children and youth

  • Strong focus on children and play

  • First in BC to research sexual abuse (“The Sexual Exploitation of Children: An Initial Study” 1979)

  • Began development of a framework for Community Action and Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Children

  • Provided a “watch dog” function over policies and practices affecting children, youth, and their families

  • Hosted a series of forums on the “First Three Years of Life”

  • Changed name to Society for Children and Youth of BC in 1983
  • Participated in task forces and research projects

  • Pioneer role in the field of child sexual abuse prevention – developed school-based program that became established in elementary school curricula, influenced changes in the Evidence Act (Bill C-15), and developed an education theatre project on prevention of sexual abuse with schools

  • Work in the area of children’s environments and the importance of play resulted in improvements to play environments throughout BC including hospitals, increased awareness in sport, and the development of national guidelines

  • Initiated the First Year Radio Series, a radio public service broadcast series that covered 46 topics associated with early childhood. Published Viewpoint. Check out an early layout for a front cover, drafted on yellow legal paper!

  • Helped establish the first teen mothers’ comprehensive education program at Tupper Secondary School

  • Established a Child Abuse Resource Centre and Children’s Play Resource Centre

  • The Society developed the Rights Awareness Program after Canada’s ratification of the UNCRC in 1991

  • Hosted provincial Child Rights conference with Stephen Lewis

  • Developed Child Rights education program

  • Launched ‘Put the Child First’ Child Abuse Prevention Initiative

  • Researched and assessed the Child Sexual Abuse Response System

  • ​Produced and disseminated “Child Abuse” Newsletter and a Society quarterly Newsletter

  • Launched “Focus on Children and Youth” Newsletter in 1996

  • Involved in the establishment of the Youth Services Alliance of BC

  • Children’s environment and play initiatives lead to the development of the Child and Youth Friendly Communities Program (CYFC)

  • Ground-breaking work on rating legal statutes ‘through the eyes of a child’ and analyzing provincial legislation through the lens of the UNCRC (including a four star rating system)

  • Initiated the concept of child-friendly housing

  • Hosted a national consultation on child abuse prevention

  • Influenced improvements to children as witnesses in the Criminal Court System
  • Launched the Child and Youth Friendly Community Awards
  • Designated as a clearinghouse for information related to children’s rights and the UNCRC
  • Continued to assess Canada’s legislative compliance with the UNCRC including the Secure Care Act and the Youth Criminal Justice Act
  • Initiated focus on rights of children and youth with disabilities
  • Led forums in Ottawa and Victoria to support the implementation of children’s rights in public policy
  • Led the proclamation of National Child Day in over 30 municipalities in BC
  • Redesigned the Focus Newsletter and launched “Vocalpoint” in 2004
  • Initiated Canada’s first youth rights-based monitoring project
  • Further developed CYFC work through a Train-the-Trainers initiative and the development of the provinces first municipal CYFC toolkit based on strategic indicators
  • Launched province-wide, multi-media Child Rights Public Awareness Campaign
  • Participated in the inaugural United Way Public Policy Institute, designing a framework for municipal engagement to better implement children’s rights
  • Developed Child and Youth Friendly Communities self-assessment toolkit and hosted national CYFC conference

  • Host organization for the City of Vancouver’s citizenU program, providing training workshops for youth that address different forms of discrimination

  • Partnered with Richmond Children First to engage young people in writing Richmond’s first Children’s Charter. Passed by Richmond City Council in July 2011

  • Launched and aired 6 youth rights Public Service Announcements on radio stations throughout BC. Each of the PSAs were written and recorded by youth

  • Awarded the Renate Shearer Award by the United Nations Association of Vancouver and the BC Human Rights Coalition in 2014

  • Awarded the Equitas Award for Human Rights Education in 2014

Val Fronczek in Memorium

It is with deep regret that we inform you of the passing of Valerie Fronzcek. Valerie was the Executive Director of SCY for twenty-three years. She died in May 2013 after a brief illness. She joined our fledgling organization in the early 1980s and brought with her an exquisite understanding of the needs of children, a passion for what was right and the drive to do what was necessary to make good things happen for the children of British Columbia and beyond.

Valerie worked tirelessly to build SCY into a well respected child advocacy organization.  Her work has contributed substantially to making the world a better place for children. Valerie was innovative and very articulate. She believed strongly in having a solid working board and always worked collaboratively and energetically with the many board members who contributed their time and energy to the causes of SCY. She held the board in very high esteem and this respect was always reciprocated.

Valerie was never afraid to tackle contentious issues.  She authored numerous letters and papers that went to politicians, practitioners, and policy makers; she knocked on the doors of people of influence whom she thought should care about children just as much as she did; she spoke eloquently whether it was to one individual or to a whole conference of people.

This was Valerie’s life.

Those who knew her understood that Valerie was a driving force in the children’s rights movement who spent most of her days and evenings devoted to this noble cause. She was very self effacing and never wanted any personal credit for her deeds. In fact, praise would embarrass her. She had a delicious and rather wicked sense of humour and was always a joy to work with. When Valerie left SCY, we knew it would be a daunting task to find someone to fill her shoes. She was, indeed, irreplaceable.

Valerie loved SCY and she loved her family. She was a devoted mother to Lawrence and Katherine and was overjoyed to be a grandmother. She was a loving daughter and sister. She travelled the world in her role as Communications Officer of the International Play Organization and contributed greatly to promoting the child’s right to play and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Valerie loved to travel and she did so with both style and simplicity. She knew people from all over the world and basked in the light of those relationships. She was a good friend. She loved red wine. She loved to laugh. She enjoyed the moment. She was independent and feisty and loyal.

With Valerie’s passing, the world has lost a champion for children. Through her devotion to the cause and her relentless efforts, the world is a better place for children and families. Thank you Valerie for “giving it all you had.” We hope to continue in your footsteps and make you proud of the work that continues in your memory on behalf of the children who meant so much to you.

By Fran Grunburg, Honourary Officer, SCY

Photo by Valerie Fronczek

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