First Call is a respected voice for children and youth in BC.
We put children and youth first through three strategies:
1. Public Education
Our work raises the public profile of child and youth issues through public education and the sharing of knowledge:
- Our newsletter is a round-up of new research, opportunities, news and campaigns from the child and youth sector.
- We present on child, youth and family issues and advocacy skills.
- We are known as thought-leaders for child and youth issues in BC and regularly provide commentary to media.
- Publishing research reports and fact sheets to inform our members, government and the general public about child and youth issues in BC.
2. Community Mobilization
First Call works to mobilize support for children and youth:
- Our monthly coalition meetings focus on various issues under the 4 Keys to Success for Children and Youth and create dialogue across sectors and with government decision-makers.
- We run a number of campaigns and support campaigns to mobilize people to advocate for public policy changes for the benefit of children and youth.
- Producing election toolkits for all municipal, provincial and federal elections for use by our members and allies to mobilize their networks. This ensures that children and youth are on the political agenda.
- We host an Early Childhood Development (ECD) Roundtable. This facilitates dialogue across stakeholders and with decision-makers.
3. Public Policy Advocacy
First Call advocates for policies that benefit children and youth:
- Creating a widely used and highly respected annual BC Child Poverty Report Card that includes a detailed list of recommendations for governments.
- Hosting the Living Wage for Families Campaign to advocate for living wages as a key solution to child poverty. As well as raising awareness about the impact of low-wage poverty on families.
- Maintaining regular correspondence and dialogue with government decision-makers on a range of child and youth issues.
- Producing annual budget submissions with suggestions for investments and policy changes for the benefit of children and youth.
“First Call is unique in Canada in bringing organizations and people from many sectors together to focus on advocacy for children and youth.
Since its creation in 1991, it has developed a coalition of professional and community advocates. They support a prevention and investment agenda for children and youth. Including, but not limited to, health, education, social services, youth justice, child protection and anti-poverty groups.
These partnerships have provided expert advice to many governments about the needs of BC’s children, youth and families, as well as examples of best practices in service delivery.”
– Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, BC’s past Representative for Children and Youth