First Call is not able to take on individual advocacy cases, but we encourage you to contact the following organizations if you are a young person and need support or if you are an adult with a concern about the well-being of a child or youth:
If a young person is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1 or your local police.
bc211 – 211
If you don’t know exactly what type of service or support you need, the knowledgeable staff at bc211 can help you figure that out, and then refer you to the right place. bc211 is a free, multilingual, confidential service, accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, that connects individuals, families and professionals to community, social and government services.
Calling or texting 211 provides information and referrals to more than 8,000 resources and programs. 211 is currently available in the Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Sunshine Coast and Squamish Lillooet Regional districts.
Need help? Dial 211 or text your city name to 211 now!
Find out more at www.bc211.ca
bc211 also hosts the Red Book Online, a searchable directory of community resources serving the Fraser Valley, Metro Vancouver, Squamish-Lillooet and Sunshine Coast regional districts.
You can find it at redbookonline.bc211.ca
BC’s Representative for Children and Youth 1-800-476-3933
If you need help dealing with the provincial child and youth welfare system, contact BC’s Representative for Children and Youth by calling toll-free 1-800-476-3933 to speak to an advocate or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The representative’s advocates can help if young people feel they are being treated unfairly or if they think they’re not being heard. The representative and the advocacy team can also help youth who are in government care, are receiving government services or who want to receive government services. The representative also assists young adults between their 19th and 24th birthdays who are eligible for Community Living BC services and received a reviewable service 15 months before their 19th birthday.
Find out more at www.rcybc.ca
PovNet Advocacy Database
PovNet has a database of organizations around the province that do advocacy. You can search the whole province or by region.
You can find organizations that are listed as doing child and youth advocacy at www.povnet.org/find-an-advocate/bc/children-and-youth
Child and Youth Legal Centre
The role of the Centre is to advocate on behalf of vulnerable children and youth in BC. They provide legal help for young people who are experiencing problems relating to family law, child protection, a breach of your human rights and many other legal issues. Their lawyers provide a range of services for children and youth from confidential summary legal advice through to full legal representation at court.
Find out more at http://www.scyofbc.org/child-youth-legal-centre/
Crisis Line 1-800-784-2433
The Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of BC (Crisis Centre) is a non-profit, volunteer organization committed to helping people help themselves and others deal with crisis.
Help is available! They are there to listen and to help. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, call 1-800-784-2433 or 1-800-SUICIDE, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Helpline for Children 310-1234
If you feel a young person is being abused or neglected and requires protection, if you are a child who is being abused at home, at school, in the play ground – anywhere, or if you are a parent who is afraid that you might hurt your child, you can call the 24-hour Children’s Help Line at 310-1234 from anywhere in BC to get help immediately (no area code necessary). You can call anonymously. There is always a social worker at the end of the phone willing to listen, someone to take action, someone who cares.
Find out more at www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/getting_help/help.htm
Kid’s Help Phone 1-800-668-6868
If you are a young person aged five to 20 and you want to speak to a professional counsellor, you can call the Kid’s Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868. It’s 24 hours a day, seven days a week, free, confidential, anonymous and available across Canada in English and French. They can also refer you to local services and resources.
If you don’t want to talk on the phone, you can confidentially ask questions online and get a response from a counsellor, or you can have a confidential live chat with a counsellor. The website also has games and an interactive tool called Resources Around Me where you can connect with more than 11,000 local programs and services. Resources Around Me is also available through the free Always There app.
Find out more at www.kidshelpphone.ca
Youth Against Violence Line 1-800-680-4264
If you are a young person in BC and want to report crime or violent incidents, or to talk through any type of problem with a supportive person, call the Youth Against Violence Line at 1-800-680-4264. This is safe, confidential and anonymous. They offer non-judgmental support in many languages and will provide you with options, information and referrals to services that can help. Parents, teachers, caregivers, service providers and others can also call for information about youth-related resources.
Find out more at www.youthagainstviolenceline.com
Youth in BC 1-866-661-3311
YouthInBC.com is a program of the Crisis Centre. It connects youth with support, information and resources.
Call the YouthinBC 24/7 crisis line at 604-872-3311 (Greater Vancouver) or 1-866-661-3311 (Howe Sound and Sunshine Coast) or 1-866-872-0113 (TTY)
Or access their online chat with trained volunteers 12 pm – 1 am daily
Rise Women’s Legal Centre 604-451-7447
Find out more at womenslegalcentre.ca
#201-456 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5Y 1R3
Intake appointments Tuesdays and Thursdays
Students and lawyers provide women with legal advice on family law and related matters, file documents in court, represent them in their hearings and assist women with accessing their legal rights.
Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre 1-800-665-1822
The Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre offers help to children, youth, parents and families on mental health and/or substance use challenges. You can talk to a professional or a peer support worker and find options for support and treatment within BC.
They also provide support to people of all ages with eating disorders.
Phone: 604-875-2084 or toll-free from anywhere in BC: 1-800-665-1822
In person: BC Children’s Hospital, Mental Health Building, 4555 Heather Street, Vancouver, BC, Room P3-302 (3rd Floor). Monday to Friday 9:30 am – 5 pm.
VictimLink BC 1-800-563-0808
If you have been a victim of crime or need immediate crisis support as a victim of family and sexual violence, including victims of human trafficking exploited for labour or sexual services, call VictimLink BC 1-800-563-0808 for information and referral services. This is a toll-free, confidential, multilingual telephone service available across BC and Yukon 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Find out more at www.victimlinkbc.ca
Alcohol and Drug Information and Referral Service 1-800-663-1441
If you are worried about drug and alcohol use, whether it’s for yourself or someone you care about, you can call the Alcohol and Drug Information and Referral Service for information, options and support. They can refer you to a full range of counselling and treatment services across BC. Services on the Alcohol and Drug Line are confidential, multilingual, free, and available 24/7. Lower Mainland: 604-660-9382, BC: 1-800-663-1441
Know your rights!
The BC Representative for Children and Youth has put together some great tools for young people. The job of the representative and her advocates is to look out for your rights. But it’s important for YOU to know your rights, too. Knowing and understanding your rights helps you get the fair treatment you deserve.
Every person has rights. Rights automatically belong to you – you don’t have to earn them – and they cannot be taken away. Rights tell you what you are entitled to, so you should have a good idea of what your rights are. You can learn more about the rights that everyone has through:
- UN Human Rights
- United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
- Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
- BC Human Rights Code
In theory, everyone in BC has these same rights. In practice, though, some groups face obstacles and discrimination that other groups do not. Children and youth, children and youth in care, First Nations and indigenous children and youth and persons with disabilities are some of the groups who have additional legal protection for their human rights.
You can also find more information by checking out the Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children. The Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children (CCRC) works to achieve full implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in Canada and globally; visit rightsofchildren.ca