First Call Monthly Updates

March 2018 Monthly Update

March 2018

Welcome to our monthly update about First Call’s advocacy work and key developments in child and youth policy in BC.
Highlights this month include:
• MCFD reps to attend April Coalition meeting
• BC Poverty Reduction Consultation Submission
• Fostering Change moves to First Call this week
Read on to learn more!
Yours for children and youth,
Adrienne, Deanna, Helesia, Dylan, Emily and Kaleb


The Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) will be sending representatives to the April 11 First Call coalition meeting to share information and hear from coalition members about the budget announcements for this ministry. Assistant Deputy Minister Carolyn Kamper and A/Executive Director Strategic Initiatives Catherine Talbott will join us to review the changes to Agreements with Young Adults. The meeting is from 9:15-11:30 am in Vancouver. Conference calling available.
Click here to find out more information about the coalition meetings, including past minutes.


First Call has been tracking child and family poverty rates in BC for more than two decades. Our first provincial report card containing data for 1994 showed that one in five BC children were poor. It is profoundly disappointing that 20 years later the data still shows that one in five BC children are poor.
Despite this dismal record on child and family poverty, First Call members are encouraged, indeed optimistic, that government’s commitment to develop a comprehensive provincial poverty reduction plan will bring significant relief to many struggling families and individuals.
First Call’s submission includes 16 recommendations for specific actions for a comprehensive poverty reduction plan with legislated targets and timelines. The list ranges from quality, affordable child care to collaboration with First Nations and Indigenous organizations to supporting immigrants and refugees to eliminating food insecurity for families and children.

First Call’s submission to the BC Poverty Reduction Consultation.
The Federation of BC Youth in Care Networks and First Call’s collaborative submission.
Vancouver Island Tuition Waiver program and First Call’s collaborative submission.
BC Poverty Reduction Coalition’s submission.


Fostering Change is an initiative to improve policy, practice and community connections for young people transitioning from foster care to adulthood. This week, Fostering Change is transferring to First Call. We are excited to continue Vancouver Foundation’s initiatives to continue making a difference on the issue of young people transitioning from foster care to adulthood.
There are many ways to stay involved with Fostering Change and support our work. This can be done through following the Fostering Change websiteFacebook page, or Twitter account. Dylan Cohen is the Youth Organizer continuing Fostering Change’s work and can be reached at this email address.


Adrienne Montani, our Provincial Coordinator, participated on a panel with Diego Cardona, Patsy George, and Dr. David Piachaud at the Basic Income symposium in Vancouver. They discussed the question of “how would basic income serve groups over-represented in poverty?”. Our Communications and Development Coordinator, Helesia Luke, held a table at the BC Teachers’ Federation AGM where she shared information on our campaigns and approaches with teachers and union leaders in attendance.
Deanna Ogle and Kaleb Morrison from the Living Wage for Families Campaign have had a busy month. They led a small group discussion with UFCW 1518 workers on the Poverty Reduction Strategy last week. Deanna has also presented to St. Mary’s University public policy and management experts; Invermere on living wage; students, staff, and faculty from a variety of colleges and universities on ethical procurement; Living Wage Ontario on the living wage movement; and to the Squamish Public Library’s board members on living wage.
Fostering Change Youth Organizer Dylan Cohen has been coordinating the transfer of the social and web platforms to First Call, and organizing the energized Youth Advocacy Team to set out a year of busy work in pushing a youth from care agenda. He’s liaising with the BC Plan to End Youth Homelessness and completed two alumni of care poverty reduction consultations with two submissions to the provincial strategy.


March: Peter Julian, MP, sends response to Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy letter
March: First Call’s Submission to the BC Poverty Reduction Consultation
March: FBCYICN and First Call Submission to BC Poverty Reduction Consultation
March: VIU and First Call Submission to BC Poverty Reduction Consultation


March: Early On: Hunger for an end to child poverty
March: Hilary Statton: Paying a living wage makes business sense
April: BC increases funding, age limit for you aging out of government care


Next First Call Coalition Meeting

Wednesday, April 11, 2018
9:15-11:30 am
BC Teachers’ Federation
550 West 6th Avenue (at Ash), Vancouver

Meetings are open to the public and phone participation is available. Please RSVP by emailing

More information, a copy of the agenda and previous meeting minutes can be found here

Next Early Childhood Development Roundtable
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
9:30 am-12:00 pm
United Way of the Lower Mainland
4543 Canada Way, Burnaby

Please RSVP by emailing

More information and previous meeting minutes can be found here