First Call Monthly Updates

January 2020 Monthly Update


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:

Read on to learn more!

Yours for children and youth,

Adrienne, Helesia, Dylan, Leila, Susan, Becky, and Emily

 

FIRST CALL’S BC CHILD POVERTY REPORT CARD AND REGIONAL FACTSHEETS RELEASED

First Call’s 23rd annual BC Child Poverty Report Card was released on January 14. Since 1996, the BC Child Poverty Report Card has been released each year on November 24, in conjunction with the release of child poverty report cards across Canada, marking the anniversary of the all-party House of Commons resolution to end child poverty by the year 2000. This year, due to a change in the timing of Statistics Canada data, the 2019 report card was released in January as a preliminary summary.

Key findings from this year’s report card:

  • 163,730 BC children and youth were living in poor households in 2017.
  • 51,760 of these poor children were under the age of six.
  • BC child poverty rate at 19.1% was slightly higher than the national child poverty rate of 18.6%.
  • The poverty rate for children living in lone-parent families is 51.4%.
  • For the first time since 2009, the number of poor children in lone-parent families increased, from 81,960 in 2016 to 86,690 in 2017.

All BC children and youth should have the same opportunities to grow up healthy and achieve their full potential, without the extra challenges created by experiencing poverty.

We also posted shareable Regional Factsheets that you can download for your use, which include graphs and graphics, including comparisons of the data from your region to British Columbia-wide data, illustrating the following measurements:

  • Poverty rate for all residents and the rate for all children
  • Poverty rate for children in couple-parent families and in lone-parent families

Media coverage of the report was extensive (see First Call in the News below), and we were pleased to see regional news outlets making use of the data in the regional factsheets.

 

ECD ROUNDTABLE HEARS ABOUT THE NURSE-FAMILY PARTNERSHIP

At the ECD Roundtable meeting on January 29, participants heard an update on the Ministry of Health Nurse-Family Partnership program that provides intensive pre- and post-natal supports to first-time, young mothers facing socioeconomic disadvantage. Research data is just starting to be released on this program, conducted as a randomized control trial, including this article and this report.  The table also discussed the issue of child care capital grants and heard from visitors from Italy about their use of the Early Development Instrument.

 

JOB POSTING AT FIRST CALL: LIVING WAGE FOR FAMILIES CAMPAIGN ORGANIZER

First Call has hosted the Living Wage for Families Campaign since 2009 to address the high proportion of children who live with parents/caregivers in the paid workforce whose wages are insufficient to lift their families out of poverty. In collaboration with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and other partners, the Living Wage is recalculated annually based on the earnings needed to allow a household to meet its basic needs. The campaign raises awareness and support for living wage policies and certifies living wage employers – over 150 to date!

The campaigner will work alongside First Call’s staff at our Vancouver office at 312 Main Street. This is a full-time position and includes some evening and weekend work, as necessary. Click here to read the complete job posting.

Deadline for applications is Friday, February 28, 2020.

 

JOIN FIRST CALL AND SCY: CHILD RIGHTS REVIEW ROUNDTABLE

First Call and the Society for Children and Youth of BC (SCY) invite you to participate in our Child Rights Review Roundtable on Wednesday, February 12th from 1:30-4:30pm at 312 Main Street. This Roundtable will be an important opportunity to give input on Canada’s progress implementing children’s rights to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. Please review this letter for more detailed information as well as questions to think ahead about.

If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to Margie Sanderson, Communications and Outreach Coordinator at SCY, at outreach@scyofbc.org.

Please also RSVP to Margie whether you or a representative from your organization will be able to participate. SCY will send along a more detailed draft framework for comment to participating organizations leading up to the Roundtable.

 

YOUTH SERVICES MEETING TO DISCUSS TRANSITIONS OUT OF CARE – FEBRUARY 26

On Wednesday, February 26, First Call is hosting a meeting of organizations and programs serving youth who will be transitioning out of government care or have already transitioned out of care. The agenda will focus on sharing information on existing services, challenges, observed trends, possibilities! This will also help inform our Fostering Change Campaign public awareness and policy advocacy work.

If you are interested in attending, please contact Adrienne Montani at 604-877-4932; adrienne@firstcallbc.org. The meeting will be held at 312 Main Street in Vancouver.

Meanwhile, Fostering Change staff organizers are anticipating this year’s budget release, while conducting a program evaluation, hoping to inform structure and design of our youth development model for 2020, and gearing up for multiple strategic planning and goal setting sessions with youth and community members.

 

THREE WEEKS UNTIL 2020 FIRST CALL FUNDRAISING GALA!

We are three weeks away from our annual First Call Fundraising Gala on Thursday February 27, 2020! Have you bought your tickets yet?

In addition to hearing from Dr. Melissa Lem on the health impacts of fracking on BC children and youth and how young people are moving the dial on the climate crisis, you will also enjoy a delicious Indian buffet dinner, a silent auction full of amazing gifts, tickets, getaways and more, a raffle with exciting prizes, and time to mingle with old and new friends.

*NEW* This year we are excited to offer free childminding for children aged 18 months to 10 years old! The wonderful folks from the Pacific Immigrant Resources Society are bringing their Mobile Child Care Project to the Gala, and children can look forward to fun, engaging games and activities while you relax and participate in the Gala. Limited spaces available.

Click here for more information about the event.
Click here to register through Eventbrite.

If you are registering on behalf of an organization and would like an invoice, please contact Emily at emily@firstcallbc.org and she would be more than happy to assist.

 

FIRST CALL OUT AND ABOUT

Representatives of the Early Childhood Development Roundtable met with Minister of State for Child Care Katrina Chen on January 28th about our concerns with the granting of public funds for capital expenses to commercial, for-profit child care operators and other private property owners.

Adrienne Montani, Provincial Coordinator, presented the Living Wage Employer certification plaque to the City of Burnaby. Burnaby joins six other municipal governments in B.C. who have attained the living wage certification. Halena Seiferling, Campaign Organizer with the Living Wage for Families Campaign, also tabled with Vancity at the Canadian Labour Congress Winter School Campaign Fair to talk to delegates about the Campaign.

 

FIRST CALL CORRESPONDENCE AND PUBLICATIONS

2019 BC Child Poverty Report Card Summary Report
Letter from Minister Mark – Fostering Change

 

FIRST CALL IN THE NEWS

 

FIRST CALL MEETINGS & EVENTS

Next First Call Coalition Meeting
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
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 info@firstcallbc.org

More information and previous meeting minutes can be found here

First Call/SCY Child Rights Review Roundtable
Wednesday February 12, 2020
1:30-4:30pm
312 Main Street, Vancouver

Youth Services Meeting to Discuss Transitions Out of Care
Contact adrienne@firstcallbc.org for more info and to RSVP
Wednesday February 26, 2020
312 Main Street, Vancouver

First Call Fundraising Gala
Thursday February 27, 2020
Vancouver, BC

Next Early Childhood Development Roundtable

Wednesday, March 25, 2020
9:30 am-12:00 pm
BC Government & Service Employees’ Union
Vancouver office (2920 Virtual Way)

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

More information and previous meeting minutes can be found here