First Call Monthly Updates

October Monthly Update

Policy Solutions Day Successes – Speaker Announcement for First Call Fundraising Gala 2019 – Upcoming 2018 BC Child Poverty Report Card Launch – and more!

October 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:

  • Fostering Change Policy Solutions Day
  • First Call Fundraising Gala 2019 – Speaker Announcement!
  • Launch of 2018 BC Child Poverty Report Card
  • Advocacy Learning Day November 23
  • Living Wage for Families Campaign Update
  • Public Education Forum Videos Uploaded

Read on to learn more!

Yours for children and youth,

Adrienne, Helesia, Dylan, Halena, and Emily



On October 24, Fostering Change had the privilege of bringing over 45 youth to BC’s legislature in Victoria. This is a momentous time for child welfare in BC. We have keen listeners in decision making positions in government, reflected in the 25+ meetings we had with dozens of MLAs and other organization heads in Victoria. We assembled a policy memo, which is available here. Click here to see our photo album on Facebook.

While we assemble the breakout teams’ feedback, we’re celebrating these highlights:

  • Meetings with 10 Cabinet Ministers
  • NDP, Liberal, and Green caucuses with over 25 MLAs
  • The Foster Parents Support Services Society, Representative for Children and Youth, and the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness
  • and more!



Our annual First Call Fundraising Galas are an occasion to celebrate our child and youth advocacy as well as to raise much-needed funds to ensure we can continue to put BC’s children and youth first. We are so excited to announce that our 2019 Gala will take place on Thursday, February 28th, at Fraserview Hall.

We have an incredible keynote speaker lined up for you! Michael Redhead Champagne is an accomplished speaker and an award-winning community organizer, public speaker, and a proud member of Shamattawa First Nation. Michael will visit us from Winnipeg to share how he used his experiences of growing up in and around the child and family services system to found AYO! (Aboriginal Youth Opportunities) in 2010.

We hope you will join us for an evening of good food, good company and the inspiration Michael will share from his lived experiences, courageous advocacy, and healing messages.

Learn more about the gala and purchase tickets.



Every year, First Call, with the support of SPARC BC, produces an annual report card with the latest statistics on child and family poverty in British Columbia. This is done in conjunction with the release of the national child poverty report card by Campaign 2000. On Tuesday November 20, First Call will launch our 2018 BC Poverty Report Card to coincide with United Nations Universal Children’s Day.

We will hold a press conference at 9:00am on Tuesday November 20 at the BC Teachers’ Federation in the Media Room (second floor). There will be a webinar on Thursday, November 22 from 10:30-11:30 AM to hear from Adrienne Montani, Provincial Coordinator, on this year’s data findings and policy recommendations. Click here to express your interest in the webinar. We will email out the webinar registration link to those who expressed interest on Monday, November 19.




On Friday November 23, Fostering Change is holding an Advocacy Learning Day, open to the public. It will be a day to learn about advocacy in child welfare in BC, discuss gaps and opportunities, and hear about a systems map prepared for the advocacy community in BC.


The event takes place at Creekside Community Centre from 10-3:30pm. Come join us to find out who’s doing what, what’s working, and which campaign gaps can be filled by First Call and other community partners.



The Living Wage for Families Campaign is in the process of hiring a Research Coordinator for our participatory action research project on the experiences of low wage workers. They heard from many outstanding applicants, and they’re excited to bring one of these talented candidates on board soon to get this project underway. They’re also launching several projects with volunteers from Check Your Head’s Youth Building a New Economy cohort. These volunteers will be: conducting a survey of Living Wage Employers across the province, mapping where these Living Wage Employers operate, writing blog posts for their website, and helping update important internal resources. Watch for updates from these keen new supporters coming soon!



Back in September, First Call, with support from SFU’s Your Education Matters, hosted a Public Education Forum which discussed long-term systemic change, inclusion of special needs students, privatization and distributed learning, and arts education. Annie Kidder, Executive Director of Ontario’s People for Education, was our keynote speaker. We also heard from Glen Hansman, President of the BC Teachers’ Federation, and Seth Klein, Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-BC. The videos from Annie, Glen and Seth’s speeches are now available on our YouTube account. Thanks to Brenna Goodwin for filming and preparing the videos.


Dylan Cohen, Fostering Change Youth Organizer, spent the month on outreach for Policy Solutions Day. He spoke at the TRRUST: Collective Impact Gathering to Collective Impact members and to groups of Indigenous youth to share information about Policy Solutions Day. Dylan spoke to staff of Community Legal Assistance Society about the Fostering Change campaign. And following Policy Solutions Day, he attended the Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada Gala in Toronto to speak about the campaign and Policy Solutions Day.

Adrienne Montani, Provincial Coordinator, and Nadine Gagné-L’Hirondelle, Communications Consultant for our Early Years Call to Action Campaign, presented on this campaign and other First Call campaigns at the BC Association for Child Development & Intervention provincial meeting, gathering input on services for young children with special needs. They also spoke at BC Aboriginal Child Care Society’s conference and gathered input for the campaign on Indigenous Early Childhood Development.

Helesia Luke, Communications and Development Coordinator, partnered with Halena Seiferling, Living Wage for Families Campaign Organizer, to host a booth at the Hospital Employees’ Union’s 31st Biennial Convention.



October: Letter to Minister Katrina Chen – Differential Fees for Families

October: First Call Submission to Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services



Global News: City administration opposes living wage policy for city employees

Vancouver Sun: Susan Russell: Youth leaving foster care need more support

CBC Early Edition: Dozens of youth in care head to B.C Legislature to lobby government for more foster care support

StarMetro Vancouver: Youth descend on B.C. capital to urge better support for young people who age out of government care

Sooke News Mirror: B.C. youth aging out of foster care call for serious child welfare reform

Victoria News: B.C. youth aging out of foster care call for serious child welfare reform