May 23, 2012
We sent out a news release (what you send out to media contacts (newspapers, blogs, TV, radio)when you want to inform them of something so they can, hopefully, cover it in the news) to media contacts all around the province this week to notify them about BC Child and Youth in Care Week, and what FBCYICN youth and staff have to say about it.
Below, see a copy of what we sent; here’s a copy of the official release, on our fancy letterhead:) Please share with any bloggers and news-makers you know!
For Immediate Release May 22rd, 2012
Celebrating B.C.’s Second Annual Child and Youth in Care Week—A First Step to Combat Social Stigma
Three years ago, a group of 50 Federation of BC Youth in Care Networks youth asked the Ministry of Children and Family Development for a province-wide “Youth in Care Week” to address the social stigma they experience. This week, May 20-26th, 2012, we celebrate B.C. Child and Youth in Care Week for the second year in a row.
All week, celebrations of young people in care are happening around the province—including eight synchronized regional flash mobs. Tonight, at Vancouver’s Roundhouse Community Centre, 150 youth, allies, service providers, ministry officials and sector leaders will gather at the provincial BC Child and Youth in Care Week celebration.
Year after year, Federation of B.C. Youth in Care Networks (FBCYICN) youth members have spoken up about the social stigma they confront in their everyday lives. In consultation, young people have shared aspects of the stigma they hear most, including: “foster kids are all the same—they’re all trouble;” “it’s their own fault they were taken into care;” “they come from a broken family with bad parents;” and “they’re either a drain [on society] or a rare ‘success story.’”
The youth asked for a week—the first of its kind in Canada— to celebrate youth in and from care and their incredible accomplishments, diversity and resilience, but also to call on community to stand with them in their movement as allies; or, as stated in their slogan for the week, “Notice, Listen, Respect—Stand with Youth in Care.”
“We’re just like other kids; we need the community’s help to be our best,” says FBCYICN board and youth member Jessy Auger. “Being in care means we’ve been through a lot—it makes us stronger.”
Lorena Pilgrim, FBCYICN Interim Executive Director and alumnus of care, says that all young people need community support to be who they want to be, and that a celebratory week is a reminder of our responsibility to young people in care and an opportunity to highlight their strengths: “As diverse as youth in care are, in care they face particular obstacles and it’s time for the community to take collective responsibility for our children to ensure they have the support and resources they need.”
Says another youth member [anonymous for privacy reasons], “we want you to believe and support us—reimagine what’s possible for each of us and give us a chance to grow on our own time.”
- To find out how you can help stand with youth in care, contact Lisa Mickleborough at the Federation of B.C. Youth in Care Networks or visit FBCYICN’s campaign page, “I Stand With Youth In Care.” https://www.facebook.com/NoticeListenRespect
- To read more from young people about their social stigma and their lives in government care, see “Are We Making the Grade? A Report Card on the Well-being of B.C. Youth in Care”: http://FBCYICN.ca/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/Report-Card-2010-web.pdf
- View the Ministry of Children and Family Development News Release: http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2009-2013/2012CFD0031-000700.htm
Contact Lisa Mickleborough, Communications, Federation of B.C. Youth in Care Networks: 604-353-3525
Visit www.FBCYICN.ca for more information.