Spring Update: A Message from the Board and Staff

Dear Fed Community,

Since we last wrote to you it has been a very productive month at the Fed. As we hoped and planned, we have stabilized from a difficult time and are moving forward.

We just received a huge vote of confidence from our major funder, MCFD. We can’t announce the specifics quite yet – details to follow.

As promised the Youth Leadership Council met for the first time with monthly meetings planned. The minutes and updates for the Council are on our website. The Council is one of the important ways we hear from our members between SCMs.

The government is asking people around the province to send them ideas about how to reduce poverty. We partnered with First Call to bring together 13 youth with care experience to discuss their ideas about how to do this, especially for youth in and from care, who we know are most vulnerable to aging out into poverty.

Many other activities are going on including:

  • almost daily website and Facebook communications are going out
  • our Truth and Reconciliation project has just had its last youth meeting and is preparing its final report
  • we attended the Gathering Our Voices training with 1300 indigenous youth from across the province
  • leading the planning for BC Child and Youth in Care week (June 4 – 10)
  • we have 9 active locals and 5 other communities in the process of becoming locals from all over the province
  • we are in the process of hiring 3 new staff

We are in a busy, positive time as we gear up to preparing our draft work plan for 2018/19, always using your voice through the Leadership Council, previous SCMs and lots of individual interactions. When we have the first draft completed, we will come to you for feedback and discussion.

 

There is one other important issue we want to talk with you about now.

The Fed has an opportunity to move in with the Broadway Youth Resources Centre (BYRC)

In 2017, Ian Mass (who is now filling in for Jules while he is on leave) conducted an organizational review of the Fed. He met with individual youth, staff, board members and community supporters to recommend better ways to provide services to youth in and from care.

One of the recommendations from the organizational review was that the Federation consider co-location with another youth serving organization. When two or more youth serving organizations are located side by side, it’s easier for youth to get support because more services are available in one place. For the organizations, co-locating reduces costs and frees up more of the budget for youth programs. The Youth Leadership Council discussed the idea of co-location at the February meeting and liked the idea.

The key is to find a good match.

We have received an offer to co-locate in a fabulous shared space with the Broadway Youth Resource Centre (BYRC), a youth serving organization in Vancouver.  BYRC is centrally located at Fraser and Broadway with easy transit access (on the B line and close to Skytrain). Services available at BYRC include a resource room with computers, friendly atmosphere and staff, dinner during the week, housing, counselling, A&D workers, meeting rooms for small and large groups, school programs, and adult education programs.

The Broadway Youth Resource Centre has been a welcoming place for youth in and from care for many years. Their new building includes housing for youth aging out of foster care.

This move would save us $60,000 per year, which could go to direct services to youth. But the decision to move is not set in stone. First we need to find a new tenant for our New Westminster office.

Important Opportunity

This is an important opportunity to connect the Fed to a network of real-time services for youth.

The Broadway Youth Resource Centre has a history of serving homeless youth and youth in and from care. The BYRC values are in line with FBCYICN values. Youth in the Greater Vancouver area will have easy access to the Fed and will be able to use all the services of the BYRC. This location will make it possible to establish a Local in Vancouver. For youth across the province, longer term, we think the move allow the Fed to reach out and strengthen the voice of the Federation province wide.

Next Steps

As you read this, you may have questions or suggestions about the potential move. Drop us a line or give us a call.  There are lots of things to think about as we consider a move. Some of you may want to have some time to say good bye to our New West location. Some of you may want to help us set up the new place. There will be no shortage of things to do in the coming months.

As members of the Fed, you are always welcome to contact the executive director or the board directly. If you have questions or concerns please contact Ian at 604 527 7762 or ian.mass@fbcyicn.ca. You can speak directly to the board by sending Debbie a note at debbie.cox@fbcyicn.ca.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Board: Debbie Cox, Chair , Gary Tennant Co-Chair, Katelyn Crabtree - Member at Large, Kate Ritchie - Member at Large, Chelsea Turpin - Member at Large, Kian Ghanei- Member at Large, Lex Talionis - Member at Large,  Violet-Rose Pharoah - Member at Large, Racheal Raven Wright - Member at Large

Staff: Shannon, Stephanie, Gabby, Emily and Ian