VFCYJC regular meetings 2024
Thursdays, January 25 (AGM), February 22, April 25, May 23, June 27, Sept. 26, Oct. 24 and Nov. 28, all from 11:30 to 1:30 PM ~ Capital Regional District Board Room, 625 Fisgard St. with Zoom option. Meetings may also be held in member municipalities.
Nov. 23 Report
Julie-Anne Hunter, ED of the Victoria Youth Empowerment Society, reported out on the impacts of this year’s VFCYJC grant in support of the Summer Opportunities Program; 143 young people were welcomed off the street for counselling, group activities, life-skills training and healthy lunches and snacks. The Village Initiative‘s Cindy Andrew provided a powerpoint overview of this growing inter-disciplinary network of 40 organizations, each of which recognize that children, youth and families in the Sooke/West Shore region are best served through “an all-hands-on-deck approach – a Village.” She discussed TVI’s new Trent’s Trajectory infographic charting the ROI on upstream intervention; the campaign to bring a Foundry BC youth counselling centre to Langford (with affiliated outreach to Sooke and Port Renfrew); and other TVI priorities (including data on the wellbeing of children and youth in the region; she tipped us that a five-year update of the McCreary Centre Society‘s BC Adolescent Health Survey is due in 1Q 2024). Also: A renewed MYST advocacy letter calling for steady, long-term funding and additional councillor/officer teams has been sent to Solicitor General Mike Farnworth; and the committee’s X feed is operational again after technical difficulties, with posts again keeping pace with those on Facebook.
Oct. 26 Report
Two guests this week: The Hon. Mitzi Dean, Minister of Children and Family Development, and UBC-affiliated researcher/economist Bill Warburton. Dean, former Executive Director of the Pacific Centre Family Services Association and a VFCYJC member herself (2008-17), highlighted our multi-jurisdictional role in supporting service providers and the region’s most vulnerable young people. “Your work is needed, recognized and appreciated,” she said. Warburton, another VFCYJC alumnus, shared a powerpoint presentation on his recent co-authored study identifying high-school graduation as a critical factor in healthy, happy adult lives. The data clearly shows that investment in strategic upstream invention for young people falling behind can have dramatic implications for BC’s social, health and youth justice systems. Capital Region Action Team’s long-time lead Bill McElroy delivered a 25th anniversary organizational update — including a new website and ongoing commitment to raising awareness about child and youth sexual exploitation in Greater Victoria.
Sept. 27 in Central Saanich
Chair Marie-Terese Little welcomed new appointees Karin Kwan (Vice-Chair, SD #61) and Corey Wood (District of Central Saanich Police Board). MYST’s Mia Golden and Gord Magee spoke about the daunting new South Island challenge posed by gang recruiters from the Lower Mainland. SD #61 Chair Nicole Duncan addressed the school board’s decision re: the School Police Liaison Officer Program (see VFCYJC backgrounder). Members were reintroduced to the Qualification Matrix (Fillable), which identifies the skill sets and interests ideal for committee members and their alternates.
To date this year we’ve funded Sanctuary Youth Centre ($3k towards its Wellness Wednesday program) and the Victoria Youth Empowerment Society ($5.3k for its 2023 Summer Opportunities program). As you’ll read at right, applications are welcome year-round for consideration by the Committee.
Open House for Frontline Service Providers
Thanks to all who attended our June 13 Open House. A most enjoyable meet-and-greet that introduced our members to a wide range of local heroes delivering essential services to young people and their families in Greater Victoria. Consensus closing comment: Let’s do it again! (See the Open House hand-out.)
Social Media Links
(Relatively) New to the website …
– MYST funding update – April 2023 Good one-year news re: Greater Victoria’s Mobile Youth Services Team + our 2022 advocacy + the Crime Reduction and Exploitation Diversion (CRED) program + support from the CRD Board and municipal councils *
– Strategic Plan 2023-2026 (approved April 27)
– We’re now a delegated commission of the Capital Regional District
– A list of our 2023 membership appointees
– Orientation presentation by Chair Marie-Terese Little at the Feb. 23, 2023 meeting
– For more information about the Victoria Family Court and Youth Justice Committee please contact:
Chair: Marie-Terese Little, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice Chair: Adam Flint, email email@example.com
Secretary: Marnie Essery, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Call For Submissions: VFCYJC Grants
2023 Call for Submissions + Application Form (word or .RTF) [please note that we now accept applications in any amount year-round for consideration at our regular meetings. Applications received after the third week of June must wait for consideration until we meet again in September.]
The Victoria Family Court & Youth Justice Committee provides modest funding for community projects educating and assisting youth and families who are at risk or may come into contact with the criminal or family legal systems. Projects should focus on prevention, education and/or diversion.
If an organization, the Executive Director or Chief Executive Officer (or designated signatory) must sign all submissions.
Grants over the years have been awarded to Greater Victoria organizations for events, workshops, scholarships, and special projects and programs. These include:
- Reimagining Masculinities conference
- Sidney Youth Clinic
- Cornerstone Youth Society
- Victoria Sexual Assault Centre
- Metchosin Foundation
- Capital Region Action Team
- Mary’s Farm Society
- West Shore Policing Advisory Committee
- Communica Dialogue and Resolution Services
- Boys and Girls Club of Victoria
- Healthy Minds Canada
- Pacific Centre Family Resource Association’s Crime Reduction & Exploitation Diversion program
- A message from Committee Chair Marie-Terese Little
- Read our Strategic Plan 2023-2026
- Browse Annual Reports
- About VFCYJC including membership information and notable achievements
- Visit the Resources page for our own sub-committee and third-party reports about family and youth justice issues
- Click here for our fourth-Thursday, eight-months-per-year schedule. The public is welcome to attend the education/resource agency portion of our meetings with advance email notice to the secretary
Young people and families in the Capital region who become entangled with the justice system for any number of potential reasons are often faced with a daunting journey into the unknown.
Established under the BC Provincial Court Act (1966) and expanded under the Federal Youth Criminal Justice Act (1987), the Victoria Family Court & Youth Justice Committee is dedicated to educating the public about the juvenile justice system, reviewing family and youth legislation, advocating to legislative bodies, and monitoring court hearings and custody facilities.
The committee directly connects regional and municipal decision-makers with frontline service providers. Its voting members are a mix of school district trustees, local government elected representatives and appointees of the Capital Regional District, which collects and provides annual funding.
Our subcommittees include Court Watch, Restorative Justice, Youth Mental Health, Family Matters, Youth Matters, Communications, Priorities/Grants and the Capital Region Action Team (CRAT).
As a result of its broad legislated mandate, the VFCYJC engages with many sectors of our community: children, parents, caregivers, teachers, youth-serving agencies, social workers, lawyers, judges, police, probation officers and restorative justice and victim services workers, among others.
In February, 2022, following a comprehensive two-year review involving committee members and CRD staff, the VFCYJC became a delegated commission of the Capital Regional District with the adoption of CRD Bylaw No. 4553.
Our committee members are asked to:
- Be aware of the circumstances for youth in the justice, protection, divorce and custody systems.
- Review and comment on legislation.
- Facilitate collaboration between community service providers and governance bodies in the interest of better supporting youth and families.
- Be involved in maintaining the connections between youth and family serving agencies for each community.
- Advocate for policies and initiatives that improve outcomes for families and youth who may come in contact with the justice system.
- Increase awareness of the issues facing families and youth involved in the family or youth justice systems.
- Pursue and promote meaningful reconciliation with the Indigenous community.
- Support equity of access to resources across the region.**
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