NEWS RELEASE – For Immediate Release
December 8, 2016
$60,000 Awarded for Adoption Projects in BC
VICTORIA, BC – BC’s Lex Reynolds Adoption and Permanency Trust Fund has awarded a total of $60,000 for three unique projects in support of adoption and permanency in BC.
Carrier Sekani Family Services of Prince George will receive $20,000 to host a 3-day cultural event for Aboriginal foster children and parents. This unique program will assist Aboriginal children and youth in care to connect with their cultural roots while awaiting permanent opportunities.
Carrier Sekani Family Services will also receive a separate grant of $20,000 to create a year round youth-elder mentorship program in Vanderhoof, based on similar successful projects in other northern communities. This program will provide important connections for Aboriginal youth in care and in transition.
Usma Nuu Chah Nulth Family and Child Services of Port Alberni will be granted $20,000 to create a “Hub-Home” and six to ten “Satelite Homes” in Ahousaht, a remote community near Port Alberni to provide training, group activities, coaching, advocacy and support for foster and adopted children and their families.
Chair of the Trust Fund Advisory Committee, Geord Holland noted tha “This year we have seen a heighted awareness of the needs of children and youth in care across BC, We have also seen very encouraging results in the form of action by Indigenous organizations and by the Minister for Children and Family Development and, most importantly, we have seen the reduction of the number of children and youth in care. I particularly wish to thank our Committee member, and retiring Director of Adoption, Anne Clayton for her dedication to the cause of kids in care over the past many years.”
The Trust Fund was established in 2003 by a permanent grant from the Province of BC through the Ministry of Children and Family Development to help British Columbia’s children and youth who are awaiting adoption or other permanent connections. The trust fund is managed by the Victoria Foundation.
The Trust Fund is a permanent endowment generating annual returns which support organizations and individuals in finding and helping to maintain lifelong connections for BC’s children and youth in care, in particular seeking “out of care” families through adoption and other forms of permanent belonging.
“We know that Indigenous children and youth in BC are 15 times more likely than others to be in government care and that has to change,” said Minister of Children and Family Development Stephanie Cadieux. “Grants like these, and leadership from the Victoria Foundation that seeks to find permanent homes for Indigenous kids, is in lockstep with the principles outlined in Grand Chief Ed John’s report to improve the Aboriginal child welfare system.”
Since April 2007, the number of children and youth in care has steadily declined by approximately 2,000 (over 21 per cent). The main reason for this decline is greater emphasis on family preservation, such as out-of-care residential services. There are still between 900 and 1,000 waiting for adoption by a forever family or connections to culture and extended family. Over half of children and youth in care are of Aboriginal heritage; however there are promising gains in the numbers of them finding adoption or permanent connections.
To inquire about the adoption process visit www.gov.bc.ca/adoptbckids. To make a donation or to learn more about the Lex Reynolds Adoption and Permanency Trust Fund, visit www.connectingforlife.ca or the Victoria Foundation at victoriafoundation.bc.ca
The Lex Reynolds Adoption and Permanency Trust Fund is administered by the Victoria Foundation under an agreement with the Province of BC A nine-person Advisory Committee appointed by the Adoption Council of Canada. promotes awareness of the Trust Fund, encourages donations and directs the distribution of annual returns to successful applicants in the form of grants.
The Province of BC engaged the Victoria Foundation to manage and distribute the grants awarded by the Lex Reynolds Adoption and Permanency Trust Fund because of the Foundation’s proven granting experience, administrative capabilities and prudent financial investment policy.
For more information, please contact:
Director of Special Funds, Victoria Foundation
250.381.5532 ext. #226