Symposium “A Bright Idea” is announced
Victoria Family Court and Youth Justice Committee (in partnership with the
Capital Regional District and Queen Alexandra Foundation for Children) is sponsoring a networking event on
The Queen Alexandra Foundation for Children has donated the use of their auditorium at 2400 Arbutus Road from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm on November 29, 2007 and registration has been gratifying. Contact Marcela Mrnka at email@example.com (250)507- 1781 (evenings).
First Representative for Children and Youth Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond addresses the Victoria Family Court and Youth Justice Committee
The following is a press release associated with an address to the Family Court and Youth Justice Committee at one of their general membership meetings:
“We hope to gain a greater understanding of Ms. Turpel-Lafond’s role as child advocate and how our programs could interact with her office,” says Cynthia Day, Councillor and Vice-Chair of the Victoria Family Court and Youth Justice Committee. “We are very interested in how this new position could potentially dovetail with our youth objectives. We are particularly interested in her experience with youth mental health and developmental barriers such as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.”
Youth mental health has been identified as key priority in the CRD with a focus on prevention. It is estimated that 80 – 90% of youth in custody are suffering from a mental illness. Evidence has shown that prevention or early intervention is far more effective than treatment after a problem comes to attention in the youth justice system.
A pilot project has been developed which would place youth
mental health facilities at two schools in the CRD. The facilities would
focus on issues such as anxiety and depression as well as addictive and
developmental disorders. Two locations have been selected but currently a
lack of funding has postponed the launch of the project. A resolution in
support of the project was endorsed by the
“Given Ms. Turpel-Lafond’s great
depth of understanding of children’s needs in
The Representative for Children and Youth is an independent office of the Legislature and does not report through a provincial ministry. The mandate of the office is to improve services and outcomes for children in BC through advocacy, accountability and review.
There are approximately two dozen family court committees
Ms. Turpel-Lafond will speak at noon for 30 minutes, followed by a question and answer session.
Ms. Turpel-Lafond is well-recognized as a youth advocate. She was included in Time Magazine’s Top 20 Canadian Leaders for the 21st Century in 1999 and 100 Global Leaders of Tomorrow in 1994. She has also worked as a criminal law judge in youth and adult courts, which led her to work at developing partnerships to better serve the needs of young people in the justice system, particularly sexually exploited children and youth, and children and youth with disabilities. Ms Turpel-Lafond holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Carleton University, a law degree from Osgoode Hall, a master’s degree in international law from Cambridge University and a doctorate of law from Harvard Law School. She also holds a certificate in the international and comparative law of human rights from the University of Strasbourg in France. She has received numerous awards, scholarships, grants and honours, including honourary doctorates from the University of Regina (2003) and Mount Saint Vincent University (2005). In 2006, the Law Society of Saskatchewan recognized her efforts to build bridges between the Aboriginal community and the justice system.
Media are invited to attend Ms Turpel-Lafond’s talk. Please RSVP Councillorday@shaw.ca Ms Turpel-Lafond will be available for interviews following the presentation.