There’s a lot of change happening at Family Services, some quite visible and others, a bit quieter. One of those changes involves First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition. It was housed at our Kingsway office, and they’ve now moved to Vancity Community Foundation’s office in downtown Vancouver.
First Call is a child advocacy coalition that focuses its attention on four key areas: early childhood development, supporting transitions from childhood to youth to adulthood, increased economic equality and safe and caring communities. They do this through public education, community mobilization and public policy advocacy. Every year, they produce the excellent Child Poverty Report Card, a profile of the impact on poverty on children and families in B.C.
“First Call is an organization that sees children as the future and as such should get first draw on our resources. It’s about the collective work of all of us in terms of moving the agenda of improving the lives of children forward,” says Cheryl Mixon.
Cheryl has chaired the Co-ordinating Committee for a number of years and Aneela Masih was responsible for receipting incoming donations for First Call. That function has been transferred to Vancity Community Foundation and Cheryl will continue on her role.
Family Services and First Call have a long history together. In fact, our former Executive Director Barbara Brett seconded former FSGV employee Ian Mass to help get First Call started some 24 years ago.
“First Call shares deep roots with Family Services,” says Adrienne Montani, provincial coordinator at First Call. “Family Services has always seen the need for the focus on prevention and the need to advocate for children’s rights. Family Services brings the front line experience to the table so that’s a valuable contribution to informing the work that we do.”
“I can’t say enough about what a great relationship it’s been and the leadership of Family Services in helping maintain the coalition over time.”
“We may have moved our physical offices to the Vancity Community Foundation but we still have a really tight and valued relationship with Family Services,” says Adrienne.
For more information on First Call, visit http://www.firstcallbc.org/