News release

Government Seeking Public Input on New Child and Youth Commission

Nova Scotians are invited to share their thoughts and ideas on the creation of the Child and Youth Commission.

A steering committee will hold engagement sessions across the province over the next month to meet, listen and learn from children and youth, organizations that work with and advocate for children and youth, African Nova Scotian communities, Indigenous communities and the general public. People are also invited to respond to an online survey.

The committee is co-led by Dr. Laura Stymiest, a pediatrician and Director of Advocacy for Children and Youth in Dalhousie University’s department of pediatrics, and Frazer Egerton, Executive Lead, Strategic Initiatives, at the Department of Community Services.

“This work will help to protect and advance the well-being of children and youth in Nova Scotia,” said Karla MacFarlane, Minister of Community Services. “This approach to child and youth advocacy considers the perspectives of those being directly supported, their families, caregivers and communities.”

The engagement sessions start Tuesday, October 11, in Annapolis Royal. The full list of dates and locations and the public survey are at: https://novascotia.ca/child-and-youth-commission-engagement/

The survey is open until November 10. Following the engagement period, the Province and steering committee will share findings with the public.

The feedback will help shape the vision and direction of the new commission, which will be uniquely dedicated to protecting the rights and well-being of children and youth in the province. Its work will include reviewing programs and services for children and youth, including services provided by the departments of Community Services, Education and Early Childhood Development, Justice and Health and Wellness.

The Child and Youth Commission was a recommendation of the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children Restorative Inquiry in November 2019.

Quotes:

This is an important moment for children and youth in Nova Scotia, whose voices and experience will be essential in developing the commission. Dr. Laura Stymiest, pediatrician, IWK Health Centre, and Director of Advocacy for Children and Youth, department of pediatrics, Dalhousie University

I’m pleased to see the recommendations from the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children Restorative Inquiry are having a direct impact on the care and opportunities for our children and youth in the province. We look forward to including the voices of young African Nova Scotians into improving the supports and services available for children and youth in our province. Tony Smith, president of VOICES (Victims of Institutional Child Exploitation Society), and former Co-chair, Council of Parties, Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children Restorative Inquiry

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