In Anne’s words

BC Child and Youth in Care Week is about raising awareness and shifting perceptions about children and youth in government care. It’s about seeing them as individuals with unique talents, hopes and dreams: so much more than a series of statistics and outcomes.

At the Belonging Network, we believe every child and young person is uniquely precious and deserving of love, encouragement, stability. We want children and youth in care to have everything they need to reach their greatest potential.

We also believe the best foundation to reach that potential is a strong sense of belonging and being cared for. That’s what we’re all about: creating belonging and permanency, which is ultimately about love and connection in their many forms.

The child welfare sector is increasingly listening to the voices of those with care experience. “Nothing about me without me” has become a guiding principle in all our program development, and I want to pay special tribute to all those with care experience, especially our youth advisors, who have informed our work.

I know many amazing people with care experience, including some of my fellow nonprofit leaders. And while they are all quite different, they have all shared the importance of having someone in their lives who believed in them, and provided that love, encouragement and stability. That someone could be a parent, a relative, a foster parent; they could also be a teacher, a coach, a neighbour. As my (adoptive) dad used to say: everybody needs a champion. He was mine.

It is my dream that the Belonging Network will be able to attract and support champions – adoptive and permanency families, and many others – for every child and young person who needs them.

Anne Tower
Executive Director