British Columbia

Jennifer Charlesworth


Representative for Children and Youth
Office of the Representative for Children and Youth


The mandate of the Representative for Children and Youth is to improve services and outcomes for vulnerable children in B.C. through three distinct program areas:

All children have the right to be protected from being hurt and mistreated, in body and mind.

Art. 36 Convention on the Rights of the Child

  • Advocacy – ensuring that the rights and interests of children, youth and young adults are protected and upheld, and that their views are heard and considered by decision-makers. Advocates support, assist, inform, and advise children and their families with respect to designated services or programs provided or funded by the government. These include a wide range of government services, such as those provided under the Child, Family and Community Service Act, the Youth Justice Act, the Adoption Act, and the Community Living Authority Act, as well as childcare and early childhood development, addiction services, mental health, and transitions to adulthood.
  • Monitoring (Systemic Advocacy) – reviewing government-funded services for children, youth, and young adults to improve program delivery and outcomes. The Systemic Advocacy team evaluates designated programs and services and makes recommendations to government service providers and partners to strengthen services. The team also conducts related research and analysis and monitors how child and youth services and systems are adopting RCY recommendations.
  • Reviews and Investigations – reviewing and investigating critical injuries or deaths of children who were receiving, or who have received in the year prior to the critical injury or death, reviewable government services. Reviewable services are defined in the Representative for Children and Youth Act and Regulation and include services such as child welfare services, youth justice services (provincial and federal), and addiction and mental health services. The objective of the review and investigation function is to prevent future injuries or deaths by identifying and analyzing recurring issues and informing improvements to services or broader public policy initiatives.


The services provided by the Office of the Representative for Children and Youth include:

  • Individual Advocacy;
  • Systemic Advocacy, including monitoring, research, and evaluation; and,
  • Reviewing and investigating critical injuries and deaths.