Press releases

The latest organizational news. If you would like more information, please contact Andrea Driedger at adriedger@bcadoption.com or 604-320-7330 ext 108. 

March 8, 2017: Kamloops families celebrate adoption
November 9, 2016: New adoption workshop coming to Vancouver Island
October 18, 2016: AgedOut.com finalist for BC Premier's Innovation Award
October 17, 2016: AYA does more!
August 17, 2016: New Adoption Support Coordinators
June 22, 2016: Adoption community recognized at celebration event
June 3, 2016: Documentary captures the experience of growing up in foster care
January 2016: Canada Human Rights Tribunal rules

Kamloops families celebrate adoption: Adoptive Families Association of BC turns 40!

Kamloops—March 8, 2017—Families in Kamloops took part in an exciting kick-off event on March 4 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Adoptive Families Association of BC (AFABC).

82 children and parents joined AFABC, Insight Support Services, and the Ministry of Children and Family Development for this fun event that featured a bouncy castle, face painting, a magician, and a ceremonial cutting of the cake to celebrate 40 years of family.

In 1977, a small group of parents came together around a kitchen table to share ideas, information, and resources about adoption. Back then, adoption was a subject that was "kept quiet," and these parents needed to connect, share their personal stories, and acknowledge that though adoption had its challenges, it was worth it! They knew that other parents also needed the resources and support they had desperately needed. That small group of parents came together to form the Adoptive Families Association of BC.

“Adoption has changed over the last forty years,” says Karen Madeiros, AFABC’s executive director. “Adoption helps to create new social and cultural norms, and continues to find permanent homes for BC’s most vulnerable kids.”

What hasn't changed, is that families still connect with each other for information, support, and resources. And AFABC is still here, 40 years later, to help.

Learn more
View photos of the Kamloops 40th anniversary celebration: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/6kq94z3kue6541r/AADHxOHSVh0f0WzK0_UJjHELa?dl=0

To learn more about AFABC’s 40th anniversary and to see a calendar of celebration events: www.bcadoption.com/40years

About the Adoptive Families Association of BC
Since 1977, AFABC has been dedicated to finding families for children and youth and also to providing groundbreaking programs that support the entire adoption community. The Adopt BC Kids Information Line, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, the Speak-Out Youth Group, AgedOut.com, Focus on Adoption magazine—all are designed to raise adoption awareness, support children and youth who are waiting for families, and to help families get ready and stay steady throughout their adoption journey.

Contact
Andrea Driedger
AFABC Communications Coordinator
adriedger@bcadoption.com | 604-320-7330 ext 108

New adoption workshop coming to Vancouver Island

VICTORIA – November 9, 2016 – The Adoptive Families Association of BC (AFABC) is pleased to announce a new adoption workshop for parents on Vancouver Island.

“Thriving and Surviving the First Two Years” workshop is coming to Victoria on Tuesday, November 15 and to Nanaimo on Wednesday, November 16. This innovative interactive workshop prepares adoptive parents as they navigate the critical first two years after an adoption placement.

“As we all know, kids don’t come with an instruction manual. When you adopt a child, they might be coming from a different background or culture, they might have special placement needs or openness considerations,” says Angie McMullen, the AFABC Adoption Key Worker for Vancouver Island. “We want to empower parents with the skill they need to make strong connections with their kids.”

Parents will leave the workshop with a toolkit of hands-on strategies that will ensure they are prepared with realistic expectation, knowledge, and specific skills to navigate their first years as a new adoptive parent.

Victoria – Tuesday, November 15 from 9am to 3pm
Pearkes Recreation Centre, 3100 Tillicum Road, Victoria

Nanaimo – Wednesday, November 16 from 9am to 3pm
Ministry of Children and Family Development Office, 6651 Aulds Road, Nanaimo

Parents can register for these workshops online at www.bcadoption.com/fall-education

AFABC thanks the Victoria Foundation and the Ministry of Children and Family Development for help reducing cost for participants.

Families are encouraged to get in touch with Angie McMullen at amcmullen@bcadoption.com or 778-789-5183 about the adoption program services they’d like to see in their area.

Since 1977, AFABC has been dedicated to finding faqmilies for children and also to providing groundbreaking programs that support the entire adoption community. The Waiting Child Toll Free Line, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, the Speak-Out Youth Zone, Focus on Adoption magazine—all are designed to raise adoption awareness, raise funds to support adoption, support children and youth who are waiting for families, and to help families get ready and stay steady throughout their adoption journey.

Learn more
For more information about AFABC’s adoption education programs, please visit: www.bcadoption.com/education

Contact
Andrea Driedger
AFABC Communications Coordinator
adriedger@bcadoption.com
604-320-7330 ext 108

AgedOut.com finalist for BC Premier's Innovation Award

October 18, 2016 -- The Adoptive Families Association of BC (AFABC) is pleased to announce that AgedOut.com was shortlisted for a Premier’s Award in the field of Innovation. The Premier’s Award serves to recognize BC public service employees and teams whose contributions have made a positive difference in the province.

AgedOut.com is an interactive website that provides young people with valuable skills as they transition out of care and into adulthood. Launched in June 2015, AgedOut.com was developed by AFABC in partnership with the Ministry of Children and Family Development and Agentic Digital Media with input from former youth in care all over British Columbia.

To date over 900 users have signed up for the site, with over 1/3 of those being youth in or from government care.

The Premier’s Innovation and Excellence Awards were presented Tuesday, October 18 in Victoria.

More information

Contact

Andrea Driedger
AFABC Communications Coordinator
604-320-7330 ext 108
adriedger@bcadoption.com

AYA does more!

October 17, 2016 -- Changes are coming to Agreements for Young Adults (AYA), a program that provides financial support to youth from government care. The Ministry of Children and Family Development announced Monday afternoon that the program will be expanding to better help the transition for youth aging out of care.

Changes to AYA include:

  1. Doubling the amount of time youth can receive AYA supports – from 24 months to 48 months.
  2. Increasing the eligible age of enrolment in AYA by two years – from up to the young adult’s 24th birthday to up to their 26th birthday.
  3. Adding Life Skills programs to the list of programs eligible for AYA support.

The Adoptive Families Association of BC (AFABC) and AgedOut.com support any additional resources for youth aging out that helps them transition into adulthood. We’re particularly excited about the addition of another 24 months because it allows young people to be supported through a 4-year degree program. It’s now very difficult to get a job without a university degree or post-secondary education.

Youth engagement was at the centre of our work on AgedOut.com. We’re proud that it was built with the input of so many former youth in care and we encourage continued engagement with youth—finding out what they envision for life after 19--in building additional supports for youth aging out.

More info

Contact

Andrea Driedger
AFABC Communications Coordinator
604-320-7330 ext 108
adriedger@bcadoption.com

New Adoption Support Coordinators

We are excited to welcome two new members to our adoption support team!

Angie McMullen is the new ASC for Central and North Vancouver Island, and Sarah Gibson is the new ASC for the Interior region.

Angie is mom to three sons. Growing up, she experienced multiple moves and time in foster care. She always knew she wanted to adopt, and seven years ago her youngest son joined their family through MCFD adoption. Angie has experience with ADHD, anxiety, autism, FASD, prenatal substance exposure, microcephaly, and youth at risk. She is looking forward to getting to know families, lending an encouraging ear, and answering any adoption questions that come her way!

Contact Angie at amcmullen@bcadoption.com or 778-789-5183.

Sarah is mom to a 3-year-old girl who joined her family through MCFD adoption. She has experience with Aboriginal adoption, toddler adoption, attachment, abandonment, and openness. Sarah has been actively involved with AFABC’s programs and services for several years, and she’s looking forward to supporting families through the adoption process and with all stages of being an adoptive family!

Contact Sarah at sgibson@bcadoption.com or 778-789-5713.

Adoption community recognized at celebration event

Sandra Banks accepts Adoption Champion awardJune 22, 2016 – VANCOUVER - The Adoptive Families Association of BC (AFABC) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 AFABC Adoption Awards. These awards are presented to individuals and organizations that make contributions to the adoption community, waiting children and youth, and AFABC.

  • The Special Recognition Award was presented to Tracy Sherlock, Lori Culbert, and The Vancouver Sun for their June 2015 BC Adoption Series and their ongoing reporting on outcomes for youth in government care.
  • The Spirit Award – Corporate was presented to The Victoria Foundation for over 12 years of financial support, contributing over $250,000 to AFABC.
  • The Helen Mark Excellence in Adoption award was presented to Anne Clayton, the Ministry of Children and Family Development’s Provincial Director of Adoption and Executive Director of Guardianship, Adoption, and Permanency Planning, for her decades of work making the provincial adoption program an integral aspect of child welfare in BC. 
  • Helen Mark Excellence in Adoption Award recipient Anne ClaytonThe AFABC Champion Award was presented to Sandra Banks from Vancouver for her dedicated volunteer services as a support group leader. It was also presented to Insight Support Services in Kamloops for volunteering with our yearly Family Fun Day celebration.
  • The Spirit Award – Individual was presented to Treena and Kevin Innes for being committed AFABC donors for over a decade.

Since 1977, AFABC has been dedicated to finding families for children and also to providing groundbreaking programs that support the entire adoption community. The Waiting Child Toll Free Line, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, the Speak-Out Youth Zone, Focus on Adoption magazine—all are designed to raise adoption awareness, raise funds to support adoption, support children and youth who are waiting for families, and to help families get ready and stay steady throughout their adoption journey.

Learn more:

For more information on the AFABC Adoption Awards, please visit: www.bcadoption.com/adoption-awards

Images from the evening can be downloaded from: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/e40lpk8pcukh3jv/AAB2dbGT6qbPb5RZ_IDHHT5Ea?dl=0

Contact:

Andrea Driedger
AFABC Communications Coordinator
adriedger@bcadoption.com
604-320

Documentary captures the experience of growing up in foster care

Striving for Permanence shines light on the importance of creating permanent connections for children and youth in government care.

 

Vancouver – June 3, 2016 – The Adoptive Families Association of BC (AFABC) and The Cinematheque are excited to announce the premiere of Striving for Permanence, a poignant documentary created by AFABC’s Speak-Out Youth Group that captures the experience of growing up in government care.

The film highlights the personal stories of five brave young people in and from government care as they work to create permanent connections with caring adults. “I started realizing that permanency was not just a word or an expectation but an actual state of being. We all need a loving place,” says Brooklynn, one of the filmmakers and whose story is featured in the documentary.

The digital storytelling format of the film empowered the youth to share their stories in a way that reflected their personalities and their personal truths. The youth scripted, filmed, produced, and edited the film with the support of The Cinematheque Education Department and AFABC staff.  These youth are sharing their stories with the hope that all youth living in care have permanent adult connections in their lives beyond the age of 19.

“We're thrilled to be a part of the Striving for Permanence documentary project, which has allowed these young filmmakers to create an honest, unique and powerful film,” says Liz Schulz, Cinematheque Education Manager. “Their stories remind us of the crucial role of supportive adults and communities in the lives of all youth, regardless of their background. We're honoured to have used film as a way to showcase their ideas and share such and important message."

Striving for Permanence premieres on Tuesday, June 7 at 5:30pm at The Cinematheque theatre, 1131 Howe Street, Vancouver, as part of BC Child and Youth in Care Week. The filmmakers will be in attendance for the screening. This premiere is free to attend, but registration is required. Attendees can register at www.bcadoption.com/permanence.

Learn more

About The Cinematheque Education Department

For over 20 years, The Cinematheque Education Department has offered film and media education programs and resources for youth, teachers and other community members. From intensive and engaging digital filmmaking programs to film literacy workshops and youth screenings at our theatre, we aim to foster an appreciation and passion for the art of film as well as an
understanding of the impact of visual media in the world around us. The Education
 Department’s programs are available to schools and organizations in the Lower
Mainland and throughout the province, and are tailored to the needs and interests
of each group. Our publications can be sent to any location.

About Adoptive Families Association of BC

For over 35 years, the Adoptive Families Association of BC has been dedicated to finding families for children and youth and to providing groundbreaking programs that support the entire adoption community. AFABC works to inform the public about adoption, engage in conversation about how adoption shapes our society, dispel myths and stereotypes, and increase awareness of kids and youth in care.

Media Enquiries

Andrea Driedger
AFABC Communications Coordinator
adriedger@bcadoption.com   
604-320-7330 ext 108   

Shaun Inouye
The Cinematheque
shaun@thecinematheque.ca
604.688.8202

Canadian Human Rights Tribunal Rules

January 2016 | The Adoptive Families Association of BC applauds the decision of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal today, and especially the hard work of Cindy Blackstock and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada for their diligent work on bringing the rights of First Nations children to the forefront.

The Tribunal has ruled the federal government discriminates against First Nations children on reserves by failing to provide child welfare services equal to those provided elsewhere. The ruling states the government must cease all discriminatory practices against First Nations children, and calls for the redesign of the child welfare system and its funding model.

There are currently 8,000 children and youth in government care in BC. Fifty percent of kids in care are Aboriginal, even though only five percent of all BC kids are Aboriginal. We are strong advocates for permanency for these children and youth through reunification, custom adoption, and adoption.

We will continue to support our partner organizations in the Aboriginal community and the fostering community to bring permanence to all kids in care.

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