Social and family support services capture a wide range of programs and services for children, youth and families. They are typically widely accessible in the community and serve many different purposes. Such services are supported by provincial ministries of health and social services and are delivered by a range of providers. These include community-based agencies such as neighbourhood houses and family resource centres, child and family services societies, associations for community living and child development centres.
Family support services include pre- and post-natal home visiting, well-baby clinics, infant development programs, family resource programs, community kitchens, toy libraries, parent education and support programs, literacy programs, peer support, and a variety of early intervention programs for preschool and school-age children. Opportunities for parents to discuss child development questions with experienced professionals, and to come together to share experiences and gain mutual support, are important elements of a child and youth friendly community.
Children and youth may come into contact with a variety of community-based social services and programs, such as child protection services, foster care, and support services for youth living independently. Often children and youth who are utilizing social services are vulnerable or at-risk. Social service agencies have the opportunity to have a great impact in making our communities more child and youth friendly by collaborating and sharing child rights information and best practices.
SOCIAL & FAMILY SUPPORT SERVICES
UNCRC and SOCIAL & FAMILY SUPPORT SERVICES
Article 2 addresses right to protection from discrimination
Children have the right to be treated equally without discrimination on the basis of their race, sex, religion, language, and physical or mental disability
Article 3 is about what is best for children
Adults should always make a decision by considering what is in the best interest of the child.
Articles 5, 9 & 18 support the importance of family
Children and youth have the right to be given guidance by their parents and family. They also have the right to live and be with their parents unless their parents are not in a position where they are providing the best support and care for their children. This means that families also need support. Children and youth have the right to be brought up by their parents, if possible
Article 12 is about the views of the child
Children and young people have a right to participate in all matters affecting them, and those views should be given due weight “in accordance with the age and maturity of the child”.
Articles 19, 34 &37 protect children from harm
Children and youth have the right to be protected from being hurt or badly treated. Children have the right to be protected from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. Children and youth have the right not to be punished in a cruel or hurtful way. Adults need to be taught how to protect and take care of children and youth.
Articles 20, 21, & 25 are for instances in which children and youth cannot live with their parents
Children and youth have the right to special protection and help if they can’t live with their parents and the right to have the best care if they are adopted or fostered or living in care. Children and youth have the right to have their living arrangements checked regularly if they have to be looked after away from home.
Articles 22, 23 & 39 are about special care children and youth might need
Children and youth have the right to special protection and help if they are a refugee. Children and youth who have a disability of any kind have the right to special care and education they need to develop and lead a full life. Children and youth have the right to help if they have been hurt, neglected, or badly treated.
Article 30 is about inclusivity in race, culture, religion and language
Children have the right to enjoy their own culture, practice their own religion and speak their own language.
"There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children."
~ Nelson Mandela, Former President of South Africa