Champions for Change: A Guide to Effective Advocacy for Youth and the Adults Who Support Them

on May 16, 2012

by Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, Representative of Child and Youth

I would like to briefly tell you about a workbook my Office has produced called Champions for Change-A Guide to Effective Advocacy for Youth and the Adults Who Support Them.

One of the responsibilities of my Office is to advocate on behalf of vulnerable children and youth, including those with special needs, in foster care, involved with youth justice, or receiving other designated government services. These vulnerable children and youth need to know that they have rights, specifically the right to be heard and supported in matters affecting their lives. By learning to advocate for themselves, children and youth have the capacity to become Champions for Change in their own lives.

As adults, we have a duty and legal responsibility to ensure that children’s rights are protected and upheld, and that their voices are heard.

However, it is just as important for children and youth to learn how to advocate on their own behalf. This is not always easy to do, but it is important to learn how to do well. The Champions for Change guide is intended to give youth the power to speak up and to provide them or the adult supporters who might be advocating on their behalf the necessary information and tools to do it.

If you have any questions or if we can provide any assistance, please contact my Office. We can be reached by phone at 1-800-476-3933 or by email at

To learn  more about the work of the representative of child and youth and the advocacy model in the Champions guide, join us for the pinwheel eductional session on Self Advocacy Skills for Parents and Youth taking place on May 24, from 12-1 pm. 


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BC Children's Hospital

This is an agency of Provincial Health Services Authority, providing provincial tertiary mental health services to the citizens of British Columbia. Programs include: Adult Tertiary Psychiatry, Geriatric Psychiatry, Forensic Psychiatric Services, Child & Adolescent Mental Health, Women’s Reproductive Mental Health, as well as the Provincial Specialized Eating Disorders Program for children and youth located at the BC Children’s Hospital.

Provincial Health Services Authority

Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) is one of six health authorities – the other five health authorities serve geographic regions of BC.

Ministry of Health

British Columbia Ministry of Health

RBC Children's Mental Health Project

RBC Children’s Mental Health Project is RBC's cornerstone “health and wellness” pillar; RBC Children’s Mental Heath Project is a multi-year philanthropic commitment to support community-based and hospital programs that reduce stigma, provide early intervention and increase public awareness about children’s mental health issues.

BC Children's Hospital Foundation

Through a wide range of fundraising events and opportunities, The BC Children's Hospital Foundation is united with its donors by a single, simple passion - to improve the health and the lives of the young people who enter BC Children's Hospital every day.