FREDERICTON (GNB) – The following statement was issued today by Social Development Minister Bruce Fitch to highlight the annual Children and Youth in Care Day taking place on Nov. 29 in New Brunswick:

Since 2010, the New Brunswick Youth in Care Network, which is supported by Partners for Youth, has been working to help young people in the provincial care system find a sense of belonging and become leaders in their communities. Since 2014, following the release of the report entitled A Long Road Home: An Account of the first ever New Brunswick Youth in Care Hearings, we have been celebrating this day.

Having a special day for children and youth helps raise awareness and give them a voice. It is an opportunity to recognize their strengths and accomplishments and to value their contribution.

For the last seven years, children, young people, families and staff have celebrated with various activities such as pizza parties, bowling and arcades. For the second year in a row, due to COVID-19, activities look a little different. However, these young people continue to be honoured and championed.

We recognize that the pandemic has created extra challenges. For this reason, we have provided special support and services so no young person in permanent care would need to leave care during these times.

I offer a special thank you to foster families, group home staff and social workers who help organize celebratory events for children and youth in care. I also acknowledge and thank the New Brunswick Youth in Care Network for giving them a voice and for building a sense of community where they feel they belong.

Together we will continue to make New Brunswick a place where all children and young people are supported to develop resiliency and thrive.