It has been a few months since our last update on the Youth Voices Initiative (March 7). The world has changed in fundamental ways since then! But we have been continuing our work and we’d like to describe some of the highlights so far and provide a peek into the exciting things coming next!!
The Youth Voices Initiative is led by youth and for youth. It aims to improve the well-being & resilience of children & youth experiencing parental separation by developing opportunities for them to express themselves in ways that:
- Empower children & youth;
- Create a supportive community;
- Educate parents and system actors about the importance of listening to children’s views;
- Influence justice system-level decision-making.
The first prototype is a digital platform and social media campaign to achieve these goals. The Youth Leadership Group (YLG), composed of nine young people aged 15 – 29, have been working hard to bring this vision into reality. So many people and organizations have supported us along this path!
Here are the highlights since March:
Videos: The YLG have been telling their stories on film since January. We now have the first group of 4-minute videos focusing on six themes relating to their experience of parental separation:
- Why is the voice of children important?
- What is the Youth Voices initiative and why is it important?
- How did these experiences affect your well-being?
- What would you tell another child going through parental separation?
- What advice do you have for parents going through separation?
- What advice do you have for justice system professionals?
We will be launching the videos through the Youth Voices social media campaign in July 2020!
We are enormously grateful to our videographer, Brad Leitch of Rebel Sky Media, who used our footage to create very beautiful, moving and powerful videos.
Digital Platform: With the creative expertise of Senior Designer, Jayme Cochrane, we are beginning to build the first iteration of the digital platform which will showcase the Youth Voices creative content and provide the foundation for a peer community and educational resources.
Social Media Strategy and Campaign: Stay tuned for launch in July of the Youth Voices Instagram account! We are grateful to designer Rebecca Kenward for her expert support.
Partnerships: We continue to build relationships with other organizations with the mission of supporting young people. In particular, we are grateful for our relationship with the amazing Society for Children & Youth of BC and the Parenting After Separation program of Family Justices Services BC. We look forward to more collaboration with them in the future.
Funding: We continue to explore new opportunities for funding to continue this important work.
Stay tuned for more news very soon!! Thank you for your continuing support!
Coordinator, BC Family Justice Innovation Lab