Who we are
Fairness for Children Raised by Relatives Society is a non-profit society established and registered in August 2021 and our membership is made up of kinship caregivers across British Columbia Canada.
We advocate on behalf of children who would otherwise be in the BC provincial foster care system if they had not been taken into the care of their grandparent(s) or another kinship relative.
We are grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles, cousins and others who have come forward to raise our relative’s children.
Have you heard the quote, “It takes a village to raise a child”, well our village is the over 13,000 families in B.C. involved in kinship care. We want to help our families find their voices and share their stories so that that public and the government not only hear us, but also see us. These children, OUR children deserve the very best we can provide for them. This means we need to come together and advocate to ensure these children, OUR children and OUR kinship care providers are entitled to the same opportunities, rights and benefits that are given to children in the foster care system.
We need you to become a member (see the membership form) so that we can ignite OUR village for the betterment of OUR families.
How we came about
Fairness for Children Raised by Relatives grew of work being done by kinship caregivers (grandparents, aunts, uncles and others raising a relative’s child) with Parent Support Services Society of BC (PSS).
PSS has decades of history working with kinship caregivers, through peer-to-peer groups, a support line, research, family nature camps, and educating the Provincial Government about where the system is not meeting the needs of families.
In the summer of 2019 PSS received three years of funding from the Vancouver Foundation for a project called, “Kinship Families Mobilize for Change”. The purpose of the project was for kinship care families to learn from each other about the challenges they face, share ideas about what needs to be done, and learn skills and strategies of how to bring about the necessary changes.
Over the next couple of years meetings of kinship caregivers were held around BC, in-person and online. Believing in the importance and credibility of an independent formal organization, the collective came together in June 2021 and agreed to form a non-profit society. We decided to call ourselves Fairness for Children Raised by Relatives. Fairness – because the system is inequitable and unjust. For children – because the group agreed that it was not about caregivers’ rights – our focus was on the children and youth who were not getting the supports they need and deserve.
In August 2021 we registered under the BC Societies Act.
Looking to the future
As our non-profit society continues its growth and evolution, we look to you our kinship families to grow our membership. Together we will identify our families’ needs and continue advocating for equity, inclusion, and fairness. We look to constantly be raising awareness within our communities and to search out and partner with others who are advocating for children and families. We will also be looking to the government: local, provincial, and even federal to ensure they are aware of our family’s unique challenges and needs.