VICTORIA, Dec. 5, 2012 /CNW/ - BC's Lex Reynolds Adoption and Permanency Trust Fund has awarded a total of $95,000 for six projects to support adoption and permanency in BC - five of which are specifically directed towards assisting First Nations communities.
Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Family and Community Services of Kamloops will receive $20,000 to promote adoption and permanency arrangements for Métis youth who have been in foster care for a significant part of their lives;
CHOICES Adoption & Counselling Services of Victoria will also receive $20,000 to create and distribute media profiles of First Nations children awaiting adoption and permanency;
Coast Tsimshian Academy in Port Simpson has been granted $15,000 to teach traditional practices to Aboriginal Children in care;
Lalum'utul' Smun'eem Child and Family Services will receive $12,000 to offer programs that engage Cowichan Tribes adoptive families in cultural activities;
The Adoptive Families Association of BC will receive $8,000 to develop an intensive, adoption-focused awareness and education program using face-to-face and online techniques; and,
Okanagan Nation Alliance will use $20,000 to raise awareness of the importance of developing culturally appropriate adoption services for children and families within their communities.
"The dedicated work of the trust fund committee members this past year has once again seen results that benefit children, youth, adoptive parents and their communities across all of BC," said Geord Holland, Chair of the trust fund. "Our strong communication and collaboration with the Ministry of Children and Family Development allows for growing collaboration between the ministry responsible for children and youth in care and the hundreds of community organizations who wish to help in some way to find families or permanent connections for those in care. More can always be done as we hope to grow the trust fund to provide the support needed by our children and youth in years to come."
The independent trust fund was established in 2003 by the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) to help British Columbia's children and youth who are awaiting adoption or other permanent connections. The trust fund is managed by the Victoria Foundation. In 2009, it was re-named after Lex Reynolds to honour the late lawyer and children's advocate - and adoptive father - who was the fund's founding co-chair.
The permanent endowment generates money to support organizations and individuals in finding and helping to maintain lifelong connections for BC's children and youth.
"All children and youth need the love, security and support of a lifelong, caring family," said Minister of Children and Family Development Stephanie Cadieux. "The grants provided this year through the Lex Reynolds Adoption and Permanency Trust Fund will help promote adoption awareness while working to preserve cultural connections for First Nation and Métis children and youth."
As of August 31 of this year, the MCFD reported there were 8,133 children and youth in care in BC More than 1,000 of them are waiting for a permanent family.
Since 2003, $821,500 has been awarded to 156 projects across the province. These include 17 mini-grants of $1,500 each distributed earlier this year.
To make a donation or to learn more about the Lex Reynolds Adoption and Permanency Trust Fund, visit www.connectingforlife.ca or contact the Victoria Foundation at 250 381-5532.
The Lex Reynolds Adoption and Permanency Trust Fund is administered by the Victoria Foundation under the guidance of a nine-person advisory committee appointed by the Adoption Council of Canada. Committee members promote the fund's availability, evaluate applications and make granting recommendations.
The BC Ministry of Children and Family Development asked the Victoria Foundation to manage and distribute the Lex Reynolds Adoption and Permanency Trust Fund because of the foundation's proven granting experience, administrative capabilities and prudent financial investment policy.
The Victoria Foundation is Canada's second-oldest community foundation and its sixth largest. To date, it has invested more than $100 million in people, projects and non-profit organizations that strengthen the community. Read more about The Victoria Foundation's vision and mandate.
SOURCE: Victoria Foundation
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