Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth invites services providers and professionals to renew their commitment to LGBTQ2S young people

TORONTO, June 19, 2015 /CNW/ - With a number of Pride celebrations underway, Ontario's Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth is calling on service providers and professionals who work with LGBTQ2S (lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, 2 spirited) young people to renew their commitment and share their best practices for creating safe, equal and supportive environments.

"My Office continues to hear from LGBTQ2S children and youth who are experiencing abuse, isolation, discrimination, and transphobia and homophobia. It's clear that we still have a long way to go in building a province that celebrates diversity and promote equality," said Irwin Elman, Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth.

Launched at World Pride 2014 in Toronto, the Provincial Advocate's Office introduced the     "Be Our Ally" campaign - an initiative led by young people through the You Are Not Alone (YANA) project. YANA provides a safe forum for LGBTQ2S children and youth under the Office's mandate to share their stories and ideas for making the system more supportive and equitable.

"Be Our Ally" invites services providers and professionals in the child welfare, youth justice, social services, and health and education systems to share their best practices and ideas for resolving barriers faced by LGBTQ2S children and youth. Submissions can be made through the Provincial Advocate's website.

"Pride is an important time to celebrate and raise awareness about the lived experiences facing these young people. For service providers and professionals, it's a time to renew their commitment and stand by these extraordinary children and youth, and share ideas for creating meaningful change in their lives," said Elman. "

For more information about YANA and #BeOurAlly, visit the Provincial Advocate's website and stay current by connecting with us on Twitter or Facebook.

About the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth

The Office of the Provincial Advocate reports directly to the Legislature and provides an independent voice for children and youth, including children with special needs and First Nations children. The advocates receive and respond to concerns from children, youth and families who are seeking or receiving services under the Child and Family Services Act and the Education Act (Provincial and Demonstration Schools). The Provincial Advocate may identify systemic problems involving children, conduct reviews and provide education and advice on the issue of advocacy and the rights of children. The Office is guided by the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and has a strong commitment to youth involvement.

SOURCE Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth

For further information: Media Contact: Eva Lannon & Associates, 416.300.9721 or


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