The Strategy for the Prevention of Harm to Children and Youth

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pdfKeeping Children and Youth Safe from Harm in New Brunswick:
A Five Year Strategy by New Brunswickers

Provincial Strategy for the Prevention of Harm to Children and Youth

We’re developing a strategy for the prevention of harm for children and youth in New Brunswick and we need your help.

From November 2014 to November 2015, youth, decision-makers, policy-makers, service providers, researchers, and academics will work together to develop this strategy. It will target harms or aspects of harms that are not being fully addressed in New Brunswick right now. The strategy will act as a kind of net that catches children that fall through programming and service gaps and fills gaps between existing strategies.

But here’s the most important part, the success of the strategy depends on two big things:

  • That New Brunswickers share their thoughts and ideas (especially youth!), and
  • That all involved work together to contribute towards filling these gaps.
Why does New Brunswick need a strategy?

Reason #1 – Harm is happening to children in New Brunswick

When we look at the numbers, we see that in 2013-2014, 9.3 of every 1,000 children under 16 was receiving child protection services; 26% of youth were overweight or obese; and 7% of youth were a current daily or occasional smoker. We can do better.

Reason #2 – We have legal obligations to prevent harm to children

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child states under Article 19 that children have a right to be protected from harm. The Committee on the Rights of the Child has also released a document called General Comment 13 that further explains what this right is and what can be done to best fulfil it. General Comment  13 is very clear that the nature of harm to children is such that Government, non-governmental organizations, communities, academics, researchers, families and youth need to work together to protect children from harm.

How can you participate?

The success of this strategy requires that all sectors of society and all levels of government work together. Harm to children is pervasive and often complicated. This problem cannot be effectively addressed without a coordinated effort from all members of society. We invite every New Brunswicker to participate in the development of this provincial strategy.

Share your views and ideas online or by mail at:

Strategy for the prevention of harm for children and youth in New Brunswick
548 York Street
Fredericton, New Brunswick
E3B 3R2
Canada

Our plan

In November 2014, a roundtable was established to develop a provincial strategy to prevent and reduce harm to children and youth in New Brunswick.  The roundtable is composed of 42 leaders from across the province. 

Over the course of the year, the project will:

  • Define what is harm for the purpose of the strategy;
  • Develop a detailed picture of harm to children in New Brunswick. What harms are affecting children? To what extent? What does harm look like for different genders, for First Nations, for disabled or new-comer children?
  • Develop a detailed picture of what is being done to prevent or reduce harm to children in New Brunswick, including strategies, programs and services;
  • Identify gaps in strategies, programs and services;
  • Identify priorities based on all the information;
  • Create a plan of action where everyone contributes towards priorities.
Tools for decision-making

Decisions on priorities and actions will be made by the roundtable. These decisions will be informed by many ideas and opinions – like yours! 

The Roundtable will be looking at a variety of information when making decisions, including research and best practices and:

Environmental Scan
The environmental scan will provide roundtable members with information to support evidence-informed decisions in the development of the Strategy, and will be used to prioritize current and future actions. It was developed to address three questions:

  • What harms are affecting children and youth?
  • To what degree do these harms occur?
  • What is being done about these harms and where are the gaps?

Forums
Forums will be organized with different sectors of society, including academics, non-governmental organizations and youth. Information from these forums will also be fed up to the roundtable to inform decision-making.

Resources

A definition of harm has been developed to describe what will be considered within the strategy. The definition of harm and all elements of the strategy will be based on the foundational principles of children’s rights under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and grounded in the specific context of New Brunswick.  

Other resources:

State of the Child Report 2016 1

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