Society for Children & Youth of B.C.

The Society for Children and Youth founded in 1974, is a provincial advocacy organization dedicated to improving the well-being of children and youth. SCY provides a multi-disciplinary forum for organizations and individuals who care about children and who recognize that special efforts need to be made on their behalf in our increasingly complex and largely adult society. SCY’s advocacy work in recent years has included a major project to promote the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and its significance to Canadian children.

The seeds for the Child and Youth Friendly Communities (CYFC) Project were sown during SCY’s Child Friendly Housing Project, which addressed the needs of children in multi-family housing by applying a child and youth friendly lens. By getting people together in a series of round tables and focus groups, the groundwork was laid for a three-year Child and Youth Friendly Communities Project.

The Project promotes the concept of child and youth friendly communities. It helps community groups, including children and youth themselves, to assess their neighbourhoods through the eyes of young people and to engage in activities that improve the safety and wellbeing of children and youth. Aims of the CYFC Project:
– To develop a climate in BC communities that respects children’s rights
– To meet children’s need for safe, healthy communities that allow children to thrive
– To involve children and youth actively in creating their community’s future

For more information:


The Society for Children and Youth of British Columbia

2765 Osoyoos Crescent
Vancouver BC V6T 1X7
Phone: (1 604) 822-0033
Fax: (1 604) 822-9556

West Vancouver Civic Youth Strategy: Giving youth a voice in local government

Civic Youth Strategy for West Vancouver provides a set of specific strategies and actions aimed at making West Vancouver more ‘youth friendly’. The strategy was prepared by the District of West Vancouver Staff and other experts to develop five strategic approaches to the implementation of a policy statement, as follows: 1) Create a broader vision for youth recreation; 2) Give youth a stronger voice in local government; 3) Improve the image of youth in the community; 4) Use civic resources for youth development; 5) Bring a youth perspective to civic policy development and planning. A three-phase process was used to develop this Civic Youth Strategy. Firstly, a youth survey was undertaken in West Vancouver High Schools focused on youth aged 13 to 18 years (grades 8/12). The survey was delivered in the last week of November, 2001. All secondary schools participated in the survey with the exception of Collingwood School. Secondly, youth participated in a survey of all municipal departments and community facilities. It was considered important for youth to find out what municipal departments and facilities do and how this affects youth. This was accomplished by having teams of two youth tour each department, ask questions, and report back to a workshop. Thirdly, ideas were brought together at a Youth Symposium, organized with the School Board, and held in conjunction with Youth Week 2002. This toolkit provides The Civic Youth Strategy Survey Questionnaire and the Planning for the Youth Symposium.


District of West Vancouver Municipal Hall
750 – 17th Street
West Vancouver, BC
V5M 3E8 Canada
Telephone (1 604) 925 7127
Fax (1 604) 925 5978

Child and Youth Friendly City Strategy in Surrey (British Columbia)

In 2006 the City Council adopted the “Plan for the Social Well Being of Surrey Residents” (the “Social Plan”), which identified the creation of a Child and Youth Friendly City as one of the priorities to improve the quality of life in Surrey. As of 2010, a “Child and Youth Friendly City Strategy” is in the process of elaboration, with the aim of ensuring that the City’s policies and programmes promote the healthy development of youngest residents. To engage children and adolescents in the development of the strategy, in the spring and summer of 2009 a consultative process was promoted and involved children, youth, parents, municipal staff and a range of community stakeholders. The inputs collected have been organized around three main themes which guide the contents of the Child and Youth Strategy: 1) participation of young people in decision making and community life; 2) physical environment that nurtures and promotes the healthy development of young people; 3) accessible programs and services that respond to the developmental stages of early childhood, middle childhood and youth.

For more information:


Municipalité amie des enfants (Child Friendly Cities) in Québec

On November 20, 2009, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF and the Carrefour Action Municipale et Famille (CAMF) launched the initiative Municipalité Amie des Enfants (Child Friendly Towns) in Quebec. Since that day, twenty Québec municipalities have become accredited as “child friendly”, meeting the following criteria:

1. to have adopted a municipal policy for families, as envisioned in the Ministry of Families. The municipality has to provide evidence by completing a detailed questionnaire on different actions promote for children;

2. to celebrate the International Children’s Day on November 20, every years;

3. to create, after the accreditation, a monitoring system to assess actions for children.

More information: (French language)


Lisa Wolff, Director, Policy, UNICEF Canada

Telephone: 416 482 444 Ext. 8897


Karine Villeneuve (MAE Project Manager, CAMF)
Telephone: 450 466-9777 Ext. 223



Child Friendly Edmonton Strategy

In 2006 the City of Edmonton conducted a consultative process to assess the relevance of UNICEF Child Friendly Cities Initiative criteria and components for Edmonton. A number of consultations were organized involving students of different ages, other stakeholders and the Edmonton Youth Council. The positive feedback received inspired the development and launch of the Child Friendly Edmonton Strategy. The Strategy is based on three main goals: 1) promotion of children’s and adolescent’s participation and strengthening of overall awareness on children issues; 2) improvement of access to programs and services for all children and youth; 3) organization of quality child centered policies, programs and initiatives. Each goal contains “building blocks” which help monitor the expected objectives.

Child and Youth Friendly Calgary (Alberta)

Child and Youth Friendly Calgary (CYFC) is an organization which works to give children and youth the opportunity to get involved in their community. It realizes several initiatives and programs. One of these is the Calgary Youth Foundation; created in 1994, it is a youth committee which is responsible to distribute grant money to important youth-driven initiatives. A very important project is the Mayor’s Youth Council (MYC), organized by CYFC in partnership with the City of Calgary; the members of this body (young people aged 13 to 18) can meet the City Council and make it know their ideas and concerns.

For more information:


Child and Youth Friendly Calgary (CYFC),

Telephone: 403.266.5448


Child Friendly Edmonton Coordinator

Telephone: 780-496-5905

Ottawa Youth Friendly Community Initiative (Ontario)

The Ottawa Youth Friendly Community Initiative (OYFCI) is a three-year (2009-2011) project which aims to build and sustain youth participation in Ottawa. It is being led by a network of partner organizations, such as the charity “Child and Youth Friendly Ottawa” (CAYFO) and the Youth Canada Association (YOUCAN). Youth, aged 13-19, will be invited to participate in focus group sessions in their schools and communities, having the opportunity to participate in meaningful civic engagement in their city. The initiative has three main objectives: 1) to define child and youth friendliness from a youth perspective; 2) to identify child and youth friendly spaces and services in Ottawa; 3) to create a final report outlining the findings of this three-years process and develop a long-term action plan that incorporates the recommendations received by youths. The Youth Friendly Community Recognition Program will start in the future. It consist of a certificate awarded by the Ontario Play Works Partnership (a group of organizations working on the future of youth in Ontario) to communities which are committed to provide access to a diversity of play and recreational activities, including sport, recreation, drama, dance, music, the arts, volunteerism, leadership development, service leadership and/or civic engagement.

For more information:

Child and Youth Friendly Abbotsford Community Strategy (Alberta)

The city of Abbotsford started a CFC process in 2005, when the Official Community Plan (OCP) identified children and youth as one of five priority areas for planning. An important step was the creation of the Child and Youth Friendly Abbotsford Working Group, a sub group of the Abbotsford Social Development Advisory Committee, which began meeting in 2007. In 2008 this group hosted the Child Friendly Forum for Community Leaders, giving the opportunity to more then 300 young people to speak directly to community leaders. On the occasion of the Forum, the results of a community mapping with children, elaborated by the University of Fraser Valley, was also presented. In March 2009, the above-mentioned group received a grant from the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) for the development of an Abbotsford Child and Youth Friendly Community Strategy. The expected deliverables of the UBCM grant were: 1) an assessment of the child and youth friendly state of Abbotsford; 2) child friendly policies and development designs and guidelines; 3) a child and youth friendly community strategy and action plan; 4) an increase in intergenerational activities; 5) a comprehensive assessment of the Clearbrook neighbourhood. The first of these deliverables has been completed through a consultative process, started in April and completed in October 2009, wich involved more than 200 individuals and organizations. It consisted of: a) several consultations (two youth focus groups; a community leaders’ forum; a community stakeholders’ forum; a senior’s dialogue on intergenerational activities); b) informal interviews; c) a survey ( based on the four child and youth friendly lens (live, work/school, play, care). As result of the consultative process, the “Child Friendly Statement of Intention” was elaborated and officially signed on December 4, 2009 by the Mayor of Abbotsford. The second and thirt deliverables have been also produced: policies for children and youths and the Child and Youth Friendly Community Strategy and Action Plan have been elaborated. A publication about this initiative is available on the CFC Database (


Cherie Enns (Director, Global Development Institute, Geography Department, University of the Fraser Valley)