KJIPUKTUK (HALIFAX, NS) – The Nova Scotia College of Social Workers (NSCSW) has launched a new online campaign at childyouthadvocatens.org calling on Nova Scotians to tweet and email the Liberal leadership candidates demanding that they commit to immediately creating a Child and Youth Advocate Office.
As members of the governing Liberal party select their new leader and Nova Scotians await the declaration of a new premier, it is striking that the Liberal leadership candidates have yet to offer significant policy proposals to support children, youth and their families; none of these aspiring leaders have revealed a substantial plan to alleviate child and family poverty.
“For a political party that likes to pride itself on fiscal responsibility, this approach seems fiscally reckless and socially irresponsible. The cost of poverty in Nova Scotia leads to more expensive services, and to the criminalization and over-policing of those who live in poverty,” states Alec Stratford, Executive Director and Registrar of NSCSW.
Last month the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released the 2020 Report Card on Child and Family Poverty in Nova Scotia, which shows that child poverty has increased by 1.7 per cent, and that Nova Scotia has the highest rate of child and family poverty in the country and the highest overall rate of poverty (according to Canada’s official measurement of poverty, the Market Basket Measure).
“We need to see courage to implement a slew of policy choices, including income assistance, universal child care, and social infrastructure,” says Stratford. “To ensure policies effectively meet the needs of vulnerable children and youth, making sure they have an advocacy seat at the table is necessary and overdue.”
Without a political voice, vulnerable children and youth will continue to be left out of the decision-making that directly impacts them. The campaign aims to generate support to demand that children and youth to have the tools to effectively advocate for the policies and programs that work for them.
The Nova Scotia College of Social Workers serves and protects Nova Scotians by effectively regulating the profession of social work. We work in solidarity with Nova Scotians to advocate for policies that improve social conditions, challenge injustice and value diversity.