Champions for Children and Youth: William C. Bell keynotes British Columbia summit in Vancouver

President and CEO William C. Bell delivered the opening keynote address at last month’s Champions for Children and Youth: The 2013 British Columbia Summit in Vancouver, a national conference on keeping kids safe and connected.

In his address Bell talked about the work and journey of Casey Family Programs, building communities of hope, the need, and actions and strategies for strengthening families and communities.

“We are globally connected,” Bell said.  “The needs of your children are the same as the needs of my children.  The success of your children impacts the success of my children.”

“Neither the United States or Canada can continue to foster two nations within their respective countries – one that has endless hope and promise for its children and one where the hopes and dreams of its children must be delayed and deferred because every day of their lives is too focused on survival,” he continued.

“We signal what we value with our decisions, choices and funding.  It’s time to shift the conversation to talk about paying for well-being and aligning our resources with the results and outcomes we say we want to see.”

“It’s time to be different,” Bell added.  “We have to talk about the reality we live in and challenge how we think, and start investing in children, not in systems.  We have to change the way we think, plan and act.”

More than 300 attended the conference sponsored by the Representative for Children and Youth, an organization established to improve services and outcomes for children in British Columbia through advocacy, accountability and review; the Child Welfare League of Canada; and the Canadian Red Cross.