First members appointed to minister’s new advisory council
Sixteen people from throughout the province have been appointed to the new Minister’s Advisory Council on Children and Youth with Support Needs (CYSN MAC).
“I’m so pleased to be announcing the members of the new council,” said Mitzi Dean, Minister of Children and Family Development, and chair, CYSN MAC. “We were fortunate to receive an overwhelming number of applicants – from parents to advocates and self-advocates, to service providers, agencies and more – each with their own story and experiences, their own areas of knowledge and expertise. The experience and expertise of our 16-member council will be crucial in our efforts to better support children and youth, and ensure families are at the centre of those improvements.”
Members include parents, representatives from umbrella organizations, a youth advocate and an Indigenous Elder who will share their voices, expertise and experiences to help shape the development of the new CYSN Service Framework.
Effective April 1, 2021, to April 1, 2022, the following members will be appointed to the CYSN MAC:
- Laranna Androsoff, parent from the Interior region;
- Dreena Davies, parent from the Vancouver coastal region;
- Katherine Foo, parent from the Fraser region;
- Lori Gauthier, parent from the North region;
- Aida Gordon, parent from the Vancouver Island Region;
- May Sam, Elder from the Tsartlip First Nation; and
- Izabelle Stevens, youth representative from the Vancouver coastal region.
Effective April 1, 2021, to Oct. 1, 2022, the following members will be appointed to the CYSN MAC:
- Devinder Chattha, director of language studies, settlement and social programs at the Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society;
- Angela Clancy, executive director of the Family Support Institute;
- Diana Elliott, provincial advisor for the Provincial Office for Aboriginal Infant Development Programs of B.C.;
- Jason Gordon, provincial advocate for the BC Association for Child Development and Intervention;
- Brenda Lenahan, founder of BC Parents of Complex Kids;
- Lisa Meneian, executive director of the Deaf Children’s Society of BC;
- Joshua Myers, executive director for the BC Centre for Ability;
- Deborah Pugh, executive director of Autism Community Training; and
- Jacqueline Watts, provincial advisor for the Provincial Office for Aboriginal Supported Child Development Programs of B.C.
The inaugural meeting of the council will be held early in May 2021. Regular updates will be posted online.
“I am very much looking forward to meeting the council virtually in May,” said Dan Coulter, Parliamentary Secretary for Accessibility, and vice-chair, CYSN MAC. “Because of the outpouring of interest to join the council, we’re also inviting people to stay connected to the work we’re doing, as there may be future opportunities for them to share their insights, ideas and experiences.”
Lori Gauthier, parent of four children with autism –
“The formation of this council brings me hope for change in how we support children and youth with support needs in the province. I am honoured to be part of this council and to be a voice, not only for my own children, but a voice for other Indigenous children and families living in rural communities throughout the province.”
Brenda Lenahan, founder, BC Parents of Complex Kids –
“A huge opportunity lies in front of us to greatly improve the lives of children with support needs and their families in B.C. As I accept this position, I feel a great sense of responsibility to share the unique experiences specific to children with medical complexity and complex disabilities as they experience the system today, and what supports they need for a better tomorrow. Including our voices at this table is a critical step toward an inclusive model of support for our children, and I look forward to the work ahead.”
Angela Clancy, executive director, Family Support Institute –
“I am pleased to be invited to participate on the Minister’s Advisory Council on CYSN and work toward finalizing and implementing the CYSN Service Framework with the intention of improving services and supports for children across B.C. With purpose and diligence, this framework has the capacity to make a difference for thousands of families and their children, and I am keen to be part of this collaborative effort for change.”
- The CYSN MAC will provide a forum to:
- build collaborative and respectful relationships through ongoing communication and engagement;
- discuss issues related to planning and delivery of the full range of services for children and youth with support needs; and
- provide advice on the new service framework and ensuring it is designed to serve the needs of a broad range of families.
- More than 30,000 children and youth with support needs in B.C. access the range of ministry services over the course of the year.
- In 2019-20, the ministry engaged with more than 1,500 participants to help inform the creation of the CYSN framework.
Updates or information about developments related to the CYSN Service Framework and the CYSN MAC can be found online:
For more information about the CYSN MAC, visit:
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