Children & Youth
Children & Youth in Abbotsford
The City of Abbotsford is one of the youngest communities in the Lower Mainland. According to the 2011 Census, 26% of the population is under 19 years of age. More than 37,000 families live in the community representing 79% of the total population. Approximately 17% of children under the age of 18 are considered low-income.
Children are identified as a priority area in Abbotsford Cares. Children’s success in school is considered an important precursor to their success in life. Initiatives that target the early years to increase school success have also been shown to prevent difficult social issues from occurring. Children who are not ready for school may be at risk for negative life consequences. Preventing issues early is better both for communities as a whole, and increases the potential and school success for those children who are vulnerable.
Youth are also a priority in Abbotsford Cares, especially programs and resources for youth who are considered at risk for negative life consequences. At risk youth require specific and targeted recreation, mental health, addiction services and housing to meet their unique needs. Factors such as access, affordability and youth friendly service providers are keys to providing quality programs and interventions for this population.
- Adoption of a Child and Youth Friendly Community Strategy.
- In November 2009, the City of Abbotsford and community partners adopted a child and youth friendly statement of intention. The statement was a result of the Child and Youth Friendly Community Strategy developed through funding from UBCM, and more than 200 individuals and organizations participated in the creation of the strategy.
- In 2010, the Abbotsford Youth Health Centre was created through community collaboration and brings to fruition a recommendation of the Child and Youth Friendly Community Strategy.
- The Parks, Recreation & Culture Subsidy Program was updated in 2014 to include facility passes for families and individuals that are at or under the low income bracket.
- Sweeney Neighbourhood Centre opened in 2013, and is a community collaboration to provide low and no cost programming for children and youth. Partners include Parks, Recreation & Culture and other community agencies.
- To promote child and youth friendly practices in the community through the Child and Youth Friendly Abbotsford Community Strategy and action plan.
- To continue to offer no and low cost programming and recreation opportunities to ensure access to recreation for all children and youth.
- Support safe spaces for youth to recreate and engage.
- Help support neighbourhood associations and residents in helping to make neighbourhoods safer and more child and youth friendly.
Child & Youth Friendly Resources
- UBC Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP) Early Development Instrument (EDI) maps and community summaries
- Abbotsford Child and Youth Committee
- Abbotsford Early Childhood Committee
- Abbotsford Youth Commission
- Speak Out 2011: A Dialogue between Youth and Community Leaders
- Child & Youth Friendly Housing & Neighbourhood Design
- Sweeney Neighbourhood Centre
- Grade 5 Active Pass
- Abbotsford Youth Health Centre
- Parks, Recreation & Culture Subsidy Program
- Kidsport Abbotsford
- Youth Resource Centre (Abbotsford Community Services)