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March is Community Social Services Awareness Month!

Frontline community social service workers and agencies help build safe, healthy, and caring communities across BC. During difficult periods, or when a crisis arises, community-based social services are available to help individuals and families deal with life's challenges.

But chronic underfunding to BC's community social service agencies over the past decade has resulted in cuts to vital programs and services and growing waitlists. Organizations are stretched to the breaking point. Individuals and families are suffering.

Please take action! Send a message to Premier Christy Clark calling for the government to increase funding for the sector at www.communitysocialservicesmatter.ca

Community Social Services Awareness month is a province-wide public awareness campaign aimed at shining a spotlight on the vital role the sector plays in our lives and in our society.

• On February 29, a motion was passed in the B.C. Legislature to declare March Community Social Services Awareness month (View video / Read Hansard transcript - scroll down to "Community Social Service Workers");

• Last year, more than 50 municipalities issued official proclamations in support of Community Social Services Awareness month. Letters have already been sent to municipal councils requesting their support this year;

• The month concludes with a walk in support of Community Social Services in Victoria on Saturday, March 31. Please save the date!

BCs community social service workers are caring professionals that make BCs communities stronger, healthier, and more stable. They:

• SUPPORT children and adults with developmental and physical disabilities to fully participate in their communities through housing, employment support, recreation and community engagement.

• HELP end violence in our communities by supporting women, youth and children fleeing abuse and other victims of crime by providing safe environments, counselling and advocacy.

• REACH OUT to the homeless, people with mental illness and at-risk and street-involved youth by providing shelter, supported housing, employment and life skills training and counselling.

To learn more about CSS month, please visit www.communitysocialservicesmatter.ca

If you work in community social services, your chief steward has the following materials for distribution. (If you work in the health sector, please speak to your chief steward whether they have requested these materials ... or download them for yourself below.)

CSS month Resources

Postcards
• CSS month postcard - version 1 - Toddler
• CSS Month postcard - version 2 - Youth
• CSS Month postcard - version 3 - Adult with developmental disability

Brochure
• Community Social Services Month brochure - 2012

Posters
• CSS Month poster - version 1 - Toddler
• CSS Month poster - version 2 - Youth
• CSS Month poster - version 3 - Adult with developmental disability

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