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Children's issues: Funds earmarked to reduce poverty rates

Poverty has a penchant for destruction in many ways. Sadly, many children's issues in British Columbia are enmeshed with this societal problem, however, the provincial government says it intends to do something about it by putting $5 million on the line for municipalities to be able to come up with local action to help lower the overall rate of poverty by 25% and the rate of child poverty by 50% over the next five years. Funds are earmarked for the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) for work under the Poverty Reduction Planning and Action program. 

It is hoped, the province says, that the money will enable community organizations and municipalities to identify the most dire situations in their areas and to come up with insular solutions to fight poverty. Projects that include children, housing, families, income, social supports, education and training and employment will be given priority. The province had already pledged $6 million in June of this year to projects aiming to reduce and to prevent homelessness. 

This newest provincial initiative is part of the TogetherBC, British Columbia's Poverty Reduction Strategy. Municipalities have been lobby the provincial government for years to address poverty at local levels. Local partners must be involved in these poverty reduction initiatives -- community-based groups and people who have lived with poverty, local businesses and First Nations organizations. Municipalities have until Feb. 28, 2020 to apply for funding through the program.

Poverty has long arms and can affect families and children in many ways. Sometimes the fallout of poverty can involve the law. When children are involved, legal questions may be best answered by a lawyer experienced in British Columbia family law and children's issues. Keeping children healthy and safe is up to everyone and a lawyer understands how the law can play a part in doing that.

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