With the 20th Anniversary of the Chilliwack Child and Youth Committee’s annual Consultation on Chilliwack’s Children on the horizon (April 26th), we thought it fitting to highlight some of the individuals who are examples of those giving of themselves for children and youth in our community.
I had the pleasure to speak with Dan Bibby, Community Service Manager of Chilliwack’s Ministry of Children and Family Development since 2010 and co-chair of the Child and Youth Committee, a member of the Consultation’s planning committee. Twenty years ago found him transferring to the Chilliwack MCFD Team Leader position after 10yrs of social work and management in Williams Lake, Prince George, and Fraser Cascade. He attended the 1st CYC Consultation in 1992 as a representative of Hope and recollects being impressed with the conference’s collaborative format.
What started you in the service of children, youth and families?
I was raised in a family of 5 siblings, evolving into the role of caretaker, meditator, and problem solver. My three degrees in Criminology, Social Work, and Public Sector Management provided me with insight into the psycho-social impact of issues ad developed a passion to be an agent of change. Early in my career I came to respect a multidisciplinary collaborative approach to children/youth and their families.
What has been one of your major accomplishments or projects, related to the consultation or not?
The CYC has been an important forum to build cross agency partnerships, advocating for the communities health and safety, and identifying service gaps and solutions. Focus on the Early Years, including Chilliwack’s recognition for our early year’s programs and service model, which includes Central Gateway and Strong Start centres.
What keeps you invested in service to children, youth and families?
Passion and commitment to address gaps in our social/health/education community service model. As Community Service Manager I witness the dedication and commitment from many professionals which serves as a motivator.
What has changed for the good in Chilliwack over the past decades?
Intentional focus on prevention and early intervention (in terms of early recognition and support), so to provide children, youth, and their families’ with problem-solving skills and an understanding as to what services exist.
What do you see as the biggest challenges that our community and its’ children/youth face?
Limited resources to embrace the collective multi-discipline intelligence, knowledge and understanding of the complexity of disabilities, mental illness, and trauma that impact our community’s children/youth and their families.
Dan Bibby has worked for MCFD for the past 29 years, with the last 10 in senior management throughout the Lower Mainland. In 2010, he was awarded the Premier’s Award for Leadership for the Province of BC. We consider ourselves fortunate to have him work within the community he lives in as he serves it so well.
Eryn Wicker (M.A. RCC) is a mental health clinician with the Child and Youth Mental Health Team for the Ministry of Children and Family Development, Chilliwack, BC.