SOS Children’s Village British Columbia (Canada) Society (SOS BC) was incorporated in 1986 and has operated our campus since 1999. The Village, our flagship program, was created as a grass roots response to the unmet needs of children and youth in the provincial foster care system; namely the frequent placement breakdowns and moves for children and youth in foster care. The Village’s unique model is based on dynamics implemented by Hermann Gmeiner, the founder of SOS Children’s Village International. Our elements for success continue to be based on Gmeimer’s beliefs. Specifically, Gmeimer believed that a loving consistent family, home and community create a circle of health, belonging, support, and positive growth for the child in need. By establishing this circle of healing, a child develops resilience and has renewed hope leading to his or her future successes. SOS BC is affiliated with SOS International and SOS Canada and is the only SOS Children’s Village in Canada. SOS Children’s Villages International is the largest private child development organization in the world and operates over 573 Villages in 134 countries providing housing, foster parents, and therapeutic programs to support over 375,000 foster children and orphans. SOS operates 2,665 projects including educational, medical, and vocational centres which reach over 1 million children and their families.
Unlike SOS Children’s Villages elsewhere in the world we do not deal with “orphans”, rather we deal with children and youth who have been removed from their families of origin by the Ministry of Children and Family Development and are under the guardianship of the Ministry. Our model takes into account that the most vulnerable and least visible children in the Province of British Columbia unfortunately receive highly compromised service in the mainstream system due to chronic underfunding. We are guided by the boundaries of the Provincial Legislation for child welfare in terms of providing support and other services to Caregivers contracted by the government.
The SOS BC continuum of service provides healing, hope, and homes through a variety of programs within a supportive community environment, our Village. Our Village comprises 12 homes with 14 Caregivers and 48 Children. We own and oversee 5 foster homes, 5 Transition Suites, and a Village Centre on our own wooded 2.5 acre campus suite, with the seven other “village” homes integrated in the surrounding geographic area.