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For Immediate Release


Jan. 15, 2009

Ministry of Children and Family Development




WILLIAMS LAKE – A community-based crime prevention pilot program focused on promoting positive youth development through inclusive and caring communities is being implemented in Williams Lake and Anahim Lake, announced Children and Family Development Minister Tom Christensen.


“Protecting at-risk children and youth in the province is a responsibility we all share,” said Christensen. “Community and government partnerships are an integral piece in ensuring that vulnerable youth have the support system and network of resources they need to lead a healthy lifestyle.”


The pilot program Communities That Care is a research-based and outcome-focused approach facilitated by key leaders and board members that brings together the whole community to promote positive youth development and engagement. The focus is on early prevention and long-term solutions rather than short-term or reactive crime prevention measures.


Communities That Care looks at the roots of problem adolescent behavior, such as substance abuse, violence, and depression, and enhances protective factors such as an increase in community support, addictions support, and positive peer association to mitigate the occurrence of crime or problem behaviour in youth.


The pilot is being implemented by the Social Planning Council of Williams Lake and Area in co-ordination with the City of Williams Lake.


“We’re excited to be working with the province, the City of Williams Lake, and community of Anahim Lake on implementing the Communities That Care project,” said Monica Johnson, chair of the Social Planning Council. “The project will bring the community together to focus on ensuring positive futures for the youth of our communities. I am confident the results will be successful.”


A key leadership board will set the strategic direction for the program and oversee program delivery in both locations, while two separate community boards will help identify the unique needs, issues, and resources in each location and implement prevention and support programs. Board members can range from Government and business leaders to compassionate and dedicated community members.


Members of the Williams Lake and Anahim Lake leadership board met recently to begin their work on implementing Communities That Care.


Getting the key leaders together to address long-term solutions to important issues such as crime was a very positive first step,” said Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook. “We had a large cross-section at the meeting including social agencies, First Nations, RCMP and business. We look forward to continuing with this important work on behalf of the citizens.


“Communities That Care is a great program because it is designed to address the unique challenges of each community, while making use of the strengths and resources available to them to support our youth and create more inclusive communities,” added Christensen. “This is yet another great approach to creating bright, strong futures for the children and youth of this province through valuable partnerships.”


In December, the Ministry of Children and Family Development announced funding to support the creation of six community-based crime prevention pilot programs across the province. The ministry’s Interior region will receive approximately $180,000 annually, during the life of the pilot, to put towards the Communities That Care program.


The crime prevention pilot programs are supported by the Criminal Justice Reform Secretariat. More information is available at







Carolyn Heiman

Manager, Media Relations

Children and Family Development

250 356-1639

250 888-3545 (cell)


Monica Johnson

Chair, Social Planning Council of Williams Lake and Area

250 392-5730


Anne Burrill

Manager, Social Development

City of Williams Lake

250 392-8480

250 267-7211 (cell)






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