See how Surrounded by Cedar can help you and your family.

What Is a Youth Agreement?

A Youth Agreement (YAG) is a legal agreement made between youth (16 – 18 years old), the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) and Surrounded by Cedar Child & Family Services (SCCFS). A thorough assessment of a youth’s circumstances is completed by a local MCFD office or fully delegated DAA and then assigned to SCCFS who will work directly with youth to address their needs.

What assistance is available through a Youth Agreement?

Depending on what you need to live on your own, a YAG can assist with the following:

  • Finding a place to live
  • Learning life skills like grocery shopping, preparing healthy meals, paying bills and communicating with landlords
  • Coping with substance dependency (alcohol, drugs, etc.)
  • Managing your mental health and wellness
  • Managing your money
  • Getting and completing an education

Are you eligible to access a Youth Agreement?

You may be eligible for the Youth Agreements program if:

  • You are between 16 and 18 years old; AND
  • You are in need of assistance and may need protection. This will be thoroughly assessed at the local MCFD office or fully delegated DAA.

If you have any questions about your circumstances, or to see if you are eligible to be considered for a Youth Agreement, you can contact MCFD’s Centralized Screening at 1-800-663-9122.

You may also contact Lee Smith at Surrounded by Cedar by calling (250) 383-2990, Ext. 220 or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Guardianship Social Workers are responsible as legal guardians to urban Aboriginal children who are in continuing care of the Director. The goal of the Guardianship social worker is to find permanency for a child in care as well as to ensure that a child who remains in the care of the agency is afforded the best possible care and opportunity to learn and grow into a healthy young adult.

Read more: Guardianship

The Resource Social Worker provides a range of voluntary services to children and families, as well as recruits new Aboriginal homes, home studies and provides support to caregivers of urban Aboriginal children in permanent care. Almost half of the children-in-care in this province are Aboriginal. Children who are connected to their families, communities and culture do better as adults.

Read more: Residential Resources (C3)

In its belief that all children have the right to grow up connected to their culture, SCCFS offers programming throughout the year that nurtures cultural identity development and provides a culturally safe space for this learning to take place. Programming each year includes:

  • Earth Walkers Spring & Summer Break Cultural Camps
  • Pro-D Day Cultural Programming (following SD #61 calendar)
  • Winter Feast
  • Nest to Wings Ceremony (for Indigenous youth leaving care)
  • Youth and Elder Dinners (monthly during the school year)
  • Other family friendly events
Read more: Cultural Programming

The Life Long Connections worker assists in identifying and locating a child’s family or other close community member to help facilitate ongoing connection and possible placement where appropriate. In addition, the worker searches for placements with extended family when a child has been placed in foster care where it is in the best interest of the child. The worker will also help to facilitate and coordinate out of region and out of province kinship placements if required.

Read more: Life Long Connections

About the Annual Back to School Picnic

The annual Aboriginal Back to School Picnic (BTSP) initiative began in Victoria in 2003 as a small community celebration for a few children.

One urban Aboriginal community-based organization, Surrounded By Cedar Child and Family Services (SCCFS) sought financial and volunteer support from four sister agencies, the Victoria Native Friendship Centre (VNFC), the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres (BCAAFC), Hulitan Social Services and M’akola Housing Society and First Nations Education at School District 61 (Victoria) to develop and implement the first BTSP.

This initiative resulted in over 100 attendees and 45 backpacks of school supplies offered to urban Aboriginal children. No questions asked.

The program has grown and changed with guidance and support of SCCFS management and Board of Directors.

Read more: Aboriginal Back to School Picnic

The role of Elders in all Indigenous communities is vital. Our Elders fulfill the role of historians, librarians, coaches, mentors, and guides. Surrounded by Cedar’s Elder in Residence provides a wide range of cultural support to all program areas of Surrounded by Cedar and is available to provide support, guidance, advice and encouragement to all agency staff, children and youth in care, caregivers and birth family members. To assist in fulfilling the agency’s vision, the Elder in Residence works to facilitate a positive, respectful and culturally appropriate environment, while breaking down stigmas and systemic barriers. Staff are supported by the Elder in Residence to perform their duties in a way that incorporates services rooted in strong cultural values.

Looking for Help?


aged out logo

helpline for children2
Site Development by DOC Media.