AMHERST - What was formerly the board of Family and Children's Services is ready for an official launch.
The Cumberland Child Advocacy Board became the replacement for the former board in September of 2008. The new board of volunteers will serve as a link between the community and the Cumberland District office of the Department of Community Services (Child Welfare), as well as collectively between citizens and the Minister of Community Services.
Cyril Reid, president of the Cumberland Child Advocacy Board, said it's important to maintain such an organization in the area.
"We want to make sure there is still a voice out there for families and children in Cumberland County," Reid said. "It's important this board allows the community a voice with the province."
The board doesn't work with children and families directly, but does give input into the provincial department's plans.
"We bring the concerns from the community to the minister," Reid added.
During the official launch Monday, the new official website will also be unveiled, and board members will be available to anyone with questions or is looking for information in general.
The board's commitment is to prevent child abuse and neglect, assure the best interests of the children, promote the integrity of the family and preserve children's cultural, racial and linguistic heritage.
The volunteers are also committed to working with other community services and partners to prevent, alleviate and remedy the personal, social and economic conditionals that might place children and families at risk.
The board will continue to develop community awareness through a network of other community organizations within the community.
Reid said the board will revisit the strategic plan drawn up last year and work on future plans.
"We give out scholarships and bursaries to the high school level, but we'd like to start with our local community college as well. We'd also like to start recognizing foster parents and social workers out in the field," Reid said.
The launch will begin at 4:30 p.m. at Bella's CafÉ, and run until 6 p.m.