Moms on the Move was formed in 2001 by BC parents who were concerned about drastic provincial budget cuts to services for children and youth with special needs. Strong community advocacy helped to mitigate the worst of the planned cuts and BC’s Premier eventually committed to forming the “best system of supports in Canada” for children with special needs, children at risk and adults with disabilities in Canada.
Families supporting families
As a result, MOMS shifted its focus to information sharing and support to the hundreds of BC parents who had joined our network, while continuing to highlight advocacy concerns as they arose. Relying entirely on volunteer effort, we have supported and connected hundreds of individual families in crisis, and worked with other community groups to support families as they struggle to help special children realize their abundant potential in the face of daunting challenges and a crumbling system of provincial supports.
MOMS is now the largest provincial group representing families of children and youth with special needs and adults with developmental disabilities in BC.
We are an informal, all-volunteer network that connects over 1,000 BC parents, groups, professionals and service providers who work together to support vulnerable children, youth and adults, along with the families, caregivers and communities who support them.
The “Militant” label has come and gone in our title. We were formed (only partly tongue-in-cheek) as “Militant MOMs” in 2001 to indicate the determination of BC parents to fight Premier Gordon Campbell’s drastic plans to cut services to vulnerable children and families by over 20% – a plan that would have had devastating consequences for families and communities throughout the province. Staid BC moms and dads who had never attended a demonstration in their lives took to the streets in protest across the province. Almost eight years later, MOMS got militant again, in response to new cuts and to Premier Campbell’s failure to honour his commitment to improve supports for children and youth with special needs.
The BC government failed to address major service gaps while registering record budget surpluses. Thousands of BC children are still being denied vital early intervention treatment. Families are unable to get the support they need to cope with their children’s exceptional needs. And now the level and quality of crucial services is being further eroded as the Province seeks to balance its budget on the backs of BC’s most vulnerable children, adults and families.
MOMs is committed to informing and uniting families and family groups and to educating the BC government and public on the importance of investing in children and youth with special needs and children at risk. We invite all British Columbians to join us in urging the BC government to honour its promises to BC’s vulnerable children, youth and adults.