SurreyCares Funds Social Worker to Dan’s Legacy’s Team

February 2, 2021

SurreyCares Community Foundation has supplied a $12,845 Emergency Community Support Fund grant to Dan’s Legacy, which is being used to add a Social Worker to the team. This investment will help meet the increased demand for mental health support for youth at risk.

The COVID-19 pandemic affected many social workers’ ability to see clients directly as most are following work-from-home safety directives. Dan’s Legacy’s counsellors were spending approximately 30% of their time providing critical social work support to their clients, reducing the amount of time they could provide therapy. The new Social Worker on the team supports the counsellors, freeing them to focus exclusively on providing no-barrier, trauma-informed and culturally sensitive therapy to youth at risk seeking mental health support.

“We’re so grateful for the continued support of our friends at SurreyCares during the second round of the Emergency Community Support Fund,” says Barbara Coates, Dan’s Legacy’s executive director. “The addition of a Social Worker to our team is a strategic investment, ensuring we can best support youth at risk in the community. Trauma counselling is most effective when the youth are fully supported by wrap- around programs, and this is where our Social Worker can help bridge the current gap in services.”

The COVID-19 crisis has increased mental health and food security issues with youth at risk, many of whom are struggling with psychosis, depression, anxiety, and self-medicating to suppress the pain. As many of these youth are homeless and hungry, they are particularly susceptible to diseases such as COVID-19. Therefore, it is critical to allocate a portion of this funding to support vulnerable youth in our community in any way necessary.

This grant is made possible through the Government of Canada’s $350 million Emergency Community Support Fund, which saw over $900,000 allocated to SurreyCares in its first round and now, over $575,000 in the second round.

Christine Buttkus, the Executive Director of SurreyCares explains, “During the pandemic, vulnerable youth are experiencing increased barriers in accessing mental health programs. Therefore, we needed to make sure funding is going to organizations who support youth at risk, such as Dan’s Legacy. COVID-19 has been challenging our community in many ways, and Surrey has worked hard to pull through to support those in need.”

The Emergency Community Support Fund is being delivered through a national partnership with Community Foundations of Canada, United Way Centraide Canada and the Canadian Red Cross

“We are proud of our local non-profits and are eager to extend more funding their way through this second round of the Emergency Community Support Fund government funding,” said John Lawson, Board Chair of SurreyCares, “we know that the need for funding is increasing and we are continuing to advocate for additional emergency funds.”

Individuals and businesses who wish to support Surrey charities are asked to give to the Surrey Community Relief Fund. In partnership with the Surrey Now-Leader, Surrey Board of Trade and The Saheli Foundation, the goal is to raise $500,000 to support the most vulnerable populations in Surrey.