May 4th, 2023 – The Past, Present and Co-Developed Future of Services for Children and Youth with Support Needs with Danielle Smith & Molly Fredeen

This webinar is about supports and services for children and youth with support needs (CYSN). We will share the story of how CYSN services came to be, who accesses them now, and the government’s responsibility to children and youth with support needs and their families. We will discuss what that story tells us about changes that need to be made to the system to better align with the vision Indigenous communities have for their children and youth with support needs, and share opportunities for input and consultation.

Thank you for your interest and participation!

This session’s video is now available for viewing.

Thank you to everyone for your continued interest in our events.

We would like to reiterate that everyone is welcome to our UBCLC sessions.

Date: Thursday, May 4th, 2023 (PST)
Time: 10 a.m. to 11:30 am

About the Presenters:


Danielle Smith

Executive Director Inclusion Policy, Communications, and Engagement Branch

Strategic Integration, Policy and Legislation Division

Ministry of Children and Family Development

Danielle Smith is of Métis Cree ancestry, with her roots extending from Victoria, BC to High Prairie Alberta.  Being a visitor of Coast Salish Territory for much of her life, Danielle began her career working within the early year’s sector over 25 years ago.

Starting as an Early Childhood Educator working in group care, Danielle moved from the childcare sector to a greater focus on children with support needs programing facilitating the development and implementation of the Aboriginal Early Intervention Team in South Vancouver Island. From here, Danielle accepted the role of Provincial Advisor for Aboriginal Supported Child Development programs supporting the variety of ASCD program across BC, to joining the provincial government public service in 2014.

Her experience in the BC Public Service includes leadership roles Director of Early Years Indigenous Engagement, Director of Inclusion Policy and in February 2018 Danielle was appointed Executive Director Inclusion Policy, Communications, and Engagement Branch supporting the transformation of services for children and youth with support needs in the province.


Molly Fredeen

Senior Policy Analyst Early Years and Inclusion Policy, Communications and Engagement

Strategic Integration, Policy and Legislation Division, Ministry of Children and Family Development

I am Ukrainian and mixed-European, grew up in Prince George, British Columbia and my family has roots in many places including Saskatoon and the Carpathian Mountains. I have been a visitor on Lekwungen territory since 2019, which is also when I started my career in government.

I am a queer person who’s spent much of my life learning about the ways in which colonization shows up in research, teaching tools, and institutional systems. Some of this learning comes from my time as Master’s student doing work related to community gardens in the Yukon, while some comes from experiences teaching students with English as a Learned Language. I was also a researcher before I came to the B.C. Public Service studying empathy development in medical students, which taught me much about standardized tools and equipment.

My time in government started with Early Years, working on topics like child care and wrap around services. I moved from there to become an Aboriginal Policy and Program Analyst who worked on debiasing and decolonizing operational policy and practice. I’ve been on this team with Danielle since 2021 supporting engagement, research, and anti-discrimination in policies for CYSN Services.


  • Children and youth with support needs – website

The topics we cover can often be sensitive or emotionally triggering. Please make sure that you are looking after yourself. If at any point you feel that you need to talk to a friend, Elder, counselor, or family member: don’t hesitate to do so. Check out our Counseling Support Page.

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