Centre For Family Equity

Creating a BC where all families thrive.

About Us

The Centre for Family Equity, formerly known as the Single Mothers’ Alliance, addresses family poverty in BC.

We advocate for public policy and human rights-focused solutions to socioeconomic inequality. We take a holistic, whole family approach to family well-being.  Most children and youth are in poverty because their parents, guardians, and families are in poverty.

The Centre for Family Equity carries out community-engaged research and makes evidence-based public policy recommendations to address family poverty.

We also take legal action to tackle discrimination and uphold the rights of equity-seeking families in BC. Our direct programming focuses on land-based healing and culturally appropriate support programs for Indigenous mothers and caregivers.

Our Lived Experience Led Model

The Centre for Family Equity consists of an active member network of parents and caregivers throughout the province, the majority of whom are lone-mothers impacted by gender inequality and poverty. Our work is driven by a community-based organizing model shaped by our Basis of Unity, an anti-oppression tool that has worked meaningfully since we founded as the Single Mothers’ Alliance in 2014.

Determining our strategic priorities based on community engagement is baked into our DNA

Our frequent listening campaigns ensure our work towards justice and socioeconomic equality is continually meeting the real and evolving needs of families based on their lived experience.

We strongly believe that our members are skilled leaders.

We are passionate about facilitating access to tools for impacting change and building capacity to motivate movers and shakers everywhere in BC.

Family Poverty in BC

As of 2020, over 116,500 children were living in poverty in BC, with approximately 1 in every 8 children affected. Of these, a staggering 65,230 children were raised in lone-parent households. The child poverty rate for children in lone-parent families is a shocking 38.3%, nearly six times higher than in other families. On-reserve child poverty rates in 2020 were even more devastating, with rates dramatically higher than the provincial average of 13.3%. On 59 BC First Nations reserves, the overall child poverty rate reached 29.2%, impacting at least 3,900 children.

Furthermore, rural reserves experienced a child poverty rate of 33.9%, significantly higher than the 25.2% rate observed in urban reserves. 

We must recognize the disparities experienced by newcomer and racialized families. Based on 2021 Census data using the LIM after-tax measure, most racialized children in BC face higher poverty rates compared to non-racialized children. Arab, Korean, and West Asian children have more than double or triple the risk of poverty. The census data also reveals that in 2020, over one in five (21%) recent immigrant children aged 0-17 lived in poverty in BC.

These statistics expose the stark reality that certain families in BC face a significantly higher risk of living in poverty. At the Centre for Family Equity, we are committed to advocating for equitable policies and implementing tailored initiatives to address these disparities and create a just and prosperous future for every family.

Statistics on child poverty quoted here are care of First Call's 2022 BC Child Poverty Report Card.

The Centre for Family Equity is a member of the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition and partners and collaborates with a diversity of organizations throughout BC.

More About Our Approach

Our focus on intersectional equity means we address how the social identities of families result in systemic marginalization, discrimination, and poverty for many. 

We examine and tackle systemic discrimination and poverty that may be rooted in a combination of the following:  

  • racialized identity 
  • Indigeneity 
  • gender identity  
  • trans identity 
  • sexual orientation 
  • health and mental health status  
  • social class 
  • marital status  
  • religion 
  • ability 
  • age 
  • newcomer and refugee status 
  • citizenship status  
  • other characteristics  

Basis of Unity

For more information on our approach and the shared principles that guide us please see our Basis of Unity.