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Children & Youth Friendly City

Over 120,000 children and youth currently live in Surrey, and the numbers continue to grow. These young people come from richly diverse families. Their energy and exuberance contributes to making Surrey a vibrant and socially sustainable community. Children and youth are a big part of our city, and we're committed to making the Surrey a great place for children and youth to live, learn and play.

Child and Youth Friendly City Strategy

The Child and Youth Friendly City Strategy was adopted by Council in 2010. The Strategy identifies actions for the City to take to promote the healthy development of young people, from early childhood, through middle childhood and adolescence.

Our Vision of a Child and Youth Friendly City

  • A community where children and youth are valued community members and actively contribute their time, ideas and perspectives to civic life.
  • A community that promotes social connectedness, where children and youth feel safe, have freedom of movement, green space and opportunities for play and imagination.
  • A community where all children and youth are able to access enriching and engaging programs and services that promote their healthy development regardless of their family’s income or background.

The Strategy focuses on 3 policy and program areas

  • Engagement
    • Providing opportunities for children and youth to participate in and contribute to civic life.
  • Physical Environment
    • A natural and built environment that supports the healthy development of children and youth.
  • Civic Services
    • Recreation, library and cultural services that are framed around the developmental needs of children and youth.

Research and Consultation

Check out the results of research and consultation undertaken by the City of Surrey to create our Child and Youth Friendly City Strategy

Get Involved

Learn about the opportunities for youth in Surrey to develop leadership skills, take on community projects, or join a City Youth Council.

Current Projects

Many of of our current priorities and projects in Social Planning are engaging youth, or addressing key social challenges faced by children and youth in our city, including:

  • Surrey Poverty Reduction Coalition (SPRC): the Connecting Community to Surrey Youth Leaving Care project is engaging the Surrey community to do a radical rethinking of the ways in which youth are supported when they transition from government care, at age 19, into adulthood.
  • Surrey Local Immigration Partnership: "Thriving Youth" is one of the five strategic directions identified in the Surrey Immigrant Integration Strategy.  A Surrey Youth Refugee Advisory Roundtable is being formed in January 2017.
  • Surrey Urban Aboriginal Strategy: The Aboriginal population in Surrey is young, and growing. The Surrey Urban Aboriginal Strategy identifies key findings and actions related to Aboriginal children and youth.
  • Social Policy Advisory Council (SPAC): Children and youth is a key theme of the SPAC. The SPAC includes two designated Youth Representatives.

Completed Projects

Youth Engagement

Social Planning piloted initiatives that would engage young people in civic issues and nurture leadership. These initiatives were created because we know these opportunities are critical components of a child and youth-friendly city:

  • Surrey Leadership Youth Council (SLYC) was developed to engage youth in our community. SLYC is a group of young people in Surrey who are aiming to have youth voices heard and acted upon by the City of Surrey. SLYC believes youth know what's up and can make a difference. One of the actions that the SLYC leads, is organizing and hosting the annual Youth Speak Up! Forum. See the success of the SLYC in the forum reports:
  • Youth Planner Project: This project engaged children and youth in land use planning. Four high school students were employed by the City's Planning Department to develop a Youth Planner Toolkit of activities for consulting with children and youth on topics related to the physical environment for land use planning. The toolkit is a resource for consulting with children and youth as part of a Neighbourhood Concept Plan.

IBM Smarter Cities Challenge

  • In 2012, the City of Surrey was one of only two Canadian cities to win a $400,000 grant from IBM as part of their IBM Smarter Cities Challenge. As part of the grant, Surrey gained access to IBM’s top experts who analyzed and offered their recommendations on the key challenge of improving outcomes for young children ages 0 to 5 and their families. Read the Corporate Report.


Council Reports

Children and Youth Council Date
Child and Youth Friendly City Strategy – Update on Initiatives July 23, 2012
IBM Smarter Cities Challenge May 7, 2012
Child and Youth Friendly City Strategy Nov. 15, 2010
Update on the Development of a Child and Youth Friendly City Strategy Nov. 16, 2009
Development of a Child and Youth Friendly City Strategy Feb. 23, 2009
Youth Engagement in Community and Social Planning in Surrey – Phase II Project Feb. 25, 2008
Promoting Healthy Youth in Surrey: Youth Participation in Social and Community Planning Nov. 20, 2006

Related Strategies

Child Care

Locate a child care facility for your child, or learn the requirements of setting up your own licensed child care centre in Surrey.

Related Content

Surrey Youth

Find Youth Services in every town centre, with a variety of activities every week. See you there!

School Programs

Get help creating meaningful and engaging lessons for your preschool to highschool-aged students.