B.C. Children and Family Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux

Help promised for aboriginal child care

Children's minister Stephanie Cadieux says both B.C. and Ottawa need to support kids better at home

The federal government is underfunding family support on aboriginal reserves and its system makes it more likely that aboriginal children will be taken into government care, B.C.’s Representative for Children and Youth says.

Representative Bernard Richard issued a report Thursday that found B.C.’s 23 delegated aboriginal child welfare agencies have similar problems as the provincial Ministry of Children and Family Development: insufficient staff and high caseloads of children taken from their families.

Ottawa is legally responsible to provide on-reserve education and social services, but provides extra funding only after a children are removed from their families. The formula effectively means delegated agencies are rewarded for taking more children into care, one reason why aboriginal children are 17 times more likely to be removed from their families than non-aboriginal children.

“Federal funding does not account for the real needs of children and families living on-reserve in B.C.” Richard wrote. “Nor does operational funding provided by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada adequately cover essential capital costs such as office space, computers and vehicles.”

B.C. Children and Family Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux accepted Richard’s criticism that the province has its own funding problems, with its delegated agencies not receiving the same funding as ministry services.

This year’s ministry budget includes an additional $14.4 million to bring funding for delegated agencies up to the same level as the ministry, with the same target of a maximum 20 cases per social worker, Cadieux said.

Richard said his interviews with staff at delegated aboriginal agencies reported average caseloads of 30 children.

Cadieux said the province is implementing recommendations made last year by Grand Chief Ed John, a former minister brought in to make recommendations on culturally appropriate support for aboriginal children.

B.C. is in talks with Ottawa to convince them that more on-reserve family support is needed to keep children with their families, Cadieux said.

 

Just Posted

CN train derails near New Hazelton

CN reports no injuries or dangerous goods involved

Nearly $500,000 available for internships with First Nations government

Funds announced through partnership with Northern Development and Government of Canada

Burns Lake council takes action on housing issue

Council plans to invite several agencies to a meeting

Burns Lake athletes bring home gold

Cole Bender and Nicole Hamp stand out in Whistler

Burns Lake supports Nechako Watershed

Council has approved funding to help implement watershed strategies

Initiation tournament in Burns Lake

The littlest Burns Lake Bruins hosted a tournament at the Tom Forsyth… Continue reading

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Liberals’ 2-year infrastructure plan set to take 5: documents

Government says 793 projects totalling $1.8 billion in federal funds have been granted extensions

Workers shouldn’t be used as ‘pawns’ in minimum wage fight: Wynne

Comments from Kathleen Wynne after demonstrators rallied outside Tim Hortons locations across Canada

John ‘Chick’ Webster, believed to be oldest living former NHL player, dies

Webster died Thursday at his home in Mattawa, Ont., where he had resided since 1969

World’s fastest log car made in B.C. sells for $350,000 US

Cedar Rocket auctioned off three times at Barrett-Jackson Co., netting $350,000 US for veterans

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

RCMP nail alleged sex toy thief

Shop owner plays a role in arrest

Most Read