B.C. bill aims to keep Indigenous kids in communities, out of care

Changes to Child, Family and Community Service Act could connect MCFD, Indigenous communities

The B.C. government has proposed changes to the Child, Family and Community Service Act that would get rid of barriers for social workers and Indigenous communities when making decisions on a child’s welfare.

Introduced in the legislature Tuesday, Minister of Children and Family Development Katrine Conroy said the proposed changes share the goal of keeping children out of government care and in their communities when possible.

Under current legislation, the Ministry of Children and Family Development can only reach out to a child’s Indigenous community with the parent’s consent or to ensure the child’s safety and well-being.

New changes would negate this barrier between social workers and community members by allowing information to be shared the moment a file is started on a child.

If passed, social workers will also be able to refer child-protection reports to an Indigenous government that has child protection laws, according to the ministry.

Other amendments would include required annual reviews of a child in custody-ordered care to include members of the child’s Indigenous community. The “best interest of a child test,” which is used by courts and the ministry when making any decisions around a child would also have to consider Indigenous traditions, customs and language.

Indigenous children currently make up 63 per cent of the total number of children in the province’s care, despite being less than 10 per cent of B.C.’s child population.

Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Scott Fraser called the proposed bill “core to reconciliation.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

RCMP looking for missing Duncan teen

Dallas Macleod, 18, was last seen on Aug. 10

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

VIDEO: Fires break out in scrap piles at Harmac mill

Nanaimo firefighters got blazes under control in early morning hours Saturday

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

Evacuation order issued in Island village due to “risk of falling debris”

Fire continues to threaten town’s only access road

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Eagle tree cut down legally a 1st for B.C. city

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Some of B.C.’s air quality levels worse than Jodhpur, India

Okanagan, northern B.C. seeing some of the worst air quality globally

Most Read