British Columbia

B.C.'s child protection system still broken: children's watchdog

The provincial government is moving too slowly to implement the recommendations of a sweeping examination of the province's child protection system, according to B.C.'s children's watchdog.

The provincial government is moving too slowly to implement the recommendations of a sweeping examination of the province's child protection system, according to B.C.'s children's watchdog.

The province's representative for children and youth, Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, said the government needs to intensify its commitment to completing the recommendations made by former judge Ted Hughes.

Those recommendations were contained in a report released by Hughes in 2006 which blamed budget cuts and internal upheaval for many of the problems in B.C.'s troubled child protection system.

In her report released on Thursday, Turpel-Lafond looked at 15 of Hughes's 62 recommendations and found none are complete.

She said the government has made little progress in transferring child welfare responsibilities to regions and aboriginal authorities and has not made progress on external evaluations of its child service programs.

Her recent finding echoed a similar report she issued in April, which slammed the government for failing to learn from past mistakes, following the death of four children in care.

Time to tackle child poverty in B.C.: 2nd report

Her findings follow another study released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives on Thursday that highlighted B.C.'s child poverty rate.

The CCPA report said the province has done a dismal job of sharing the wealth, and that has to change in these tough financial times.

According to the report, most of those living in poverty are employed full-time, but still can't make enough to pay their bills.

The report, titled A Poverty Plan for B.C., calls for a 50 per cent increase in welfare rates, a jump in the minimum wage, more social housing, and a universal childcare plan. 

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