Children and Family Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux /BLACK PRESS

Children and Family Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux /BLACK PRESS

Help promised for aboriginal child care

Federal funds work against keeping families together

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

(Contributed)
Collision slows rush hour traffic in Kelowna

Expect delays at K.L.O. Road and Richter Street on your commute Tuesday evening

A conceptual render of the proposed building at 955 Manhattan Drive. (Contributed)
Height not wanted on Kelowna’s Manhattan Drive

City staff said proposed five-storey building poses challenges

A for sale sign is shown in by new homes in Beckwith, Ont., just outside Ottawa, on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Thompson-Okanagan population grew despite COVID-19: report

The Chartered Professional Accountants of BC said there are 8,462 new residents in the region

Kelowna General Hospital. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna General Hospital declared over

Three people tested positive for the virus — two patients and one staff — one of whom died

A crash at the intersection of Harvey Avenue and Leckie Road on June 15. (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News)
Traffic stalled by Harvey Avenue crash in Kelowna

One lane is open as crews clean up after crash at Harvey Avenue and Leckie Road

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Vernon-Monashee NDP MLA Harwinder Sandhu supported a motion in the B.C. legislature for Canada to create a national Indigenous History month Monday, June 13, 2021. (Contributed)
Canada needs a national Indigenous History Month, Vernon MLA agrees

Harwinder Sandhu supports motion to recognize June as month to advance reconciliation efforts with First Nations

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Facebook)
New trial date set for Penticton beach attacker’s triple assault charges

May trial was delayed after Crown witnesses failed to show up

Orange ribbons are tied to the fence outside Vernon’s Gateway Homeless Shelter on 33rd Street. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
POLL: Low-key Canada Day in the works for Vernon

Councillor calling for Indigenous recognition for 2022

A conceptual design of Vernon’s new Active Living Centre, which will go to referendum Oct. 15, 2022. (Rendering)
Active living centre 2022 referendum planned in Vernon

City hoping to get Coldstream and Areas B and C back on board

Closure of the 2900 block of 30th Avenue will allow restaurants and other businesses to extend their patios onto the street. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Green light given to downtown Vernon road closure

Single block of 30th Avenue to close over summer months to boost business

Graduating Grade 12 student Savannah Lamb has been awarded an approximate $40,000 scholarship from the Beedie Luminaries foundation. (Contributed)
Dedicated Salmon Arm student earns scholarship to pursue post-secondary education

Savannah Lamb is graduating from Salmon Arm Secondary with a $40,000 scholarship

Most Read