March 31, 2017
British Columbia’s indigenous kids are being removed from their homes and placed in care because of underfunding from both provincial and federal governments, says the province’s representative for children and youth.
Bernard Richard said current funding models mean agencies that support aboriginal families are unlikely to provide the same level of help compared with services at B.C.’s Ministry of Children and Family Development, resulting in a two-tiered system.
The province’s confusing funding arrangements with 23 agencies delegated to help indigenous families also result in inequitable services for children depending on where they live, he said Thursday after releasing a report on problems with service delivery.
The report quoted a ministry plan saying an indigenous child is nearly 17 times more likely to be in care compared with a non-indigenous child.
“The fact that 62 per cent of the kids in care are indigenous in a province where they represent less than 10 per cent of the child population is unacceptable,” Richard said.