Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Child Welfare System Getting Throttled: Will that Help?

Lots of action over MCFD this week - leaked reports, complaints about foster homes, contracted resources, expenses outweighing budgets and inflation. Just another day in the broken child welfare system.

B.C. Children's Ministry report reveals 'chaos,' NDP says
Canadian Press. CBC News. February 24, 2009.

Support for children in care lags, again

Les Leyne, Times Colonist. February 25, 2009

Representative for Children & Youth

February 23, 2009

Kids, Crime and Care: Youth Justice Experiences and Outcomes.

A major B.C. study released today shows that although children and youth in care are at higher risk of becoming involved with the youth justice system, early interventions targeted at risk factors can change the paths of these vulnerable adolescents. The study is a joint project of the Representative for Children and Youth, and the Provincial Health Officer.

To view the report, click here.
To view the news release, click here.
A backgrounder can be found here.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Institutional Care & Abuse: Who's Watching Out?

I find it really hard to take that the executive director of any kind of facility housing and carrying out service to troubled young people would call those children who reported abuse "liars" and "the best cons in the world." That just doesn't sit right, at all. Hmm, wonder if there's a little projection going on there?

Clearly there must be some kind of comprehensive investigation into the facility, it's operating practices and history and response to complaints of abuse and substandard care.

Here in BC it's difficult to find who will take on the kind of oversight that is required. Families often find themselves left out in the cold when they start complaining and advocating for their young people, or vulnerable family members when it comes to abuse in institutional and/or care settings. Life becomes a nightmare, wondering whether your child, or people are safe and being cared for adequately and in an ethical manner. It's a crucial issue with the aging population becoming more and more vulnerable and requiring care, both and home and in facilities.

The sensational title of this story is quite inappropriate too, in my opinion. The CBC is really becoming so "tabloid" in their hype of stories, I miss the days of journalistic integrity.

Alberta drug rehab centre abused us, former teen patients allege

Executive director calls them 'liars,' former patient denies abuses

CBC News. February 13, 2009.


More than a dozen former patients and staff of the Alberta Adolescent Recovery Centre allege the residential program manipulated people into treatment, held them against their will and administered abusive therapy.

Other allegations against the centre include one patient who was treated but claimed she was not an addict at all. One patient alleged she was sexually assaulted by a fellow patient, while another said she was attacked in a closet at the centre.

Patients alleged that when they reported abuse to the centre, they were either told they were liars or it was their own fault...

Another former patient, Bodana Kibble, alleged that Dean Vause, the centre’s executive director, is “a power-hungry monster.”

After six months of Vause declining to be interviewed for the story, The Fifth Estate’s Gillian Findlay went to the centre with a hidden camera to confront him.

He denied the allegations, calling the former patients “liars,” and insisted no abuse has ever been reported to him.

“But I would just say to you Gillian, be careful because I’m telling you I’ve worked in this field for 25 years. They’re the best cons in the world …,” said Vause.

“But I think that’s part of the pathology, the difficulty of working in addictions. It’s tough because you’re going to have people turn on you because you confront them."


The Fifth Estate: Powerless

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


For Immediate Release

Feb. 3, 2009


VANCOUVER – The Campbell government's failure to invest in supports for B.C.’s most vulnerable citizens has left families across the province in crisis, says Jenn McGinn, New Democrat critic for Community Living B.C.

McGinn says that families of children and adults with special needs across B.C. are outraged over the endless waitlists for community living supports and have taken their fight online with the launch of The Campaign To End Waitlists aimed at Gordon Campbell, "People in every corner of the province are waiting for you to act. We're waiting for you to show you care. Waiting for you to do the right thing."

"More than two thousand adults and thousands of infants and toddlers with developmental disabilities are waiting for vital community living supports," said McGinn, the MLA for Vancouver-Fairview. "From infancy to adulthood, the developmentally disabled continue to miss out on opportunities for optimal growth and development.”

McGinn says special needs families across the province are facing a severe shortage of early intervention therapy services, supports for independence and respite services.

“Gordon Campbell can find millions to squander on pet projects like a retractable roof for B.C. Place, yet he continues to neglect the needs of B.C. families who are desperate for help," said McGinn.

“It’s clear that under Gordon Campbell, B.C.’s most vulnerable citizens are not a priority.”


Media Contact: Leah Herman 604-775-2405

Contact Jenn McGinn's office:


1545 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC
V6J 1W6

Phone: 604 660-7061;

Fax: 604 660-7065

From EndWaitlists Now:

This is an open invitation to people who are interested in joining Burnaby Assc.’s advocacy committee in order to continue advocating for issues that are important to families and persons with a disability. The committee meets once a month at BACI’s Still Creek Centre in Burnaby, usually from 5-7pm. For more info. you can email