Bad lot of news coming down the pike about the budget and what it will mean for the child welfare and all other systems in BC. Where did things go so very wrong that we are seeing an end to our very social contract, right before our very eyes.
Video of the Representative of Children & Youth discussing how it is MCFD will be possibly going about decreasing child protection caseloads by "streaming" more kids into alternatives to foster care (CIHR, with relatives for no money, Kith & Kin & Out of Care) and onto welfare as teens and young adults. As she says, she will be asking the government:
"where is your service commitment? It's not here."
Public Eye. Sept. 1st.
Despite the economic downturn, the ministry of children and family development has forecasted a decrease in its caseload. In February, the ministry stated the average number of children in care would be 9,000 in each of the fiscal years between 2009/10 and 2011/12. But now that number has been lowered to 8,800 in 2009/10 and 8,700 in 2010/11 and 2011/12. The ministry has said that's because of demographic forces which are aging children out of care and preventive measures. But children and youth representative Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond expressed disbelief at those numbers.September 1, 2009. TheTyee.ca
Sept 2009 - Media Release Re: What Has Happened to Our Social Contract?
BC Association of Social Workers
We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. ~ Mother Teresa
Over the last decade in BC we have seen the unraveling and frayed state of the social contract as it used to be, never perfect, always underfunded, but still providing a foundation for and commitment to at least trying to meet the needs of our most vulnerable people.
Social work professionals work and live in communities all around the province, and are witness to the harm the cutbacks to services have caused to individuals, families and communities. We ask the BC government, what has happened to our social contract? Why are we eroding the very policies and services that meet the vital needs of our citizens, invest in social capital and support the most valuable resources we have – our people?
The people of BC simply cannot sustain any more cuts, nor can frontline workers and others who struggle to meet the overwhelming demands placed on them to fix problems created by unsound and bad public policy.
- How many children need to go to bed each night hungry, before we say that we are unwilling to tolerate the poverty and social exclusion of our children in BC?
- How many seniors have to suffer the indignity of systems that leave them and their families on their own to cope, before we say we want more for our elders?
- How many children and youth in BC must die senselessly, feeling as though no-one cares whether they live or die, before we say enough?