Saturday, October 24, 2009

The High Cost of Not Caring: BCASW Submission to the 2010 BC Budget Consultation

The High Cost of Not Caring:
Submission to the 2010 BC Budget Consultation

Prepared by Tracey Young, MSW, RSW
Chair, Child Welfare & Family Committee
October 2009

BC Association of Social Workers

Investing in children, families and poverty reduction strategies is the underpinning of a civil, progressive society.

We ask the BC government to dedicate the 2010 budget to the interests of dignity, human rights and respect for all
our citizens.

“Bearing in mind that the peoples of the United Nations have, in the Charter, reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights and in the dignity and worth of the human person, and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Recalling that, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations has proclaimed that childhood is entitled to special care and assistance, convinced that the family, as the fundamental group of society and the natural environment for the growth and well-being of all its members and particularly children, should be afforded the necessary protection and assistance so that it can fully assume its responsibilities within the community.”

- UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (November 20, 1989)


The BC Association of Social Workers is the professional association for social workers in British Columbia, a membership-driven organization of more than 1200 social workers employed in all areas of the province, in child welfare, health care, community agencies, universities, institutions, private practice and actively retired. We have a wealth of wisdom and experience as a result of our frontline social work with children, youth, families and vulnerable individuals. Our submission is grounded and arises out of our collective expertise and the honour of working with citizens throughout the province of British Columbia.

We have witnessed the rapid erosion and dismantling of the child welfare and child and family serving systems and its toll on our most vulnerable people in BC. These circumstances are preventable and can be remediated by the province. Improving investment in our social infrastructure through sound economic and public policy decision-making, made in consideration of proven best practices in child welfare, anti-poverty strategies and economic development, have all yielded measurable results and improvements in other jurisdictions. We believe that BC can and must do better for our current and future generations of citizens. Our very health, well being and future as a province depend on it.







Read our full Submission and Recommendations to the BC government here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Everyone Needs a Roof over their Head: Homelessness Action Week - October 11 - 17, 2009

Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms

Life, liberty and security of person

7. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.

Treatment or punishment

12. Everyone has the right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.

United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom...

Article 5.

  • No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 22.

  • Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 25.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
  • (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection. - Homeless Action week Events

dignity for all:
the campaign for a poverty-free Canada

I believe that freedom from poverty is a human right.
I believe in equality among all people.
I believe we are all entitled to social and economic security.
I believe in dignity for all.
NOW is the time to end poverty in Canada.

Sean Condon. The Megaphone: Vancouver's Street Paper

On any given night in British Columbia, some 10,000 to 15,000 people are without a home. Some sleep in the streets, others in shelters and thousands more on someone’s couch or floor. In Metro Vancouver, the number has doubled to at least 2,500 in just six years. All of which has happened under this government’s watch.


Call to action in Metro Vancouver's war on homelessness
Lora Grindlay. The Province. October 11, 2009.


Three Metro Vancouver mayors urged residents to pressure politicians to do something about the homeless in their communities Monday.

Alice Sundberg, co-chair of the Greater Vancouver Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness said the problem crosses all Metro Vancouver boundaries.

It’s estimated there are more than 2,600 homeless people in Metro Vancouver.

“It’s not just homelessness though, it’s the thousands of people in our community that are at risk of homelessness because the housing market has not worked very well,” said Stewart.

There is simply not enough affordable places to rent, he said.

“It’s single parents, it’s seniors, it’s young people. A broad range of our community is a pay cheque or two away from losing their homes. We need to tackle that,” said Stewart.

(Gregor) Robertson noted that Canada is the only G8 country that doesn’t have a national housing strategy.

We’re letting people fall through the cracks without homes to go to and no other country at our level is doing that,” he said.

Poverty, Human Rights and the Global Society
Hosted by Theresa Fay-Bustillos (October 2009).
Social Edge

As we continue to address the problem of global poverty, we will need to determine what standard we apply, at the level of multi-lateral as well as non-governmental organizations, to ensure that the UN Declaration either stands or—if it is deemed irrelevant because outdated—does not obstruct the establishment of a different standard by which to engage in helping the world’s poor.