Action needed to protect children in B.C. care | National Union of Public and General Employees

Action needed to protect children in B.C. care

Two provincial watchdogs issue report calling for better complaint process and province-wide tracking system.

Download - Hearing the Voices of Children and YouthVancouver (21 Jan. 2010) - Vulnerable B.C. children and youth should have a more effective process to pursue complaints about the services they receive, says a new report by two provincial government watchdogs.

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, B.C.'s independent representative for children and youth, and Kim Carter, the provincial ombudsperson, issued a report Tuesday calling on the ministry of children and family development to take action.

The 62-page report, Hearing the Voices of Children and Youth, focuses on seven areas where it says improvements can be made, including a better process to ensure that complaints are heard.

"They need to know they have a right to complain, that it's OK to complain and there are processes in place for them to do so," the report says.

It recommends a policy change to ensure that complaints are addressed within 30 days. It also calls for a province-wide tracking system.

Approximately 16,000 children and young people are living outside of their family home at any given time. More than half are in government care.

"When the government is acting as a guardian, it needs to listen as a caring parent would and make thoughtful decisions that consider the views of the child," the report says.

Among the areas identified for improvement by the report are timeliness, fairness, accessibility, consistency, accountability and quality assurance.

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The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

More information:
Hearing the Voices of Children and Youth - pdf

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