'There are serious gaps in the screening of adults who care for at risk children.' - Darryl Walker.
Vancouver (17 June 2010) - The British Columbia Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) is backing a call by B.C.'s Representative for Children and Youth for the re-screening of adult caregivers to thousands of B.C. children living in the home of a relative.
Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond outlined her concerns about the Child in the Home of a Relative (CIHR) program in a new report entitled, No Shortcuts to Safety: Doing Better for Children Living with Extended Family.
The CIHR program provides financial assistance for children who’ve been placed in a relative’s home by parents who are unable to care for them. Although CIHR is being phased out in favour of a new program, more than 4,000 B.C. children continue to live under its policies and practices and will do so until they reach age 19.
Turpel-Lafond’s audit report of CIHR finds a variety of screening problems, including the placement of children in homes where an adult has a criminal record or where there are previous child protection concerns. She also cites placements where suitability assessments have not occurred.
“Our members who work in child protection have voiced concerns that mirror those identified by Turpel-Lafond”, says BCGEU president Darryl Walker. “Many relatives provide excellent nurturing and support to these vulnerable children. But, there are serious gaps in the screening of adults who care for at risk children. The B.C. government needs to address these gaps immediately.”
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