It's time for the government to ensure that frontline workers have the resources and policy framework in place to fully support British Columbia's Indigenous families." — Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President
Vancouver (12 March 2018) — A report by the B.C. Children's Representative that criticizes attempts to restrict an Indigenous woman's parental access clearly shows that we need to change the way services are delivered in Indigenous communities, says the BC Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE).
Child apprehension policy needs transformative change
"Bernard Richard's report identifies a child apprehension policy, put in place by the previous government, that is in urgent need of transformative change," said Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President. "Child protection workers often bear the brunt of criticism for implementing government policies, but it is important to put the focus back on the ministry leadership where it belongs."
"We are pleased that the minister publicly acknowledges the difficult work that social workers are asked to perform every day, under very stressful conditions. These professionals have been advocating for improvements in service delivery for many years. It's time for the government to ensure that frontline workers have the resources and policy framework in place to fully support British Columbia's Indigenous families," Smith said.
"We understand that it takes time to steer a large ship in a new direction. Inertia creates its own momentum," Smith continued. "But we have a historic opportunity, given the B.C. government's commitment to adopt the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, to implement progressive policies that respect the rights and culture of Indigenous children and families who access government services."
"We are committed to work with the government to ensure that the experience and knowledge of our dedicated members who provide front line support to B.C. families will help inform the structural changes that are needed to provide efficient, compassionate delivery of social services to British Columbians."
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 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