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Home / News / Criticism over how the province takes care of children under care

Criticism over how the province takes care of children under care

Criticism over how the province takes care of children under care

BC’s newly appointed senior adviser on aboriginal child welfare has added his voice to those of other influential First Nations leaders calling for an untainted investigation into the death of Alex Gervais.

Grand Chief Edward John is one of the signatories to a letter from the First Nations Leadership Council, demanding the independent probe of the 18-year-old’s death while in government care at an Abbotsford hotel.

The letter says recent comments from Premier Christy Clark make it impossible for the children’s ministry to conduct an impartial review.

The leadership council wants children’s representative Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond to conduct the investigation.

Turpel-Lafond released a report today, calling on the province to boost funding for front line social workers.

Titled the Thin Front Line, the report says despite the growing demands and complexities of the job, there are fewer front-line child protection workers in B.C. in 2015 than there were in 2002.

The report says this leaves children at risk and front line social workers disillusioned and burnt out.

Doug Donaldson is the MLA for Stikine and Official Opposition spokesperson for Children and Family Development.

He says a lack of resources and a lack of leadership is crippling the ministry.

In another report, the BC Government and Service Employees Union says the province’s aboriginal child welfare system must be completely overhauled.

Saying the system to aid aboriginal children, youth and families is culturally unsuitable, underfunded and understaffed.

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