Cindy Blackstock says it’s a good day for kids.
The Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society is applauding Ottawa’s move to finally fully fund the actual costs for child welfare agencies to allow them to help Indigenous families rather than remove children.
Blackstock says it’s a shame it took five orders from the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to get Ottawa to make the change, but she says she is happy to see the end of discriminatory behaviour against Indigenous children.
More than half the children in care in Canada are Indigenous and experts say this is largely because child welfare agencies are not given the money or authority to work with families to keep them together.
In fact, there is an incentive to take Indigenous kids away, because the only time the agencies get their actual costs reimbursed is when they put children in foster care.
Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott has written to 105 Indigenous child welfare agencies to make the funding commitment, which she says will be retroactive to Jan. 26, 2016.
(The Canadian Press)