Monday, October 17, 2016

-B.C. expands post-foster care support for young adults-----------Julie Ali · University of Alberta While it is encouraging that the BC government is now providing continuous support for young adults in the child welfare system I am curious how a paltry $1000 per month will help these kids? I am also curious why these kids have to apply for this sort of benefit and who will help them do this sort of application. This application may not be approved as well so what do kids do who don’t get this extended funding? Children in BC who age out are a vulnerable population and while the care provided by the system is inadequate it is better than nothing at all. Based on the reports I have read about the BC child welfare system problems I have no confidence in the system’s ability to take care of complex cases and very little confidence that any of these children are getting integrated updated care plans. I am still reading through the major problems reported by the BC child and youth advocate here: https://www.rcybc.ca/reports-and-publications The only bright spot in these messes is the representative. B.C. children’s representative Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond is remarkably relentless and fearless. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond is not afraid to say truth to power and report the facts to us. We don’t even hear about these poor unfortunates unless they get Tasered as in the case of this poor child: https://www.rcybc.ca/sites/default/files/documents/pdf/reports_publications/who_protected_him.pdf Who Protected Him? How B.C.’s Child Welfare System Failed One of Its Most Vulnerable Children ********************************** I have requested information on the outcome of this particular case from the child and youth advocate’s office as I consider it a particularly egregious case of government incompetence. I am astonished that this child was abused over YEARS and yet no one was held accountable for the negligence that is evident in this report. Further cases of negligence that receive no penalties will happen in my opinion because the BC government is not doing what the advocate asked for which is to simply move the aging out goal post to a later age other than 19 years of age for all children in the system. I wonder why the BC government decided not to do this? Could it be that the government hopes that most kids won’t apply for extension of support even though most of them probably require it? Why didn't government simply do what the advocate recommended here? http://www.theprovince.com/news/politics/expands+agreements+with+young+adults+program/12290944/story.html Experts, including B.C. children’s representative Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, have repeatedly called on the government to extend the age of foster care, rather than make them rely on a patchwork system of welfare and programs like AYA which the youth have to apply for and don’t get automatically. *************** But this is government we are speaking about. Government rarely does anything to help the most vulnerable folks in our society until there is a public uproar. The public rarely gets steamed up about problems in the child welfare system because they aren’t knowledgeable about the system, problems are hidden with privacy legislation and there is discrimination involved. The public for the most part doesn’t care about the mostly aboriginal children in the child welfare system. The public might briefly wake up and hold the government to account when shocked by cases such as the boy who was Tasered by police but this is a rare awakening. Most of the time, children are harmed and no one bothers to hold government accountable for its execrable performance. I believe this failure to hold government accountable is due to the fact that most of the children in the child welfare system are aboriginal children. I believe that if the children had been from rich and non-aboriginal families there would have been change a long time ago. Instead of change we have paper generation with subsequent inadequate and ineffective government responses to the paper. This sort of paralysis and lack of political will by government is not acceptable. Prejudice is not an excuse for inaction. We have had no action for decades. In the case of Richard Cardinal who killed himself in Alberta there would have been no outcry except for the involvement of the foster parents who got the story out to the public. http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/756938/richard-cardinal-fatality-inquiry-report-1984.pdf Fatality report https://www.nfb.ca/film/richard_cardinal/ Richard Cardinal: Cry from a Diary of a Métis Child There needs to be a national framework for the provision of child welfare services in Canada with a national database to track abuse and death so that effective changes can be made with appropriate penalties and compensation for victims of the system. I’d say that without a national framework for provision of child welfare services we will continue to see Richard Cardinal stories until the end of time.

http://www.theprovince.com/news/politics/expands+agreements+with+young+adults+program/12290944/story.html

B.C. expands post-foster care support for young adults

LORI CULBERT(Vancouver Sun)
Published: October 17, 2016
Updated: October 17, 2016 8:21 PM
Filed Under:
The Province > Health > Family & Child
Cabient minister Stephanie Cadieux, Government of B.C. handout, 2014 [PNG Merlin Archive]
Cabient minister Stephanie Cadieux, Government of B.C. handout, 2014 [PNG Merlin Archive]PHOTO BY HANDOUT
B.C.’s children’s ministry will expand a previously restrictive support program for youth aging out of government care, a move that is good news for vulnerable young people but comes nine months after the province initially promised to make the change.
Before, the Agreements with Young Adults (AYAs) program covered costs such as living expenses, child care, tuition and health care while a former foster youth attended school or a rehabilitation program for up to two years, between the ages of 19 and 24.
Youth complained AYAs were restrictive because during any disruption in a program, such as a summer break between school years, the funding would stop, often leaving vulnerable young people without the means to support themselves.
Children’s minister Stephanie Cadieux announced Monday that the program would now continue to give funding to the youth during school breaks, and that it would also be offered for up to four years and up to the age of 26. Youth in life-skills programs, such as financial planning and cooking, are also now eligible to apply for the funding.
In an interview with The Vancouver Sun last December, after a particularly difficult year involving several deaths of vulnerable youth, Cadieux said she hoped to expand the AYA program by January 2016. On Monday, she said extra time was needed for youth consultations, program development and to secure funding.
“It took longer than I would have liked but I think this will be really beneficial,” she said.
In the past, AYA has helped around 600 youth a year and had an annual budget of about $5 million. With the changes, Cadieux said an extra 500 youth may join the program and the budget could be doubled.
On average, youth in AYAs get about $1,000 a month.
Youth receiving care from the ministry age out of the system at 19, when they lose foster homes or child welfare support, as well as access to social workers. Studies show they face much more dire outcomes than teenagers from more traditional families.
Experts, including B.C. children’s representative Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, have repeatedly called on the government to extend the age of foster care, rather than make them rely on a patchwork system of welfare and programs like AYA which the youth have to apply for and don’t get automatically.



Julie Ali · 

While it is encouraging that the BC government is now providing continuous support for young adults in the child welfare system I am curious how a paltry $1000 per month will help these kids?

I am also curious why these kids have to apply for this sort of benefit and who will help them do this sort of application. This application may not be approved as well so what do kids do who don’t get this extended funding? Children in BC who age out are a vulnerable population and while the care provided by the system is inadequate it is better than nothing at all.

Based on the reports I have read about the BC child welfare system problems I have no confidence in the system’s ability to take care of complex cases and very little confidence that any of these children are getting integrated updated care plans. I am still reading through the major problems reported by the BC child and youth advocate here:

https://www.rcybc.ca/reports-and-publications


The only bright spot in these messes is the representative. B.C. children’s representative Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond is remarkably relentless and fearless. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond is not afraid to say truth to power and report the facts to us. We don’t even hear about these poor unfortunates unless they get Tasered as in the case of this poor child:

https://www.rcybc.ca/sites/default/files/documents/pdf/reports_publications/who_protected_him.pdf

Who Protected Him?
How B.C.’s Child Welfare System
Failed One of Its Most Vulnerable Children
**********************************

I have requested information on the outcome of this particular case from the child and youth advocate’s office as I consider it a particularly egregious case of government incompetence. I am astonished that this child was abused over YEARS and yet no one was held accountable for the negligence that is evident in this report.

Further cases of negligence that receive no penalties will happen in my opinion because the BC government is not doing what the advocate asked for which is to simply move the aging out goal post to a later age other than 19 years of age for all children in the system.

I wonder why the BC government decided not to do this? Could it be that the government hopes that most kids won’t apply for extension of support even though most of them probably require it? Why didn't government simply do what the advocate recommended here?

http://www.theprovince.com/news/politics/expands+agreements+with+young+adults+program/12290944/story.html

Experts, including B.C. children’s representative Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, have repeatedly called on the government to extend the age of foster care, rather than make them rely on a patchwork system of welfare and programs like AYA which the youth have to apply for and don’t get automatically.

***************
But this is government we are speaking about. Government rarely does anything to help the most vulnerable folks in our society until there is a public uproar.

The public rarely gets steamed up about problems in the child welfare system because they aren’t knowledgeable about the system, problems are hidden with privacy legislation and there is discrimination involved. The public for the most part doesn’t care about the mostly aboriginal children in the child welfare system. The public might briefly wake up and hold the government to account when shocked by cases such as the boy who was Tasered by police but this is a rare awakening. Most of the time, children are harmed and no one bothers to hold government accountable for its execrable performance.

I believe this failure to hold government accountable is due to the fact that most of the children in the child welfare system are aboriginal children. I believe that if the children had been from rich and non-aboriginal families there would have been change a long time ago.

Instead of change we have paper generation with subsequent inadequate and ineffective government responses to the paper. This sort of paralysis and lack of political will by government is not acceptable. Prejudice is not an excuse for inaction.

We have had no action for decades. In the case of Richard Cardinal who killed himself in Alberta there would have been no outcry except for the involvement of the foster parents who got the story out to the public.
http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/756938/richard-cardinal-fatality-inquiry-report-1984.pdf
Fatality report

https://www.nfb.ca/film/richard_cardinal/
Richard Cardinal: Cry from a Diary of a Métis Child

There needs to be a national framework for the provision of child welfare services in Canada with a national database to track abuse and death so that effective changes can be made with appropriate penalties and compensation for victims of the system. I’d say that without a national framework for provision of child welfare services we will continue to see Richard Cardinal stories until the end of time.

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