Tuesday, October 11, 2016

-A Tragedy in Waiting: How B.C.'s mental health system failed one First Nations youth, --------------we understand what's happening here-----Chester was a young person in crisis who received no meaningful therapeutic supports . Limited relationships were built with him and his family to engage him in service, assessment or treatment . He struggled to explain his situation and find some positive way to connect to peers and services while handling what was happening in his life . Transitions in Chester’s life were not managed well – his school files were not managed properly, his learning needs were never comprehensively assessed and he demonstrated all the characteristics of a young person experiencing severe mental health issues and high distress . Chester and young people like him are not served by waiting for service for long periods of time . This amounts to a refusal of service to a cohort of our most vulnerable children and youth . It represents a choice we’ve made not to surface their concerns, coordinate care, or make a genuine effort to meet them where they are – at times in distress and crisis and requiring urgent help-------MCFD has provided more than $3 .3 million since 2009 to a society to deliver ill-defined child welfare services in Chester’s community and yet no pressure for child and youth mental health services has been documented or addressed . That is frankly baffling given what families, school staff and knowledgeable support workers describe in this report as a dramatic, unmet need in the area

I am reading the stories
of the children who have died
they stand before me in their lines
I wish to know them before they vanish
these suicides

what makes a child decide
that life is not sufficient
to contain the pain?
what tells them it is right to leave
the cities of disdain?

I sit in the wallow of the sea of stories
and I wonder
how it ever came to this
that the children die
before their parents     mostly aboriginal

it is claimed
that this is historical in its origin
but I believe  the children are crying
for their place in our society
they recognize what is before them and they simply refuse


in the story I am reading
repeated incidents indicate
the child was saying something was wrong
but the adults claim that they did what they could
that limited resources defeated them

I wonder how to write this story out
or the others that I read in disbelief
I wonder what the cure for this disease is
I decide to simply wait    and let the children speak

despite the money put into the system
the children continue to die
and the adults are in disarray
we wonder if this system should be scrapped
and we should start again   because there is a refusal of service clearly 


while each sector protects its turf
the children wait for mental health services that never come 
and where are the families in this game?
the system is broken     and devolving responsibilities
will simply increase the numbers of children who die in this way

the government of BC wishes no claim to this disaster naturally
and wants to dump the responsibilities to First Nations communities
that haven't a record of success       we understand what's happening here
no one wants to work with the children in distress
the children are the ones who no one wants to retain   This amounts to a refusal of service


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

MCFD has provided more than $3 .3 million since 2009 to a society to deliver ill-defined
child welfare services in Chester’s community and yet no pressure for child and youth
mental health services has been documented or addressed . That is frankly baffling given
what families, school staff and knowledgeable support workers describe in this report as a
dramatic, unmet need in the area


Chester was not kept at the centre . And this report is a cautionary tale about the
consequences of devolving responsibilities for child welfare to an agency that consistently
failed to meet ministry standards and that was not adequately resourced and supported
by the ministry to address these shortcomings in a timely way . Any attempt at
widespread devolution in B .C . would do well to heed the lessons learned from this
investigation . Children and youth need well-coordinated services that are accessible and
effective . They don’t need three separate and, at times, warring service providers who are
captivated by their own turf.


Recommendation 4
That the government of British Columbia first establish a clear plan to ensure child safety procedures and services are maintained before engaging in any process to transfer jurisdiction over Aboriginal child welfare.
This plan would ensure such services are maintained during any future period of transition or transfer of responsibility.
Details:
This plan, developed in partnership with First Nations, should include:
• Acknowledgment that development of the plan is a necessary pre-condition to any further action relating to Aboriginal jurisdiction over child welfare or related services.
• Mechanisms to ensure that all parties maintain an uncompromising focus on the services required by Aboriginal children and youth and addressing the shortfalls in those services.
• A requirement that funding for any negotiation or related planning processes will not be drawn from any ministry or agency that is providing services to Aboriginal children and youth. Diverting resources from direct services to children and youth to fund transfers of governance and jurisdiction to be prohibited.
• The clear identification of responsibility for Aboriginal child welfare safety investigations and responses to Section 14 CFCS Act reports during any transition, with a strategy for ensuring that information identifying points of contact and accountability are disseminated to professionals and the community.
• Clear protocols that ensure appropriate sharing of information between professionals, agencies and levels of government and community during any transition to protect child safety.
• Ensuring all Aboriginal children and youth who are potentially impacted by a change of jurisdiction or responsibility are provided with the opportunity to provide comment on these changes and with advocacy support to ensure their civil and human rights are appropriately protected.
• Clarity with respect to the role of the Public Guardian and Trustee, as well as the potential impact of any transfer of jurisdiction on any existing civil, criminal or family law orders, particularly in those situations where domestic violence is a factor.
• A commitment by the Ministry of Children and Family Development, First Nations and the Ministry of Justice to robust monitoring of child and youth wellness and outcomes prior to, during and subsequent to any transfer of jurisdiction or responsibility as well as regular public reporting on these outcomes.
Plan to be developed and presented to the Representative by Dec. 1, 2016.

Chester was a young person in crisis who received no meaningful therapeutic supports .
Limited relationships were built with him and his family to engage him in service,
assessment or treatment . He struggled to explain his situation and find some positive
way to connect to peers and services while handling what was happening in his life .
Transitions in Chester’s life were not managed well – his school files were not managed
properly, his learning needs were never comprehensively assessed and he demonstrated
all the characteristics of a young person experiencing severe mental health issues and
high distress .
Chester and young people like him are not served by waiting for service for long periods
of time . This amounts to a refusal of service to a cohort of our most vulnerable children 
and youth . It represents a choice we’ve made not to surface their concerns, coordinate
care, or make a genuine effort to meet them where they are – at times in distress and
crisis and requiring urgent help

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