Monday, February 13, 2017

Bill Piket · Teacher at Invergarry Adult Education Centre The average death per weeks is 2, in BC.


Bill Piket · Teacher at Invergarry Adult Education Centre
I have been following this issue on my Facebook page. Go to my Facebook page and check out the stories and you will find it. A former convict with a grade 5 education was being paid $8,000 a month to look after Alex Gervais. Alex was neglected by this person. He jumped to his death.
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http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/number-of-b-c-kids-in-care-deaths-critical-injuries-jump-dramatically?fb_comment_id=fbc_1205856106177047_1205954276167230_1205954276167230#f1682a91a4ac20c

Number of B.C. kids-in-care deaths, critical injuries jump dramatically

Published on: February 9, 2017 | Last Updated: February 9, 2017 7:17 PM PST
Nineteen-year-old Paige Gauchier died of an overdose in 2013 in a Downtown Eastside rooming house, shortly after aging out of foster care.
Nineteen-year-old Paige Gauchier died of an overdose in 2013 in a Downtown Eastside rooming house, shortly after aging out of foster care.HANDOUT
One hundred and twenty children in care or receiving services from the B.C. government died last year, and more than 740 received “critical injuries,” according to a new tally by the children’s advocate.
And while the number of children in care in the province has declined over the last decade, the number of reported deaths and critical injuries has risen at a dramatic pace: Deaths jumped from 72 in 2008 to 120 last year, while critical injuries skyrocketed from 120 to 741.
The way these incidents are reported has changed recently in response to criticisms about the child-welfare system, making it impossible to prove that these vulnerable children actually experienced more serious injuries. The numbers of deaths were also reported differently over time — in the past, deaths from “natural causes” such as an accident or an illness were not counted. Now all deaths are reported.
But Bernard Richard, B.C.’s acting children’s advocate, says the totals still represent emotional or physical trauma being suffered by too many youth.
“It’s too early to jump to the conclusion that there are more cases, but just the sheer numbers are startling,” Richard said in an interview.  “We see a pretty alarming number of suicide attempts, overdoses, sexual abuse and physical abuse. It really is unpleasant to know that so many kids are going through these kinds of experiences … and often it is the result of actions by someone caring for them.”
Indeed, Richard’s office received reports of 3,048 critical injuries and 885 deaths of children with links to the ministry between 2008 and 2016. Critical injures can include attempted suicide, emotional trauma, assaults and accidents.
B.C. children's death graphicTwo-thirds of the injury cases and nearly 40 per cent of the deaths were investigated by the advocate, because they were under unusual circumstances, inflicted on purpose, or possibly the result of maltreatment. Many of those reviews are complete, resulting in recommendations for change to the child welfare system; some are still underway.
The Ministry of Children and Family Development, in an e-mail statement, said the cases are up because the criteria for reporting a critical injury or death started to change in 2011, as did the computer system used to track them in 2014.
“This does not necessarily mean that the number or severity of incidents has increased, just that the criteria of what is reported has been expanded,” the e-mail said.
The ministry said these reports can be made any time a child is injured, and not necessarily in the caregiver’s home. It also noted that many of the kids in care are “medically fragile with ongoing health problems or terminal illnesses.”
NDP critic Melanie Mark, though, called the numbers “shocking,” and hopes the rising tally of injuries and deaths will force the ministry to follow some of the advocate’s recommendations, such as hiring more social workers.
“The number (of deaths and injuries) is going up and as more information is going to the advocate, there is more pressure (on the ministry) to do something about it,” she said.
“We shouldn’t get comfortable with the numbers. We shouldn’t accept that a whole bunch of children removed from their own families are experiencing harm.”
‘We see a pretty alarming number of suicide attempts, overdoses, sexual abuse and physical abuse,’ says Bernard Richard, B.C.'s acting children's advocate.
‘We see a pretty alarming number of suicide attempts, overdoses, sexual abuse and physical abuse,’ says Bernard Richard, B.C.’s acting children’s advocate. HANDOUT
The issue of what is a reportable critical injury came to the fore in 2010, when a 15-year-old girl with Down Syndrome was found alone with her mother’s dead body and had been there for at least 24 hours. The incident was not reported.
“There was a time when the ministry would have said the child wasn’t injured,” Richard said. “But we think the emotional, psychological damage is just as concerning so we want to make sure we do our reviews … and not have the ministry make those decisions for us.”
A scathing 2015 report about Paige Gauchier, who died after aging out of care, found many horrible things that had happened to her were not reported, but should have been, Richard said.
As the cases of deaths and injuries climbed, the number of youth in care fell from 9,097 in 2006-07 to 7,197 in 2016-17.
A recent report by Richard’s office that examined a six-month period last year, found more than three-quarters of the suspicious critical injuries involved children in government care (as opposed to those just receiving services), and 61 per cent of those were aboriginal.
Between June 1 and Sept. 30, his office received reports of 275 critical injures, and 217 of those are being reviewed . While the majority of the reports being reviewed involved teens, there were 36 suspicious injures of kids ages six to 12 years and another 12 injured children under five years old.
The news was slightly better for the 36 deaths, as only nine of those were considered in need of a review by the children’s advocate. (The remainder would be of natural causes or some other circumstances not deemed suspicious.) Of those nine, one was in foster care, at least three were aboriginal, two were babies and the rest were teens.
tsherlock@postmedia.com
lculbert@postmedia.com

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Julie Ali ·
It begins to feel that children are more at risk in the care of the government than in their original situations. Surely there could be some improvement in the care provided to children in the care of govenrment?
It seems like government is not interested in these children and society has not held the government accountable.
When government fails as the public parent we should hold government accountable by changing the political party in power. It's time that these deaths became a national issue.
In Alberta to date over 800 kids have died in the child welfare system.
If this happened in families there would be charges and change.
Since these deaths occur in the care of the GOA there are no penalties, no change and an ongoing series of deaths.
It's very sad.
LikeReply6Feb 9, 2017 11:45pm
Bill Piket ·
Totally agree with you Julie. I am not in anyway an expert but I would all the same make two suggestions to be considered. End the heavy reliance on privatization in the place of government employed qualified, trained, certified social workers. And consider allowing under the right circumstances foster parents adopting children as their own. With an average of deaths a week of foster children in the province of BC, it is clear a real change is needed.
UnlikeReply11 hr
Bill Piket ·
The average death per weeks is 2, in BC.
LikeReply1 hr
Julie Ali ·
Bill Piket Until this becomes an issue for all citizens the deaths will continue. It is the same situation in the continuing care system in Alberta where retribution serves to silence advocates. These are issues of public importance and we need public discourse but if families are afraid of lawsuits and are silenced, these problems will not be in the public realm.
All in all, very unsatisfactory and in my opinion, the fear and silencing must end.
LikeReplyJust now
Sharron Padden
It is well known that kids in foster care are often taken in for the money. The system has to change.
LikeReply16 hrs
Michelle Stillwell Betrayed All the Disabled in BC
BC Socredlibs are THE Ministry of Murder!!!
Sharon Steinson
This is why I will not be a foster parent. You can go in with the best intentions, be wonderful as a caregiver, but if a child is self-injured, the assumption and suspicion now immediately falls on the caregiver. Injuries need to be reported as what they are. This obscure way of compiling statistics makes the finger of blame pointed first in the direction of the caregiver, not all the baggage of hurt the child entered the system with or their self-harming ways of dealing with it. All the media and cultural out cries of foul play aimed immediately at the caregiver only tempt those who are n...See More
Sharon Elizabeth ·
Works at Ktunaxa Nation
I was watching Global BC this morning. It was mentioned that some caregivers, who care for youth in group homes in BC are not qualified and some are being paid way too much money to care for the youth in a group home setting. I am unable to locate that discussion. If anyone sees it can you post it or let me know where I can find it, it was on Global BC morning news twice. First one was shown on Friday Feb 10th 6 pm news.
Bill Piket ·
I have been following this issue on my Facebook page. Go to my Facebook page and check out the stories and you will find it. A former convict with a grade 5 education was being paid $8,000 a month to look after Alex Gervais. Alex was neglected by this person. He jumped to his death.
LikeReply1 hr
James Banko ·
How does a 3 yr old child die of S.I.D.S and a bruised body upon her death??? Minister Cadieux 's response ,was she died of S.I.D.S which does not apply to a child of her age! There was a lawsuit but the public was not notified??? Go Figure????
LikeReply4Feb 9, 2017 10:12pm
James Banko ·
These acts of incompetence lead to the accessory of abuses,and deaths , and it demand a criminal investigation to bring to justice the people responsible who are the root of the problem , Supervisors Social Workers under the direction of the supervisors and to include th Minister herself who is in denial of having no knowledge of the daily actions .
UnlikeReply5Feb 9, 2017 9:48pm
James Schultz · 

The MCFD alienates and destroys families. .it's very BLACK &WHITE ...these types claim they are about protecting children ...yet they have a system that is embarrassing and hurts families ..they pay out foster homes $1200 per month. .per kid to keep a family apart rather than together ..so why is is it that we do not have a system in place that if a family is in financial need ...they can be helped ..? Our provincial assistance rates are in a dire need of a overhull and if we as a society can keep a family apart. ..we certainly can afford to keep a family together....it's very disturbing that the MCFD are not required to be registered with the BCCSW making them not accountable to a third party investigation ..as they investigate themselves ...and we certainly have seen the results of that...they have been deadly ...we as society need to increase the amount of funding available for legal aid so when the MCFD alienates a family ..a family has a reliable and realistic change of getting these people out of their lives ..it's sad and disgusting that totalitarianism destroyed families in the 20th century ...yet these people get away with doing it in 2017.. yes a system needs to be in place. ..sadly the one we have is what many would call a biblical scale failure ...when was the last time anyone read in the news about any of their so called "team leaders "convicted of criminal malpractice ... ? NEVER right. .!.. these people all hold hands together and never claim they have a system that is an embarrassment to our province....countless families have suffered emotional abuse and suicides and other forms of death by this ministry ....when is the mcfd going to change its ways... I am a former kid who grew up in care myself and have seen first hand the unnecessary tactics of the MCFD destroy a family ...WE MUST DEMAND FOR MCFD ACCOUNTABILITY AND REFORM... read broken promises by pivot legal society and papa tactics .ca ... I challenge the MCFD to conduct a provincial survey about what the public perception is on them ...asking for feedback ...let's see if these people that have the power to rip YOUR FAMILY APART RATHER THAN KEEP IT TOGETHER ...CARE. ... MY NAME IS JAMES SCHULTZ ....AND I WILL STAND UP FOR OUR PROVINCE. .!

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