VICTORIA, B.C. – Today, the Representative for Children and Youth (RCY) submitted the report, At a Crossroads: The roadmap from fiscal discrimination to equity in Indigenous child welfare. Sonia Furstenau, leader of the B.C. Greens and MLA for Cowichan Valley, has issued the following statement:
“This report from the Representative for Children and Youth demonstrates - once again - that there is a lack of transparency and accountability in The Ministry of Children and Family Development’s (MCFD) practice and systems. This continues to lead to the worst possible outcome: traumatized and underserved children and families, the majority of whom are Indigenous.
“RCY found that MCFD’s system for allocating funding is broken. It was impossible for the report writers to connect spending with government priorities. There is no way to measure the impact of ministry spending on the health and well being of Indigenous children in care. There is no way to know if federal funds channeled through MCFD meant for First Nations, Métis, Inuit and Urban Indigenous children ever reached the people they were intended for.
“This is a fiscal failure, but also a human rights tragedy - and neither of these condemnations is new to this ministry. MCFD continues to show that it does not have its house in order, and that when advised of this failure of leadership, it makes little substantive change. How can we trust that MCFD will listen to RCY’s recommendations this time and make the necessary changes to best serve Indigenous families in this province? We have seen report after report on MCFD’s failures, and they have proved themselves incapable of taking accountability. The Federal government needs to bypass MCFD and work directly with First Nations, Metis, and Inuit governments, communities, and families.
“The Minister for Children and Family Development needs to demand accountability from ministry staff. The cost of that lack of accountability can be counted in lives irreparably altered or, in the most tragic cases, lost.”
B.C. Green Caucus
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