I am extremely proud of the Premier for acknowledging in public her own experiences in today’s Vancouver Sun op-ed. This is difficult and personal and she has found her voice now to speak out. It tells me that, even for somebody in high office, there is a pressure to keep quiet, forget or frankly pretend that all is fine when it is not.
During the course of my nearly 10 years as Representative for Children and Youth in British Columbia and, in fact, throughout my career, I have had the privilege of getting to know hundreds of youth in care. These young people are diverse and talented individuals of all ages, backgrounds and cultures and, time and again, I’ve been inspired by their strength, adaptability and creativity under less than ideal conditions.
Youth with substance use problems in British Columbia are faced with a piecemeal service system that can leave them for long periods of time without adequate or available services as they try to access treatment, finds a new report released by Representative Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond.
Representative for Children and Youth Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has reviewed today’s Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) Information Bulletin regarding the establishment of an advisory committee to assist with the ministry’s multi-year planning. The Information Bulletin does not properly reflect the nature of discussions between MFCD and the Representative’s Office with respect to this group.
In a departure from usual practice, the Representative for Children and Youth has decided not to publicly release the detailed results of her investigation into critical injuries experienced by one youth receiving services from the Ministry of Children and Family Development out of concern for that youth’s well-being.
Instead, in releasing Approach With Caution: Why the Story of One Vulnerable B.C. Youth Can’t be Told, Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has provided the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia and the public with a basic description of the investigation undertaken and the circumstances behind this decision.
The purpose of the Representative for Children and Youth’s (RCY) reviews and investigations of child deaths and critical injuries is to identify and thoughtfully analyze issues – particularly in service delivery. The intent is to help prevent similar deaths or injuries in the future and to inform improvements to services.
On March 1, 2016, the Legislative Assembly appointed the Special Committee to Appoint a Representative for Children and Youth to select and unanimously recommend the appointment of a Representative, pursuant to section 2 of the Representative for Children and Youth Act, S.B.C. 2006, C. 29.
The Committee is now seeking applications for the position of Representative for Children and Youth. Applications must be received by Friday, May 6, 2016. This position's responsibilities and duties are outlined in the Representative for Children and Youth Act, S.B.C. 2006, C. 29.