Accountability and Learning
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In the tragic event that a child or youth receiving services from the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) programs dies or suffers a critical injury, particularly where abuse and neglect are factors, the Representative for Children and Youth is responsible for working collaboratively with other public bodies in an effort to help inform improvements to services to help prevent similar injuries or deaths in the future.
How are critical injuries and deaths referred to us?
- Incidents involving children and youth receiving services from MCFD programs at the time of or in the year previous to the critical injury or death are automatically reported to the Representative.
- Injuries and deaths of children and youth can also be referred to the Representative by the Select Standing Committee on Children and Youth.
- The Representative routinely compares data with the ministry and other agencies such as the BC Coroners Service to ensure our data is complete.
Who conducts reviews and investigations?
- The Representative has investigators who review critical injuries and deaths.
- A multidisciplinary team of experts supports the Representative in analyzing information gained in reviews and investigations.
- They meet to review evidence from both individual cases and from groups of similar cases.
- The team includes: representatives from MCFD and BC Coroners Service as well as experts in public health, medicine, pathology, Aboriginal issues, police, education and the child-serving-system.
How do we review and investigate?
- The Representative has the discretion to determine the kind of review or investigation appropriate to the circumstances. The reviews and investigations can take a number of forms. The Representative can:
- Collect and review information on a number of injuries or deaths with similar characteristics to identify trends
- Review all documents pertaining to a particular injury or death
- Conduct a full-scale investigation of an individual death or injury including interviews of witnesses. Other forms of evidence are undertaken in some circumstances.
- The Representative has the power to compel evidence if needed.
- The Representative’s reviews and investigations must not inhibit the progress of other proceedings such as police investigations, MCFD reviews, criminal justice proceedings and inquests.
How do we report?
- The Representative reports the results of reviews and investigations to the Select Standing Committee on Children and Youth. They are also shared with the public.