(Max Pixel)

B.C. ‘struggling’ to meet needs of vulnerable youth in contracted care: auditor

Auditor general says youth in contracted residential services may not be getting support they need

The Office of the Auditor General says the B.C. government is failing to monitor residential services for the province’s most vulnerable children and youth in care.

In a report released Wednesday, the office says youth in contracted residential services may not be receiving the support they need because the Ministry of Children and Family Development has failed to set quality standards or oversee the service.

Contracted residential services provided housing, food and other supports last year for about 1,150 children and youth, including many with “highly complex needs.”

Auditor general Carol Bellringer says in a news release the ministry is “struggling” to match the specific needs of individuals, and services often evolve on an “ad hoc” basis to respond to individual and emergency situations.

As an example, the office says Indigenous youth are placed in homes with no Indigenous cultural component.

Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development, says the government accepts all four recommendations in the report and will work closely with the office to address them.

“Nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of children and youth in care,” Conroy says in a statement.

“I said last summer that we needed to overhaul that system. I welcomed this independent audit as a key part of that process as we pushed forward on making immediate improvements.”

READ MORE: Drug-related deaths double for B.C. youth in care, advocate says

Conroy says the ministry has already begun working to improve care services and imposed a moratorium on the creation of new contracted residential agencies last June.

Social workers have also confirmed they have met with each child and youth in a contracted residential agency over the past three months to review their circumstances, the ministry says in a release.

It has also completed background and criminal record checks on more than 5,800 agency caregivers and new applicants, it says.

Bellringer’s report concluded ministry staff responsible for managing contracts don’t have the right training or support to do so.

The ministry says it hired a private firm to review its contracting and payment process in December.

The auditor general says contracted residential care services are typically the most intensive and expensive of all care options.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Chilliwack school board votes 4-3 not to oppose homeless shelter location

‘The Portal is a response to the problems, not the other way around’: Trustee Willow Reichelt

Symphony set to spook spectators in Chilliwack

The Chilliwack Metropolitan Orchestra presents Halloween Symphony Spooktacular on Oct. 27

Seven Days in Chilliwack

A list of community events happening in Chilliwack from Oct. 14 to 20

Fantasy Farms told to stop holding special events on farmland that go against agricultural rules

The Morans say it might spell the end of their seasonal events like Reapers Haunted Attractions

PEARL event raises funds for sexually abused, exploited women in Chilliwack

‘Together Making a Difference’ is the fourth annual fundraiser for PEARL Life Renewal Society

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

VIDEO: Townhouse fourth Maple Ridge blaze in less than a day

UPDATE: Fire victims have much to be thankful for, despite loss of pets on Thanksgiving Day

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

BC Ferries filling up fast with post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Monday anticipated to be busiest day of the weekend

Most Read