The B.C. Ministry of Children is in the news almost every day. The items are invariably unpleasant. Two more headline stories this week, indications of a systemic limitation - control and accountability. It's not Stephanie Cadieux's fault. The Honourable Minister is an honourable woman. She cannot be responsible for what social workers and their supervisors decide and effect. Ministers change yet the negative press repeats year after year. Protection of children and care for vulnerable children is undeniably difficult and problematic. Before she is moved on, she and her office must genuinely dialogue with Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, Representative for Children and Youth and official watchdog over the Ministry of Children, and address jointly constructed plans, policies and action steps to transform this Ministry. The window of opportunity may be small since Turpel-Lafond's 10-year term is finishing.
So here are the two newsmaker articles this week.
This Ministry starting from the Premier's office and the Minister's office all the way down the chain must determine a new course. Perhaps placing a ceiling on how much money can be directed to legal action and lawyers; coffers, and redirecting most of that money to adequate housing options for foster children and retraining and empowering workers. If you can think of other ways such reclaimed money could be spent, I'd like to hear it.
Don't take my word for the J.P. story, read Judge Walker's the Supreme Court document of Justice Walker's rulings re: case from 2011 - 2012.
This same ruling here, in pdf. form