(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

Green Party leader Elizabeth May talks eliminating fish farming in open ocean pens

May stops in Qualicum Beach as part of Island campaign

To burn or not to burn?

Vancouver Island authorities take a patchwork approach to wrestling with the issue of woodsmoke

Cruise ships leading culprits in rising greenhouse gas emissions at Ogden Point: report

The GVHA released its Emissions Inventory Report just days after City asks for restrictions

Guardians leaving parks on Vancouver Island’s south coast for good

Juan de Fuca Park Watch folds due, in part, to people not carrying cash any more

Vancouver Island’s West Coast going wild about cycling

Ongoing project will tie Tofino and Ucluelet together with a paved cycling trail

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome

If you believe the polls, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

STRIKE: WFP and USW are back at the table for mediation

“No further updates until either an agreement is reached or one party or the other breaks off talks”

Scooter rider suffers life-threatening injuries in crash in Nanaimo

One person airlifted to hospital in Victoria after collision on Wall Street on Thursday

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

With $4M investment, Camosun College offers first sonography program on Vancouver Island

Starting in May 2020 students from Vancouver Island can pursue a career in sonography

RCMP members search shore along Stories Beach near Campbell River

Ground search not thought to be related to Oct. 16 homicide: RCMP

Pole-climbing thieves pilfering wire in Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Repairs are costly and thefts jeopardize public safety

Woman charged with numerous drug offenses stemming from a raid earlier this year at Island property

Police make arrest on an outstanding warrant dating back to January

Most Read