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Alarming MCFD staff shortages putting children at risk

October 8, 2015 (VICTORIA, BC) - A new report from the Representative for Children and Youth reveals that the B.C. Liberals have been misleading the public in response to questions about children dying in government care.

“We have 200 fewer social workers in B.C. today than we did in 2002. Premier Clark calls that an increase,” said New Democrat children’s spokesperson Doug Donaldson.

“It’s heartbreaking to ask about children who are suffering, children whose lives were cut short. It’s even more heartbreaking to learn those questions were answered with insincerity and spin.”

The report, The Thin Front Line, reveals that the current Minister of Children and Families, Stephanie Cadieux, underspends her child protection budget by millions of dollars every year. 

The Representative for Children and Youth noted that contrary to what the premier has said, the government has not recently hired 110 new social workers. A generous estimate of the number of new social workers added since last year would be 19.

“Families, vulnerable children and youth, people in this province have been misled by the premier with her repeated assertion that her government hired 110 new social workers,” said Donaldson.

“Youth like Carly Fraser, Alex Gervais and Paige would have all benefited from increased front line help. Now we know that help wasn’t there.

“Children and families in this province deserve better.  Premier Clark and her minister wasn’t there for them,” said Donaldson.