Reality Check: Children’s ministry blocked help for children sexually abused in their care

For Immediate Release
July 17, 2015

VICTORIA – New Democrats asked the Minister of Children and Families in the legislature this week if she would ensure children in the ministry’s care who were handed over to their sexually abusive father would receive the support they need to overcome the abuse they suffered.

The minister then claimed that the family could get help from the ministry. Unfortunately, the minister’s response was simply not true.

Even while the children were in the ministry’s care, MCFD refused to provide counselling for sexual abuse:

“The Director failed to provide counselling for the children’s sexualized behaviours and for possible sexual abuse (after December 2011) when the Director admitted that it was possible the children had been sexually abused by their father.” – B.C. Supreme Court judgement, 2015 BCSC 1216, section 811.

“In my opinion, the Director’s failure to consider, let alone provide, counselling for sexualized behaviours cannot be excused…There was information from a number of sources that should have alerted her to the need for counselling for their sexualized behaviours” – B.C. Supreme Court judgement, 2015 BCSC 1216, section 813.

When the mother applied for victim’s compensation to pay for counselling for her children, the ministry blocked her application:

“After the children were returned to their mother’s care, the Director impeded the plaintiffs’ request for funds from another branch of the provincial government that provides compensation to victims of criminal acts.” – B.C. Supreme Court judgement, 2015 BCSC 1216, section 39.

“The Director delayed in delivering documents requested by another branch of government in order to process the plaintiffs’ claims for compensation. Her conduct was either deliberate or the result of gross neglect but in either case the conduct was callously indifferent to the children’s needs.” – B.C. Supreme Court judgement, 2015 BCSC 1216, section 1082.

Quote from Doug Donaldson, New Democrat Spokesperson for Children and Family Development:

“Leaving aside how heartless it is to suggest that after all this family has been through it’s up to them to navigate a ministry which ruined their lives, there is simply no reason to believe the minister when she says counselling services are available for these children if the family only jumps through hoops to get it. The minister needs to be proactive and provide this family with the help they need immediately”.