Local 3570

Local 3570


Premier Asked to Address Child Welfare Concerns

Premier Asked to Address Child Welfare Concerns
Last Updated Mar 8 2005 06:25 PM PST
CBC News
VICTORIA Three former public officials with years of experience in child welfare are calling on Premier Gordon Campbell to respond to their concerns about cuts to B.C.'s child protection system.

Former children's commissioner Cynthia Morton; former child, youth and family advocate Joyce Preston and former ombudsman Dulcie McCallum say they're worried child welfare services in B.C. may now be in an appalling state.

But they say there's no way of knowing, because there are no independent watchdogs monitoring the situation.

After the Liberal government was elected, the various independent offices responsible for child welfare were merged or eliminated or lost their independence.

Morton says in their place there's a single children's officer who answers to the attorney general. "There is no external accountability system, there is no effective external watchdog any more."

The trio say they flagged their concerns in a letter to the premier last June.

In that letter, the three advocates said they were worried about cutbacks in the child welfare system, and their impact on service. They said it looks as though children don't matter to this government.