Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Adoption issues subject of Legislature Statements Monday

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice
spoke on adoption issues in the
Legislature on Monday
North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice returned to a familiar theme in the Legislature on Monday, offering up a number of observations related to the provincial government's approach on Adoption in BC.

Speaking in the morning session of Monday's House proceedings, Ms. Rice's commentary came as part of the discussion on a private members' statement on Adoption, opening her presentation by offering congratulations to the Provincial Government on achieving its goal of 600 adoptions this year.

And while she noted the success of the province reaching that target of 600 adoptions, she observed that at this time there is not a sustainable amount of funding in place to ensure that those targets can be met on a year to year basis.

We know that this is an area of the ministry historically that has been…. I don't necessarily want to use the word "neglected." It's a harsh word. But essentially, it's the lowest priority. We deal with all the fires and the imminent issues of kids in danger and getting them out of danger. We put them in foster homes, and the trend is that kids sit in foster homes. They often spend their entire childhood and youth in foster homes until they age out of care at 19. 

We somehow feel that putting kids in foster care is acceptable because now they are safe and now they are out of danger, and the attention towards finding permanency is not put there. With a $1 million to $3 million lift for a short period of time, I don't see how that's actually going to sustain higher levels of adoption in our province. I can't help but wonder if that will just plummet once the funding plummets. -- North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice on adoption in British Columbia

The North Coast MLA also reviewed some of the specifics related to adoption in British Columbia focusing on the need to address and to spend more resources and energy into looking at adopting or finding permanency or other higher levels of care for First Nations teens and children.

She also pointed to the recent updates by the Representative for Children and Youth, taking note of the recommendation that the Ministry of Children and Family Development make legislative changes to require support and external oversight, as well as reporting of adoption or alternative permanency plans on annual basis.

Towards that goal, Ms. Rice called for further accountability and sustainability towards the province's adoption policies.

You can review the full statement in the house from the Legislature minutes of Monday morning.
Ms. Rice's contribution to the topic starts at the 10:10 point of the proceedings.

The video presentation of the session can be found here, click on the link to the Chamber Video for Monday Morning to view.

For more items related to developments at the British Columbia Legislature see our archive page here.

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