Media Contacts

Ministry of Children and Family Development

Government Communications and Public Engagement
250 356-1639


Improving B.C.’s system of residential care for children and youth

Immediate actions the ministry has taken in light of the latest RCY report, Broken Promises: Alex’s Story.

  • Face-to-face and home visits with the 699 children or youth placed in the care of a contracted agency to ensure appropriate living conditions and quality of care.
  • $2.7 million to establish criteria that must be included in the cultural planning for all Indigenous children in our care. 
  • Commitment to 100% compliance on the development of plans of care for children and youth in the care of the ministry.

Further improvements planned or underway:

  • A review of the background and qualifications of all staff currently providing care to children and youth, ensuring they have the required safety clearances, skills and qualifications.
  • Mandatory financial audits by ministry staff of each residential service contract, ensuring that funding meets the needs of children and youth and that contract funds are being allocated appropriately.
  • Increasing the ministry’s investment in family-based care in order to reduce the need for children and youth to be placed with residential agencies in the first place.
  • Limiting the use of contracted group homes to therapeutic purposes in order to get children and youth stabilized.
  • An early warning system that will send an automatic notice to the central ministry offices when a child or youth in government care moves placements frequently.
  • Standardizing contracting functions for all residential resources in which children and youth in care may be placed – whether they are ministry resources, family homes, or resources run by a third-party agency.
  • Taking over the screening of ministry and contracted caregivers centrally within the ministry.
  • Developing a database of current caregivers and their qualifications, allowing us to see where criminal record checks and child welfare background checks have been completed. And should we find that standards have not been met, the home or agency responsible will be subjected to a thorough and comprehensive audit.
  • Ensuring an Agreement with Young Adults is automatically offered to every young person who ages out of our care.
  • The office of the Auditor General has signalled their intent to audit MCFD’s oversight of contracted services for at-risk children and youth. The ministry welcomes that move and will work with them to identify and implement further improvements.

In the last three years, the ministry has:

  • Banned the non-emergency use of hotels as placements for youth in care and clearly outlined the approval, tracking, monitoring, oversight and reporting process for hotel stays.
  • Raised the standard to require that contracted caregivers be vetted on par with foster parents.
  • Publicly posted twice annual performance management reports that show how services are working for children and families across every region of B.C.
  • Standardized a process for auditing and reviewing staffed residential resources.
  • Hired 200 new frontline staff, with another 100 on the way by the end of fiscal 2017-18.
  • Introduced a centralized services hub that will host screening functions – criminal record checks and child welfare background checks – for all ministry and contracted caregivers.
  • Begun practice auditing more areas of ministry operation more frequently.
  • Hired eight new dedicated quality assurance staff with another 13 to be hired over the next two years.
  • Established a new Youth Advisory Council made up of current and former youth in care who help inform ministry policy, practice, training, and operations.