Minister of Children and Family Development Stephanie Cadieux released the following statement in response to the Representative for Children and Youth’s (RCY) latest report, Delegated Aboriginal Agencies: How Resourcing Affects Service Delivery:
“I thank the representative for this report. We agree, overall, that Delegated Aboriginal Agencies (DAAs) require additional support and that federal funding, through Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), must focus on prevention and family preservation rather than child protection alone.
“While the RCY’s report includes valuable feedback from Delegated Aboriginal Agencies in B.C., it does not reflect many of the recent improvements and commitments the Province has made to help ensure better outcomes for Indigenous children, youth and families.
“For example, the report references Grand Chief Ed John’s 2016 report on Indigenous child welfare, but doesn’t acknowledge the commitment that government has made to implement his 85 recommendations, 71 of which fall under my ministry’s purview. It also fails to outline the significant funding increase the ministry received under Budget 2017 to help improve outcomes for Indigenous families.
“Over the next three years, my ministry will budget a total of $150 million over three years to help address Grand Chief John’s recommendations. As part of this plan, the ministry will invest $14.4 million in 2017-18 to ensure that Delegated Aboriginal Agencies are funded at equitable levels to the ministry. In 2017-18, total budgeted funding to DAAs will be $115 million in support of approximately 1,900 Indigenous children. Other areas of focus include hiring and placing additional staff within Indigenous communities, addressing caseload pressures – including finding alternatives to government care – as well as improving family supports, reunification and culturally appropriate services.
“We remain committed to continuing to work with DAAs, the representative and our federal partners on strategies that will further improve services and outcomes for Indigenous children, youth and families, both on and off reserve.”