What: Rally to support B.C.’s Children and Youth
Who: Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) workers
When: Wednesday April 12 at 12pm
Where: MLA Doug Bing’s Constituency Office, 20130 Lougheed Highway, Maple Ridge.
Why: The B.C. Government has refused to fund and implement several recommendations from Bob Plecas’ review of child welfare in B.C. (the Plecas report), including wage increases, adequate backfill, and proper training for social workers in MCFD, putting children and youth at risk and greater strain on frontline services.
MCFD workers in Maple Ridge are coming together at noon on Wednesday April 12 to call on the B.C. Government to take serious steps in implementing the recommendations in the Plecas report and protect children and youth.
Employees’ main demands are that the government address wage concerns in MCFD and develop proper accreditation for child and youth group homes. In BC, social workers earn 11% less than their average counterpart in the rest of Canada.
“Low wage rates, lack of training and accreditation, and low staffing levels are putting children and youth at risk.” said Doug Kinna, Vice President - Social, Information and Health Component of the BCGEU. “If the government is serious about protecting youth, they have to start implementing and funding the Plecas recommendations immediately.”
Workers will also be calling for improvements in the Child and Youth Mental Health services. Low wages and high workloads has led to a shortage of clinicians that contributes to dangerously long wait lists for service.
The Plecas report reviewed B.C.’s child welfare system, finding that it lacks accountability, proper staffing levels, training, and funding. The report included a series of recommendations to be implemented over 4 years, most of which have been ignored by government.
On April 5, over two dozen MCFD workers in Vancouver attended a rally outside of MLA Sam Sullivan’s office with similar demands.
Media and photo opportunities available during the event
For more information, contact Doug Kinna at 250-715-6003