On the Simi Sara Show today, listeners called in with their stories and reactions to the latest report released by BC’s child watchdog, Mary-Ellen Turpel-Lafond. The 80-page report is called ‘Paige’s Story – Abuse, Indifference and a Young Life Discarded’ and details the life of an Aboriginal girl who died of an accidental overdose in 2013, just after her 19th birthday.
A foster parent and child care worker in Vancouver for 25 years who identified himself as Nick, broke down on air while telling Sara about his own foster child who ages out of care in three weeks when he turns 19, saying the Ministry hasn’t helped them find a place for him. and he knows the boy will end up in jail eventually.
Nick also described a service that could have helped Paige.
“We used to have the adolescent street unit that operated in the Downtown Eastside, it was a 24 hours social services office. It still kind of exists, but the funding has been cut predominantly under the liberal government over the last 8 or 9 years. But that used to be it’s job, it used to cover the kids in the Downtown Eastside and it used to do an excellent job. They were a specialist social work team, so I guess we’re going to reinvent that having cut off the money in the first place.”
Another caller relocated to Victoria to be closer to a son in foster care that he only found out existed when the child was 10. When asked if he felt like someone was looking out for his son, Lee said he didn’t.
“The ministry is overwhelmed, they need to have more of a watchdog situation over the individual case workers.”
Listen to all of the reactions here: