B.C.’s children’s rights watchdog has released another report, saying life remains challenging for B.C.’s most vulnerable children and youth, especially those who are aboriginal and those in government care.
Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, and co-author Dr. Perry Kendall, the provincial health officer, say they can’t say there’s been much improvement since the first report five years ago.
What’s good is that fewer teens are getting pregnant, fewer of them are involved in serious crime, and more aboriginal teens are graduating from high school.
But here’s what’s worrisome: about a third of young kids aren’t ready for kindergarten, and aboriginal kids are 12 times more likely to be in government care.
More than 1 in 5 children living with families with income below the poverty line
Turpel-Lafond calls for targeted investment in child care and development across multiple government ministries.
She also says the province doesn’t have a comprehensive plan to meet kids’ needs – something she has suggested for years.
“I’ve not had a strong opportunity to work with government policy individuals across these cross-ministry concerns for children. We are still very siloed by services and we’re still not looking at the data.”