The Ministry of Children and Families has done an overhaul of its data collection system, and dropped 1000 files on children and youth in care from its list.
That’s because of things like duplicated files, outdated codes, and expired orders.
But BC’s Child and Youth advocate, Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, wants a clearer explanation.
“One thousand less children in a bit of a swoop is a concern, so I registered a concern in my annual report, and I feel that I need a more fulsome explanation from the ministry.”
The Ministry says that’s because a new feature allows for enhanced data collection, like removing duplicate files, resulting in more accurate figures.
But Turpel-Lafond wants to know more.
“It may actually warrant some type of public report from my office to actually account for where the children are, we may need to audit that, I haven’t decided that for certain because it is quite a large undertaking, but I would expect the Ministry would actually give a detailed reporting of each of those one thousand children.”
The concern over data entry is highlighted in Turpel-Lafond’s annual report, and she’s thinking about launching an audit.
New data shows there is around 7200 youth in care in BC.