An announcement is “imminent”, according to the Ministry of Children and Family Development, on the formation of a ‘rapid response team’ to better protect children-at-risk.
Children and Family Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux called for the team’s creation back in May, and also promised a more youth-centered and coordinated service delivery system in the Downtown Eastside.
The announcement came after the death of an aboriginal girl called “Paige” who died at the age of 19 of a drug overdose after suffering through a life of domestic violence and neglect.
BC’s Children’s rights watchdog found Paige was a victim of a “collective failure to act” by multiple organizations and individuals, and blamed her death in 2013 on government inaction and indifference.
“She had an incredible journey of neglect, abuse, and really indifference to her situation. Her story is a tough one, and hard for the family to share and hear again, but I think British Columbians need to hear it.”
One of the most troubling investigations the representative’s office has ever conducted.
Though Paige died of an overdose, it was years of abuse and neglect that took her life in 2013.
Despite dealing with 17 social workers, Turpel-Lafond says only one developed more than a basic relationship with her.
Paige had a conditions that left her legally blind and heart complications, yet she spent years without glasses or cardiac care. She also tried to have an abortion on three separate occasions.
Finally, virtually none of her 17 trips to hospital for overdoses were reported, and they weren’t treated, but she instead was sent to jail.