The BC Government and Service Employees Union says the province’s aboriginal child welfare system needs a top-to-bottom overhaul.
The union’s report, entitled Closing the Circle, says the system is culturally unsuitable, underfunded and understaffed.
BCGEU president Stephanie Smith tells CKNW social workers are facing exhaustive workloads.
“While the actual caseloads may be less in number, … we need culturally appropriate interventions. When you seize a child, it’s incredibly reminiscent of the residential school system.”
The BCGEU represents more than 400 employees working with First Nations children, youth and families.
Children and Family Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux put out a statement in response.
She says the report does not take into account newly implemented strategies within her department.
She also points to the recent appointment of Grand Chief Ed John as a senior advisor on aboriginal child welfare.