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Report raps B.C. on foster care

<p>Children are taken from their parents and placed in child care unnecessarily, because of a lack of resources and support for families, according to a report released yesterday by the Pivot Legal Society.</p>

Co-author urges province to invest in family support



jeff hodson/metro vancouver


Lobat Sadrehashemi, left, and Darcie Bennett, authors of Broken Promises: Parents Speak about B.C.’s Child Welfare System.



Children are taken from their parents and placed in child care unnecessarily, because of a lack of resources and support for families, according to a report released yesterday by the Pivot Legal Society.



Lobat Sadrehashemi, co-author of Broken Promises, said the legislation surrounding child welfare is sound.



The problem is how resources are allocated.



"We’re investing in the wrong end," Sadrehashemi said. "We’re investing in apprehension and the foster care system, and were not investing in prevention and supporting families."



As a result, parents with low-incomes or who suffer from mental issues — who could care for their children if given the proper support – lose them into foster care.



The report, gathered from interviews and affidavits of 44 parents, aims to give parents a voice to their experiences with the B.C. child welfare system.



Krystina Bolton, 20, had her 16-month-old son and her three-year-old daughter apprehended at birth and said the pain of losing them was immense.



Bolton was "in-and-out" of foster care growing up and said from a child’s perspective, "when they take you away it feels like you’re lost."



However, Sadrehashemi said, a child’s safety is always the primary concern and that there will always be cases where children need to be removed.



"What’s important to understand," she said, "is that the vast majority of these cases involved parents who really want the best for their kids. They need the support and resources to keep them at home."




















majority




  • As of November 2006, there were 9,271 children in foster care in B.C. Aboriginal children account for 51 per cent of those in care.


 
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