Thursday, February 26, 2009

Balancing the budget at the expense of kids in care

The budget for child and family services is neffectively frozen in the budget, with token increases averaging less tahn 0ne-half per cent per year.
Yet a ministry working group reported last year that children are already being hurt - and social workers swamped - because of inadequate residential care for many of the more than 9,000 children in care. A Times Colonist editorial looks at the betrayal.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's time to quit whining about these shortfalls and take responsibility for them. When did Paul Wilcocks write against BC hosting the 2010 Games? Children in care is just one aspect of one ministry that has failed to deliver on their mandate for 8 staight years in a row. The "state of the union" in BC is a shambles and all the crap about about economic spinoffs and benefits doesn't add up to much if you're one of the other half of British Columbians on the outside looking in. Plain and simply we couldn't and cannot afford the winter olympics - unless of course, you'e a skier, or you happen to live in Metro Vancouver or along the Sea to Sky, in which case it made great sense to support them. Where on earth did you think the money for an Olympic Extravaganza was going to come from, if not from cuts to services? Now the Liberrals are fastracking the sale of our province right out from under the feet of British Columbians, with privatization schemes of all sorts, because they can no longer afford to govern this wealthy province on traditional revenue sources. Governments are supposed to govern for "the people", not just for the affluent.

Dawn Steele said...

It's the same story we've heard for a decade - we can't afford to support kids but we can afford a $200 million pre-election slush fund!

We really have to give the Times Colonist credit - they're the only major media outlet that has been consistently strong in standing up and speaking up about this - kudos to Paul, Lindsay Kines and the rest of journalists who have kept the spotlight on these issues!

Sadly, anonymous is right, though. Had the rest of the media, especially TV News, not been seduced by the lure of all those Olympic advertising dollars, and had they all challenged the original phony budgets and claims more vigorously, I doubt even Vancouverites would have supported the Olympics. The endorsement was by no means unanimous and I'll bet a lot of those people now regret voting Yes.

Anonymous said...

Ironically, Children and Families Minister Tom Christensen is leaving politics to spend more time with his family. It should also be noted that Christensen owes his political life to family connections. Perhaps it is time for a Children and Families Minister to come from the ranks of those who appreciate the value of the services.

The Times Colonist editorial states: "Group home workers dealing with potentially dangerous children are paid $12 an hour..." As of April 01, 2009 unionized Residential Child & Youth Workers will be making $16.60 - $19.53/hour plus benefits. Anybody doing this work for $12/hour should contact a union.