Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) Territory
The Our Children Our Way Society welcomes the Representative for Children & Youth’s follow-up report on services for children and youth with disabilities, “Still Left Out: Children and Youth with Disabilities in BC.” We hold up our hands to the families who had the courage to share their experiences in this report, and to all families struggling to care for their children with disabilities.
The report documents tremendous gaps in B.C.’s Child and Youth with Special Needs (CYSN) program, and reveals a system driven by policy and paperwork rather than by the urgent needs of children and their caregivers.
“All families deserve timely access to meaningful, culturally rooted services and to a wraparound system of supports built on love, compassion and care,” says Jennifer Chuckry, Executive Director of the Our Children Our Way Secretariat.
The RCY’s report describes parents navigating layers of paperwork and complex, unresponsive systems while meeting their children’s extensive needs on a 24/7 basis with little to no support. The desperate lack of services pushes some parents to make the heartbreaking decision to place their children into government care to access services that are otherwise unavailable. Once a child is in care, government funding—for foster caregivers, respite care and specialized supports and services—can become immediately accessible.
“This is exactly the kind of ‘perverse incentive’ that the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruled against in 2016,” says Mary Teegee, Chair of the Our Children Our Way Society. “We know this is wrong, this is clear discrimination. This is not how we care for our children and families.”
For further comment, please contact: Mary Teegee, Chair, Our Children Our Way Society Phone: 250-612-8710