Security deposit

Children of the Streets Society executive director Diane Sowden said yesterday introducing legislation allowing authorities to detain at-risk youth in secure care facilities could be a costly exercises. And, according Ms. Sowden, it's one that won't work unless the government funds support services for youths that will prevent the need to detain them. Speaking on Public Eye Radio, she said, "When you're talking about the services for secure care, it's not just the ability to apprehend and hold a young person. There has to be a continuum of services. And that isn't in place yet. And that has to run from prevention to safe care and everything in between."

"There's a lot of money that needs to be put in place to actually implement all of those services," she continued. "And so it's not just a matter of having safe care or secure to apprehend a child. We've got make sure all those services are in place. And we have a long way to go before that actually happens."

Earlier this month, Public Eye reported the government could introduce such legislation.

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Ms. Sowden hit the nail on the head - this is a matter of great expense. When the BC Liberals came into government in 2001, the Secure Care Act was scrapped. It will cost millions to create the infrastructure for such a program and the money would be much better spent actually funding a functional, ethical and responsible child & youth welfare system. The BC Liberals don't want to do that and they definitely aren't going to move forward right now sinking millions into this.

Within MCFD, they are very quietly scrapping programs which have cost taxpayers millions of dollars. A specific example of this waste and monumental mismanagement of taxpayer funds is the current move to stop accreditation. This money will never be recouped and has essentially been flushed down the toilet by the clowns in charge. Think lots of nice catered lunches, at fancy hotels and money poured into an American accreditation agency for absolutely nothing.

They're also preparing to slash even more frontline jobs and make practice changes that are going to further diminish the capacity of the child welfare system to protect children, they gave up long ago even pretending to care about, or protect youth. Look for even more pain ahead for BC's young people and their battered families.

Most of us will thankfully never know the pain and heartbreak of watching helplessly as our child becomes addicted, getting sucked into the underworld, the street, getting sexually exploited and losing their innocence, becoming one of "those people" you see on the 6'o clock news. Those parents and family members who have been through it find out quickly that the government will not lift a finger to help. You get what you vote for. Remember that next time.

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