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Friday, October 9, 2015

Closing the Circle

British Columbia cannot continue to do child and family welfare on the cheap.

The B.C. Liberal government has failed to prioritize proper funding for services and supports for vulnerable children and their families for the last decade.
Budget numbers speak for themselves. Since 2008, Ministry for Children and Family Development (MCFD) funding has been cut by $44 million, before inflation.
In 2004/05, spending per capita on child, youth, and family services in B.C. was $360. Today, it’s $287 – a cut of more than one-fifth – even as the consumer price index rose by 17.3% during the same period.

Yet B.C. is experiencing increasing demand for child, youth, and family services.

Every year, MCFD provides services to around 155,000 children and youth and their families—or about 17% of BC’s population under age 18. The province’s child and youth population is projected to grow by an estimated 27,000 over the next five years.

The complexity of support needs required continues to increase because of persistent high childhood poverty, increased diagnoses of complex physical and mental health disorders for at-risk children and youth, and the unfortunate over-representation of Aboriginal youth in B.C.’s social welfare system.

Solution: Increase funding to child, youth and family services in the short and long term to address staffing and other concerns

At minimum and in the short term, government should restore $44 million in MCFD funding cut between 2008/09 and 2013/14, and adjust this amount for inflation.

Tell Christy Clark to Choose Children Read the report

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Indian Country is under attack. Native tribes and people are fighting hard for justice. There is need for legal assistance across Indian Country, and NARF is doing as much as we can. With your help, we have fought for 48 years and we continue to fight.

It is hard to understand the extent of the attacks on Indian Country. We are sending a short series of emails this month with a few examples of attacks that are happening across Indian Country and how we are standing firm for justice.

Today, we look at recent effort to undo laws put in place to protect Native American children and families. All children deserve to be raised by loving families and communities. In the 1970s, Congress realized that state agencies and courts were disproportionately removing American Indian and Alaska Native children from their families. Often these devastating removals were due to an inability or unwillingness to understand Native cultures, where family is defined broadly and raising children is a shared responsibility. To stop these destructive practices, Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).

After forty years, ICWA has proven to be largely successful and many states have passed their own ICWAs. This success, however, is now being challenged by large, well-financed opponents who are actively and aggressively seeking to undermine ICWA’s protections for Native children. We are seeing lawsuits across the United States that challenge ICWA’s protections. NARF is working with partners to defend the rights of Native children and families.

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where were you adopted?

where were you adopted?