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Proposed changes aimed at keeping more Indigenous kids out of gov’t care

VICTORIA, B.C.-The BC Government is taking steps to involve Indigenous communities more in child-welfare decisions.

The goal is to keep more Indigenous kids out of care, safe within their home communities, and connected to their culture.

Under the current laws, the Ministry of Children and Family Development is only allowed to reach out to a child’s Indigenous community with the parent’s consent or to ensure the child’s well-being and safety.

If it passes the new legislation would let the MCFD do things like make agreements with a child’s parents and community to allow for greater involvement in planning for the child and changing the definition of “best interest of a child” to include the importance of taking part in their culture.

As it stands now Indigenous children make up 63 per cent of those in care, while making up less than 10 per cent of the child population in B.C.

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