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 concernsAt 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