Press release from BC Ministry of Children and Family Development

Government's statement on the Representative for Children and Youth's report

  • Mar. 1, 2012 2:00 p.m.

VICTORIA – Minister of Children and Family Development Mary McNeil made the

following statement on behalf of the B.C. government in response to the

Representative for Children and Youth’s report released today, Honouring

Kaitlynne, Max and Cordon: Make Their Voices Heard Now.

“This case is an unimaginable tragedy and my sympathies, condolences and

apology go out to the family of these children. What this family has endured

is beyond what anyone can possibly fathom. To that end, any supports or

services we can provide, including under our Criminal Victim Assistance

Programs, are and will be made available to assist this family.

“In reading this report, it is clear that much more must be done to improve

the system of supports for families dealing with complex issues like

domestic violence and mental illness. There also needs to be greater focus

on integrating and co-ordinating the system of supports.

“The Representative’s report urges the government to take further steps to

demonstrate accountability and leadership in the area of domestic violence.

We are acting immediately to establish a Domestic Violence Unit under the

Ministry of Children and Family Development — reporting to the Deputy

Minister — that will be accountable for delivering a comprehensive, co-

ordinated action plan to strengthen supports to children and families who

are impacted by domestic violence.

“This unit will be permanent to ensure continued leadership and

accountability on this important issue. The Domestic Violence Unit’s

immediate role will be to work with a newly formed deputy ministers’

committee – comprised of deputies from the ministries of Children and Family

Development, Justice, Health, Social Development and Education – to develop

an inventory of cross government services and resources. It will identify

where there are gaps and develop an action plan that addresses the

recommendations in the Representative’s report.

“The action plan will be outcomes-based and include targets and timeframes.

It will be developed in close consultation with the Representative and be

presented to her on July 31, 2012, with work to begin immediately

thereafter.

“Government is committed to ensuring that we act quickly and effectively in

developing a seamless approach that will provide children and families with

the supports they need.”