British Columbia

In British Columbia, the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) provides child welfare services under the mandate of the Child, Family and Community Service Act (1996). The Child, Family, and Community Service Act (1996) was amended in 2018 to improve child welfare service delivery and intervention for Indigenous children and families, with the goal of reducing the over-representation of Indigenous children and youth within the province’s child welfare system. Child protection services in British Columbia are provided through 429 ministry offices in 13 regions and 24 delegated Aboriginal agencies, which have varying levels of delegated responsibility according to the resources and capacity of each agency (Government of British Columbia, 2021). The Federal government is responsible for funding services to First Nations children and families living on-reserve. The Adoption Act (1996), Infants Act (1996), and the Representative for Children and Youth Act (2006), are other legal acts that relate to the well-being and protection of children in British Columbia. For more information, see the information sheet British Columbia's child welfare system.

Statistics

British Columbia - Statistics

External Statistics Links

Ministry of Children and Family Development Reporting Portal

British Columbia: Children and youth in out-of-home care in 2019^

Children in care Child (0-18) population Rate per 1000*
6,263 926,072 6.76

 

*The rate of children in care was 6.76 per 1000 for all children and youth across the province, but was 43.8 for 1000 for Indigenous children and youth. 

 

^Ministry of Children and Family Development. (2019). Children and Youth in Care (CYIC). https://mcfd.gov.bc.ca/reporting/services/child-protection/permanency-for-children-and-youth/performance-indicators/children-in-care 

*The rate per 1000 is calculated using the population of children covered under the age of protection in British Columbia (under 19 years old).

§ Child welfare services fall under the jurisdiction of provincial and territorial authorities, making it difficult to compile statistics at the national level. The most notable variations between provinces include mandate variation by jurisdiction with respect to the age to which children are eligible for services, differences in the length of time a child can receive out-of-home care and the definition of out-of-home care.

Reports
Title Authors Year
Annual Report 2018/19 and Service Plan 2019/20 to 2021/22

British Columbia Representative for Children and Youth

Caught in the Middle

British Columbia Representative for Children and Youth

Alone and Afraid: Lessons learned from the ordeal of a child with special needs and his family

British Columbia Representative for Children and Youth

B.C. Adoption and Permanency Options Update

Representative for Children and Youth

Broken Promises: Alex’s Story

Representative for Children and Youth

Critical Injuries and Deaths: Reviews and Investigations (2016-17)

Representative for Children and Youth

Delegated Aboriginal Agencies: How Resourcing Affects Service Delivery

Representative for Children and Youth

Missing Peices: Joshua's story

Representative for Children and Youth

Room for Improvement: Toward Better Education Outcomes for Children in Care

Representative for Children and Youth

A Tragedy in Waiting: How B.C.’s Mental Health System Failed One First Nations Youth

British Columbia Representative for Children and Youth

Approach with Caution: Why the Story of One Vulnerable B.C. Youth Can't Be Told

British Columbia Representative for Children and Youth

B.C. Adoption Update: December 2015

British Columbia Representative for Children and Youth

Children and Youth in Care - Hotel Placements

British Columbia Ministry of Children and Family Development

Critical Injuries and Deaths: Reviews and Investigations Update #26

British Columbia Representative for Children and Youth

Critical Injuries and Deaths: Reviews and Investigations Update #27

British Columbia Representative for Children and Youth

Researchers
Researcher Organization Province / Territory
Brown, Leslie University of Victoria British Columbia
Bryson, Stephanie A. University of British Columbia British Columbia
Carriere, Jeannine University of Victoria British Columbia
Charles, Grant University of British Columbia British Columbia
De Finney, Sandrina University of Victoria British Columbia
Gillespie, Judy University of British Columbia – Okanagan British Columbia
Lee, Laura M. International Institute for Child Rights and Development British Columbia
Marcellus, Lenora University of Victoria British Columbia
Moosa-Mitha, Mehmoona University of Victoria British Columbia
Rutman, Deborah University of Victoria British Columbia
Saewyc, Elizabeth University of British Columbia British Columbia
Schmidt, Glen University of Northern British Columbia British Columbia
Sookraj, Dixon University of British Columbia – Okanagan British Columbia
Strega, Susan University of Victoria British Columbia
Sullivan, Richard University of British Columbia British Columbia
Wells, Susan University of British Columbia – Okanagan British Columbia