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

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Victoria, BC: The Representative for Children and Youth

British Columbia Representative for Children and Youth

Canadian CW report

This report details the events that led to the removal of “Charlie” from his mother’s care in 2016 after police found him alone, screaming, severely underweight and in a state of profound neglect. The 12-year-old boy, who has autism and is non-verbal, had endured years of malnutrition and neglect, inadequate services to address his special needs, and little education or socialization.

The ordeal of one boy and his family shows that British Columbia’s system of services to support children with complex needs must be overhauled. 

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