117 children placed in hotels under ministry care: report

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Child in Hotel / Shutterstock

The Ministry of Children and Family Development said 117 children were placed in hotels between November 2014 and October 2015 while under the care of the government.

Christy Clark / BC Gove Photos

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The average stay of the children was nearly three days, according to a report released by the province, and new regulations are coming into effect as of Wednesday to prevent extended hotel stays.

The report comes in the wake of the death of a B.C. child in September 2015 after he was placed in a hotel for a lengthy amount of time.

According to demographics released in the report, more than half of children placed in hotels under ministry care are Aboriginal.

The new policies now include standard operating procedures on hotel use, the approval process, and monitoring hotel stays.

“I want to see the use of hotels as placements for children and youth completely eliminated and this is a good initial step,” said representative for children and youth Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond in a statement.

“We will continue to monitor this issue closely. Further investigation of how specific youth have been impacted by hotel stays is underway in my office and I anticipate detailed reporting on this matter later in 2016.”

The report also calls for more residential resources for children in ministry care to make up for the gap in emergency placements, as well as more training and vetting of foster parents.

Most of the hotel placements last year came after youth were taken into care unexpectedly or an existing placement for a child fell through.

To read the full report, click here.

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Lauren Sundstrom Lauren is a Staff Writer and Projects Assistant at Vancity Buzz. She is a graduate of BCIT's Broadcast and Online Journalism program. She loves reporting on breaking news and lifestyle content. If you feel like you have a story that needs to be told, fire her a tweet.
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