3rd Annual Child and Youth Guardianship Services Report Released
This is the third annual report on the services provided by the Public Guardian and Trustee (PGT) to minor children and youth for whom the PGT is Guardian of Estate. Most of these young people are in continuing care of the Province. This report outlines the services provided by the PGT, the challenges in delivering these services and makes recommendations for continued improvement.
The PGT delivers this aspect of its mandate through its Child and Youth Services division which provides services to approximately 20,800 child and youth clients. These services include Guardian of Estate, Trustee and Protective Legal Review services. The focus of this report is Guardian of Estate services delivered by the PGT between April 1, 2010 and March 31, 2011. However, data from previous years is also presented for a fuller understanding.The PGT was Guardian of Estate for 5,264 children and youth at March 31, 2011. Part 1 (Introduction) provides general information on the child protection system in British Columbia and the role of the PGT in child guardianship.
Part 2 (Guardian of Estate Services) describes the services provided to PGT Guardian of Estate clients. The PGT is coguardian with the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) or Delegated Aboriginal Child and Family Service Agencies (DAAs) for all children under a continuing custody order. This represents the majority of children and youth for whom the PGT is Guardian of Estate. This section of the report also identifies and summarizes demographic information regarding these children.
Part 3 (Critical Incident Reports) is a summary of the critical incident reports (CIRs) received primarily from MCFD and DAAs for children for whom the PGT is Guardian of Estate. The PGT reviews each report and determines whether further action is required to protect the legal or financial interests of the child. In addition to a statistical summary of the reports, this section
describes the types of reports and response of the PGT to the reports. For example, the PGT received 672 CIRs involving 487 children during 2010/11, of which two or more reports were received for 119 children. No harm occurred in 253 (38%) of the reported incidents so there was no basis for legal action and the PGT took no further action. Harm occurred in 419 of the incidents.
The following are examples of incidents in which a child or youth allegedly experienced harm:
• Physical and/or sexual assault accounted for 241 (58%) incidents.
• Motor vehicle accidents accounted for 51 (12%) incidents.
• Suicide attempts accounted for 20 (5%) incidents.
Of the incidents in which harm occurred, 100 involved incidents in which no persons were
alleged to have harmed the child or youth, for example a medical emergency. Of the incidents in
which harm occurred, 319 involved an alleged harmer, that is, a person who allegedly directly
harmed a child, whether intentionally or by accident. Examples include the following:
• 51 (16%) of the incidents involved foster parent(s) or unrelated caregivers.
• 74 (23%) of the incidents involved other friend(s) or acquaintance(s), and boyfriends,
girlfriends or spouses.
• 56 (18%) of the incidents involved parents and other relatives as the alleged harmer(s).
Readers should exercise caution in further interpretation of the critical incident data in this report. It is drawn from critical incident reports as submitted to the PGT and has been categorized by the PGT as described in Appendix 2. No conclusions regarding the allegations contained in these critical incident reports should be drawn from their inclusion in this
report. This report is about Guardian of Estate services delivered by the PGT. This report does not refer to services provided to children and youth by other organizations. Part 4 (The Way Forward) outlines some of the major challenges to the delivery of child guardianship services and makes recommendations for improvements. Appendices include a Glossary of Terms and Acronyms, a description of the classification systems applied to CIRs by the PGT and additional statistical results.