2019 year in review for child-protection project


16 December 2019

By Kevin Zakreski

Even though BCLI began its Modernizing the Child, Family and Community Service Act Project late in 2018, the project only really hit its stride in 2019. This year has seen some significant developments in both components of the project: (1) a focused review of the Child, Family and Community Service Act to identify outdated provisions and operational incompatibilities and gaps within the statute itself and with legislation that intersects with this act; (2) comparative legal research into legislative models that support policy and practice related to youth aging into the community.

Forming the Child Protection Project Committee

The Child Protection Project Committee came together in spring 2019. This 13-person project committee assists BCLI in developing its recommendations for reform of the Child, Family and Community Service Act and in reviewing research into legislative models on youth aging into the community. The committee contains members hailing from the legal and social-work professions, as well as members from government ministries and oversight bodies.

Developing a work plan and holding regular committee meetings

The committee held its first meeting in June 2019. At that meeting, it developed a work plan, setting out the legal issues that it wished to consider over the course of the project. It also agreed on a monthly meeting schedule.

Topics covered at committee meetings

The committee has held seven meetings in 2019. It has structured its work plan to cast its attention initially on the first component of the project (a focused review of the Child, Family and Community Service Act). Committee meetings have examined such topics as definitions and terms used in the act, disclosure, and independent legal advice.

Progress on proposed study paper on youth aging into the community

While committee meetings have been ongoing, BCLI staff have carried out research into legislative models that support policy and practice related to youth aging into the community. This research has involved looking at current British Columbia policies and practices and at legislation found in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. In 2019, work began on a first draft of the project’s study paper.

Statistics on project publications and engagement

  • number of documents published: 3 (backgrounder no. 1 and backgrounder no. 2)
  • number of project-committee meetings held: 7
  • number of tentative recommendations made: 22
  • number of blog posts on the project and child protection generally: 9
  • number of pageviews of the project webpage: 226

A look ahead to 2020

The project has some major milestones ahead of it in 2020, which include the planned publication of the following:

  • a consultation paper on proposed amendments to the Child, Family and Community Service Act (planned for spring or early summer 2020);
  • a final report on proposed amendments to the Child, Family and Community Service Act (planned for fall 2020); and
  • a study paper on legislative models that support policy and practice related to youth aging into the community (planned for fall 2020).

Thanks to the project’s supporters

BCLI thanks the support it has received from project-committee members. BCLI also thanks the Law Foundation of British Columbia, without whose sustaining and project funding this project would not have been possible.


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