Child-protection committee tackles three topics at monthly meeting

29 May 2020

By Kevin Zakreski

At its May 2020 committee meeting, BCLI’s Child Protection Project Committee completed one topic and began its review of two new topics.

The committee finished its look at selected protection issues by considering a pair of issues. First, it considered whether the act should be amended to provide for regular reassessments of whether a child should remain in the care of the director. Second, it examined whether new provisions could be added to the act to promote contact between a child and parents, siblings, and extended family.

Then, the committee examined two topics that are somewhat intertwined. These topics relate to issues concerning incorporating a child’s views into a child-protection proceeding and providing for legal representation for a child in a child-protection proceeding. Neither of these issues is directly addressed in the Child, Family and Community Service Act. Instead, a mixture of policies, government programs, and court decisions provide British Columbia’s legal framework for dealing with them. The committee considered whether the current approach is the best approach, or whether British Columbia should adopt clear enabling provisions relating to both issues in the Child, Family and Community Service Act.

The goal of the committee’s review is formulating tentative recommendations for law reform, which will be published in a consultation paper later in the project’s life cycle. The consultation paper will give the public the opportunity to comment on the committee’s proposals to modernize the Child, Family, and Community Service Act.

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