B.C.'s Children's Representative is accusing provincial officials of using an outdated policy to suppress information about critically injured and abused children and youths.
Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond says officials with the Ministry of Children and Family Development are still refusing to provide her with reports on the case of a girl with Down Syndrome who was left with the corpse of her dead mother for several days in a Cultus Lake trailer park home.
"Even after a discussion with senior ministry officials about the case, no acknowledgement that this case should have been reported occurred, and no commitment to improve the reporting requirements or system was forthcoming," said Turpel-Lafond in a statement issued on Monday morning.
The 15-year-old girl was found hungry and dehydrated in the family's home Sept. 15 after spending up to nine days alone with her mother's body. There were multiple child-protection complaints on the file and concerns were raised by neighbours and family members that the mother was in a deteriorating state, Turpel-Lafond said.
But the ministry's refusal to provide Turpel-Lafond with any information about thecase, has led her to conclude there may be other troubling cases which the ministry did not report to her office including:
Turpel-Lafond says she wants the government to immediately change the reporting policies of the ministry to require them to report any cases of critical injury of children to her office, including:
"As the ministry does not regard these as being critical injuries reportable to the Representative, there is deep concern that entire categories of critical injuries that ministry staff know about have not been referred to the Representative for review," she said on Monday.
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