Executive Summary

Report of the Gove Inquiry into Child Protection in British Columbia

Volume Two: MATTHEW'S LEGACY


LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

In Volume One: Matthew's Story, I told the facts of Matthew's life and the conclusions that can be drawn from them. I analyzed what the Ministry of Social Services did after Matthew died, and evaluated the role of senior management to gain some insight into how the province's child protection services are directed.

I looked further into the way children are protected to see if what happened to Matthew is unusual. I have concluded that it is not.

Many other children continue to die in similar circumstances, yet little seems to change. The ministry's senior management has done little to ensure that its social workers are professionally qualified, trained and effectively supervised, or that child welfare services are delivered in a coordinated, multi-disciplinary manner.

The inquiry into one boy's death led me to look in more detail at our entire child welfare system. The more I saw and heard about how child protection services are currently delivered, the more convinced I became that we need to go back to first principles, and build a new child protection system from the ground up.

That is the focus of Volume Two. It starts with a discussion of the Context for Change, which examines the history of child protection in British Columbia, the current make-up of the ministry, and demographic influences which are changing the way in which child protection services must be delivered.

Subsequent chapters explore how child protection services are delivered, what quality assurance measures exist and need to be developed, the qualifications and training of social workers, and the impact of new provincial child protection legislation. Volume Two concludes with a design of and recommendations for a new child-centred child welfare system.


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