Executive Summary

Report of the Gove Inquiry into Child Protection in British Columbia



Implementing the Inquiry's recommended reforms must start with political leaders committing themselves to a child-centred child welfare system. It will take several years to bring all child welfare responsibilities into one Ministry for Children and Youth, to establish Regional Child Welfare Boards and community-based Children's Centres to set up the Children's Commissioner and the Child Welfare Review Board, and to professionalize the child welfare work force.

The Inquiry recommended that a Commissioner for Transition to the Ministry for Children and Youth, independent of any affected ministry, be appointed by the Provincial Cabinet through an Order in Council for a fixed term, with legislative authority to make the structural changes necessary to create the new child welfare system at the community, regional and provincial levels.

There are many interim reforms which should be made while the new child welfare system is being developed. The Minister of Social Services should, without delay, set a BSW degree requirement for newly hired social workers. The ministry should develop a much more comprehensive training program for new employees, and should eliminate arbitrary rules that inhibit the sharing of important case information. The Audit and Review Division's mandate and staffing levels should be restored. Street-level social workers should be given practical aids, such as cellular telephones and word processors.

If the Ombudsman supports the Inquiry's recommendations, that office should monitor the implementation, and should report to the public through the Legislative Assembly as the Ombudsman considers appropriate.

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