10/08/2015 11:22 EDT | Updated 10/08/2016 01:12 EDT

Reforms needed to help vulnerable aboriginal children, families: BCGEU report

VANCOUVER — The B.C. union representing more than 400 employees working with aboriginal children, youth and families says the province's aboriginal child welfare system desperately needs reform.

The B.C. Government and Service Employees Union makes the call in its report examining provincial supports to First Nations children and families.

According to the report, entitled Closing the Circle, the aboriginal child welfare system is culturally unsuitable, under-funded and under-staffed.

The BCGEU wants a new service delivery model, saying the current model fails its clients while being mired in an overly complex patchwork of agencies and funding arrangements.

Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs Grand Chief Stewart Phillip endorses the study, adding it's time for the province to act.

Minister of Children and Family Development Stephanie Cadieux released a statement saying no one in the ministry has yet spoken with the BCGEU about its new report, but the ministry will take the time it needs to review the recommendations. 


The Canadian Press