10/26/2017 11:46 EDT | Updated 10/26/2017 12:00 EDT

B.C. must help children and youth in care achieve academic success: report

VANCOUVER — British Columbia's representative for children in government care is calling for more educational support so the youth have a better chance of graduating high school.

Bernard Richard says each school district should get specific funding dedicated to the learning needs of students who often experience trauma in early life.

Richard has made six recommendations aimed at the education and children's ministries in a report that also calls for support at schools where he says more elders and Indigenous teachers should be present.

He says simple changes like allowing foster parents to sign permission slips for field trips would go a long way to making children feel included instead of having them miss out when a social worker isn't available to sign forms.

Richard says 51 per cent of youth in care graduate secondary school but the rate is 89 per cent for other students.

He says only 44 per cent of Indigenous students finish high school within six years of starting because they don't get enough support, including help with school work and having their mental health needs met.