Children’s safety remains top priority

Minister of Children and Family Development Stephanie Cadieux responds to last week's editorial in the Times.

RE: “A very important issue locally

The Nov. 16 article “A very important issue locally” has a couple inaccuracies that I would like to clarify for your readers.

The Ministry of Children and Family Development is not only looking at repositioning about 70 current temporary employees to full-time, permanent positions, but we have also committed, by 2016, to hire additional staff. Ultimately, there will be a total of approximately 200 front-line, administrative and support staff added to key areas of the ministry.

Additionally, we are changing a number of business processes to ensure our front-line staff spend less time answering phones and filling out paperwork, so they can focus on face-to-face work with the children and families they serve.

It is also important for your readers to understand that between 2008 and 2013 the ministry’s base budget has increased by $47.7 million. In that same period, government restructuring resulted in some non-front line ministry functions, and their budgets, being transferred to other ministries. To be clear, the budgets for these and other functions were not reduced, but simply transferred out of MCFD’s overall budget.

Our focus is targeting our budget to serving children and families in British Columbia.

There is no question that this government is trying to manage growing demands for service while balancing our budget. But I can assure you, the safety and protection of vulnerable children, youth and families in B.C. has always been, and will remain, a top priority for this ministry.

Stephanie Cadieux,

Minister of Children and Family Development