What is this engagement about?
B.C. is reforming child and family service legislation to improve services for all children and families. These changes will also better support the rights of Indigenous peoples, including Indigenous governments, as they deliver child and family services under their laws.
The goals of this initiative are:
- Changing the current legislative model to one that promotes prevention supports and keeps children within their families, communities, and cultures;
- Alignment of child and family service legislation with the federal Act respecting First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children, youth and families (Federal Act) and the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (Declaration Act); and
- Pursuing both short-term and longer-term legislative amendments to support systemic transformation
Initial Engagement Timeline: April 2 – August 31, 2022 at 4 pm.
Child, Family and Community Service Act Reform
On November 24, 2022, Bill 38 was passed into law. B.C. passed these amendments to legislation to remove barriers for Indigenous Peoples exercising jurisdiction over child and family services, becoming the first province in Canada to expressly recognize this inherent right within provincial legislation.
On November 25th, certain parts of Bill 38 came into force and apply. We expect the remaining provisions of the new act will be brought into force through a series of regulations. Early in 2023, we will write to all B.C. First Nations to invite Nations to co-develop regulations for the new act.
The amendments to the Adoption Act and the Child, Family and Community Service Act were developed in consultation and co-operation with Indigenous rightsholders, Modern Treaty Nations, Indigenous Governing Bodies (IGBs), Métis Nation BC and Indigenous partners.
This is the beginning of a transformation process and there is more work to be done. Over the coming years, the Province will continue to work with Indigenous Peoples, people with lived experience, and social service partners on further systemic changes to the child welfare system. This work will build on the feedback provided during spring 2022 engagement sessions. More information on how to further engage on future changes will be posted here when it becomes available.
How to participate
The initial engagement phase is now complete: April 2 – August 31, 2022This was the first phase of a multi-year process and the beginning of many conversations to come. More information on how to engage further will be posted when available.
British Columbians were asked to share their views about reforming child and family services by completing the online survey before August 31, 2022.
Register for virtual engagement sessions
Several engagement sessions for Indigenous peoples, people with lived experience, and social sector organizations were held in May and June 2022.
The Ministry of Children and Family Development accepted input on priorities for changes to the child and family services system until August 31, 2022.
Feedback from engagement sessions, the online survey, written submissions, and conversations with key partners, will help government set the foundation for prioritizing the reform work.