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Representative’s Update on Critical Injuries and Deaths Review and Investigation #18

Representative’s Report

Purpose

The purpose of the Representative for Children and Youth’s (RCY) reviews and investigations of child deaths and critical injuries is to identify and thoughtfully analyze issues – particularly in service delivery. The intent is to help prevent similar deaths or injuries in the future, and to inform improvements to services.

Independently reviewing, investigating and reporting out on these deaths and critical injuries are essential elements of public accountability and promoting public confidence in the child serving systems. These reviews and investigations are done in a timely, fair, respectful and thorough manner.

Reporting Period: February 1, 2013 – May 31, 2013*

During this reporting period 101 critical injuries and 28 deaths of B.C. children and youth who were in care or receiving reviewable services within the previous year were reported to the RCY.

These have all had an initial screening by the Representative and staff to determine whether the injury or death meets the criteria for an RCY Review (defined on page 8). The following pages contain a summary of these initial screenings.

Reporting of Critical Injuries and Deaths

On December 6, 2010, the Representative released Reporting of Critical Injuries and Deaths to the Representative for Children and Youth, as a result of an ongoing and growing concern that the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) was not reporting all of the critical injuries to the Representative as outlined in the Representative for Children and Youth Act (‘RCY Act’). The Representative recommended that MCFD develop and implement a Critical Injury and Death Notification Policy that would ensure the practice of reporting injuries and deaths is consistent, timely and effective, and that the policy be finalized, communicated to all MCFD staff, delegated Aboriginal agencies, and service provider partners or public bodies, and be fully implemented by March 1, 2011.

Although that policy has not yet been finalized, MCFD began, in March 2011, reporting critical injuries in a number of areas that had not previously been reported to the Representative, as mandated. Since then, the number of critical injuries reported each month has been approximately three times greater.

Work continues in this area. Staff from MCFD, the Public Guardian and Trustee, and the RCY are meeting regularly to bring much-needed focus to this reporting process, as well as working to build and instill confidence that the RCY is receiving all injury reports as outlined in the Act.

Critical Injuries
Of the 101 critical injuries, 20 were determined to have not met the criteria1 for an RCY review under the Representative’s mandate (explained on page 7), and a decision on one critical injury is pending the receipt of further information. RCY reviews are being undertaken on the remaining 80 critical injuries.

Download full update Representative’s Update on Critical Injuries and Deaths Review and Investigation #18.

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