The BC Coroners Service convened a death review panel in December 2017 to review the circumstances of young people who died while transitioning to independence from government child services between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2016. The report found high rates of suicide, mental health issues, drug overdose deaths and a disproportionate number of deaths of Indigenous young people. Broadly, the report found youth who had been in care were five times more likely to die than their counterparts in the general population.
First Call along with many other child advocacy groups have been calling on government to make changes to better protect and support youth in the Ministry’s care for years. We’re heartened to see that the Ministry has accepted all of the report’s recommendations.
The report outlines three recommendations:
- Expand Agreements with Young Adults (AYAs) to Address Self-Identified Transition Needs
- Ensure Collaboration to Support Effective Planning and Service Provision
- Monitor Support Service Effectiveness for Youth Leaving Care