Campaigns and Issues

New RCY report on Alex Gervais – A heartbreaking read – And FCSSBC response

Feb. 6, 2017, Bernard Richard, the acting representative for children and youth, released Broken Promises: Alex’s Story. The report tells the tragic story of an 18-year-old Métis youth in care who took his own life in desperation.

Broken Promises: Alex’s Story illustrates how the BC child welfare system failed to act on opportunities to find Alex a permanent home with family and instead left him to drift through 17 care placements over 11 years until he jumped through his Abbotsford hotel window on Sept. 18, 2015. Alex was alone at the time, having been placed in the hotel room for 49 days as the delegated Aboriginal agency caring for him could not find a more suitable option.

The report is a heartbreaking read. It can be found at


Over five years ago, the Federation of Community Social Services of BC, a First Call member, worked with government on a Residential Review report. Released in 2012, the report wasn’t acted on, but FCSSBC remains hopeful that it will now be moved up the government’s agenda.

The federation has made its position clear in the media. You can read their statements in this Globe and Mail article and listen to FCSSBC executive director Rick FitzZaland’s interview on CKNW.

See also:

NationTalk: Alex’s Story Prompts Acting Representative to Recommend Key Changes in Care System

Tyee: Teen’s Suicide ‘Predictable’ After Years of Ministry Failures, Says Report

Global News: Who’s accountable for the tragic death of Alex Gervais?

CTV News Vancouver: Absentee caregiver was receiving $8K a month before teen’s suicide: report

CBC News: Former caregiver ‘shocked’ teen left alone for 10 days prior to his death

Province: B.C.’s children’s minister urged not to sharply cut contracted care

Province: B.C. youth in foster care died alone, as multiple warning signs ignored

CKNW: Did the Government’s Failure to Implement Recommendations from a 2012 Report Play a Role in the Death of Alex Gervais?

CKNW: B.C.’s acting children’s watchdog releases report on Alex Gervais’ death

24 Hrs Vancouver: We need to advocate for children in care

Vancouver Sun: Teen’s death raises concerns for 700 other B.C. children in government care

Vancouver Sun: Vaughn Palmer: Time to rock boat, ruffle feathers with B.C. child care services

Vancouver Sun: Letters: Public investment needed to stop children dying

Globe and Mail: B.C. watchdog says report findings could have saved Metis teen

Vancouver Sun: B.C. children’s minister promises big changes to child welfare system

Globe and Mail: Globe editorial: Why Alex threw himself out of a window in an Abbotsford hotel

Globe and Mail: Metis teen who died in care abandoned by B.C.’s child-welfare system: watchdog

Globe and Mail: Lack of foster homes spurs rise in costly contract care for province

Tyee: Ministry Says Supports ‘Available’ to Youth Exiting Province’s Care. How Available?