The British Columbia government has outlined a five-point plan to promote breastfeeding and stronger mother-child bonds for infants who are in provincial care.
The plan based on a report from the Ministry of Children and Family Development and the representative for children and youth is intended to support vulnerable women and their infants.
It develops guidelines for social workers to promote breastfeeding when infants are separated from their birth mothers, finding ways to make breastmilk available to infants, and addressing breastfeeding within the context of substance use.
Bernard Richard, the representative for children and youth, said the report was initiated after the B.C. Supreme Court ordered the ministry to increase a mother’s access to her infant for breastfeeding and bonding.
Over a four-year period starting in 2013-14, the report found that on an average, more than 500 infants who were less than one year old entered government care, and nearly 70 per cent of these infants were Indigenous.
The report says the statistics highlight that the over-representation of Indigenous children and youth in care begins in infancy.
The Canadian Press