Journalists launch ‘Spotlight: Child Welfare’ series into B.C.’s foster system

Black Press Media is part of a collaboration diving into Ministry of Children and Family Development

The Ministry of Children and Family Development is the de facto parent for nearly 6,500 kids in foster care in B.C., and a group of journalists have come together to investigate how well the system is doing, and how it can be bettered.

Spotlight: Child Welfare is a collaborative journalism project that aims to deepen and improve reporting on B.C.’s child-welfare system.

The project, funded through a $100,000 grant by the Vancouver Foundation, includes journalists reporting for Black Press Media, The Discourse, National Observer, APTN, StarMetro, The Tyee and Vancouver Courier.

Since kicking off this one-year project in September 2018, the team has worked closely with youth, parents and others who are connected with and impacted by the system.

The outcome of eight months of research is a public-service journalism project, aiming to serve children and families, particularly Indigenous families because they are grossly overrepresented in Canada’s child-welfare system because of the ongoing and intergenerational impacts of colonization.

The main goal is to introduce readers to in-depth, nuanced, data-driven and solutions-oriented reporting about B.C.’s child-welfare system.

In-depth because stakeholders – youth, parents, Indigenous advocates, academics, etc. – tell us they want to see reporting that takes a holistic view of the child-welfare system, including its overlap with social issues such as housing, mental health, and the legacy of colonial violence.

Nuanced because it’s not enough to cite dismal statistics without providing historical context. Reconciliation means digging deeper into systems where Indigenous people are so starkly overrepresented.

Data-driven because we believe we can help create a more comprehensive picture of the system by filling some of the gaps in the data.

Solutions-oriented because stakeholders tell us tragedy narratives aren’t serving them. They want stories that highlight successful models and explore ways to support families and communities to prevent more kids from going into care.

Here at Black Press Media, readers will be able to take a deep-dive into the state of child welfare in the province through stories published online and in print now until September.


This story was produced as part of Spotlight: Child Welfare — a collaborative journalism project that aims to deepen reporting on B.C.’s child-welfare system. Tell us what you think here.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Say no to plastic straws

Straws make drinking frappuccinos easier, but they kill sea creatures, says letter writer

Crews putting out one of the first wildfires of the season in Nanaimo

Nanaimo Fire Rescue, B.C. Wildfire Service on scene at Doumont Road fire

Nanaimo ferry stops to let bear swim past

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife

Wheelchair basketball in Nanaimo accessible to all abilities

Harbour City Slam play day introduced newcomers to the sport

Wellington Secondary drama program stages adaptation of ‘Alice in Wonderland’

Production will feature two actresses in the role of Alice

Wheelchair basketball in Nanaimo accessible to all abilities

Harbour City Slam play day introduced newcomers to the sport

Nanaimo set to celebrate its heritage

Nanaimo Heritage Days takes places Sunday at Maffeo Sutton Park

Update: Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Vancouver Island MusicFest: ‘House bands’ from the golden age of rock and R&B

Some of America’s greatest session musicians are coming to the Comox Valley this summer

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

Most Read