On Wednesday, the B.C. government introduced Bill 38, Indigenous Self-Government in Child and Family Services Amendment Act. The Act aims to give Indigenous nations autonomy over child welfare decisions and would also allow nations to apply their own procedures and laws to instances of child neglect or maltreatment.
This proposed legislation is part of government's ongoing work to meet their objectives under the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (Declaration Act).
Our union supports Indigenous self-governance and government's work on the Declaration Act; however, we're disappointed that we weren't given advance notice of this announcement, nor were we consulted on the proposed legislation. While we recognize that Indigenous communities are the primary stakeholders in this proposed legislation and all matters related to the Declaration Act, we also believe our union should be involved in any initiatives that have the potential to substantially impact the nature and structure of our members' work.
We're contacting the Minister of Children & Family Development, Mitzi Dean, to request more details about the proposed legislation, as well as clarification on timelines for implementation and potential impact on social workers in the province. We will keep you posted as we learn more.
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