VICTORIA (March 27, 2019) – BC Liberal Mental Health and Addictions Critic Jane Thornthwaite reintroduced the Safe Care Act to the Legislature for the second time today.
“This important piece of legislation will help protect at-risk youth from imminent harm,” says Thornthwaite. “Since I first introduced this bill in 2018, nearly 20 young people have died from overdoses.”
If passed, the Safe Care Act will be used as a court-mandated action to protect children in worst-case scenarios involving self-harm, addictions, violent behaviour and sexual exploitation.
Jo-Ann Landolt and Linda Proctor have been tireless advocates for this legislation since the death of their granddaughter and niece Kimberly.
“This legislation is an important tool to prevent further tragedies by filling gaps in the current child-care system,” says Landolt. “We really hope that the government will pass this bill so other families won’t have to endure the pain we went through.”
Today, I reintroduced the Safe Care Act. I first brought this bill forward on February 28, 2018. Unfortunately, since then, almost 20 youth have died from drug overdoses. This legislation allows for the apprehension of vulnerable children and youth whose situation places them or others at an unacceptable level of risk and allows for their subsequent safe placement in a service that will respond to their trauma and high risk of harm — children in need of support and assistance in order to deal with issues of mental health, substance use, sexual exploitation or partner violence.
Posted by Jane Thornthwaite on Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Youth Addiction Treatment
Implementing the Safe Care Act will also reduce the frequency of youth overdose incidents.
“We know that youth who are released prematurely after an overdose are at a much higher risk of overdosing again,” says Thornthwaite. “A young person who has received treatment after an overdose has significantly impaired judgment and is not capable of informed consent. The most responsible step in these instances is mandatory treatment.”
While at-risk youth in our society come from all backgrounds, Indigenous children are disproportionately represented in the child-care system. The Safe Care Act has specific protections to ensure members of Indigenous communities are actively involved in care plans that impact First Nations children.