Hotel placements continue for B.C. children in care

Exceptional circumstances cited by children's ministry in each of 24 recent cases

Super 8 Hotel in Abbotsford where 18-year-old Alex Gervais died last year.

A new report shows 24 children and youth in government care were placed in hotels in the three and a half months up until the end of April.

The Ministry of Children and Family Development has been under pressure to minimize the practice but says hotels sometimes must be used when there’s no other suitable option.

Most of the children placed in hotels this year stayed only a day or two.

In each case, a qualified contracted caregiver, ministry social worker or foster parent was staying with the child, and each placement was approved locally and reported to the provincial director of child welfare.

One pair of siblings were in a hotel for 18 nights because the relatives they were placed with were staying in the hotel while waiting to take possession of the new home they’d bought.

Other reasons for hotel placements included a fire at a foster home, emergency removal from a remote home where no other local foster home was available, and a bad weather delay of foster parents’ flight to pick up their foster kids.

In a few other cases threats to safety were cited for urgent use of hotels.

Seven children were placed in hotels in northwestern B.C. during the period, as well as another seven in the Vancouver-Richmond area and four in the South Fraser area.

Hotel placements have been high profile and have drawn heavy fire from the Representative for Children and Youth.

The focus intensified after 18-year-old Alex Gervais fell or jumped to his death last fall from the fourth floor of an Abbotsford hotel, where he’d been housed after his group home was shut down due to poor conditions.

The release of statistics every six months is part of the ministry’s commitment to better transparency on the issue.

Just Posted

Haida Gwaii gets top spot in The World

It was already a nice Christmas present, but Keith Moore was really… Continue reading

McNeill fined again for illegal fishing

A local man with a long history of poaching has been convicted… Continue reading

Painting her way home

Janine Gibbons talks about all she learned illustrating Haida and Tlingit story books

Old Massett taps grassroots for community plan

Over coffee, kitchen tables, and community dinners, Old Massett is taking a… Continue reading

Subsea internet cable to link up Haida Gwaii

Cable to connect Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert, Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast with mainland network

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Complaint against Prince George RCMP in death of Wet’suwet’en man

Thirty-five year old Dale Culver died while in Prince George RCMP custody last summer.

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington on Vancouver Island

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, vehicles buried under more than three feet of snow

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

Most Read