Another young person has died while in the care of the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD).
Danny Francis, 18, was living in Port Alberni in the care of the ministry under an independent living contract. He took his own life earlier this week.
In a delegation agreement by the ministry, his care was overseen by the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nation.
“A delegated agency provides for more culturally respectful care, we do that in partnership with numerous agencies around the province and they provide a vital service,” said Stephanie Cadieux, B.C.’s Minister for Children and Family Development.
She said a series of reviews and investigations into Francis’ death are underway.
“The reality is, what happens in these situations, when a child or youth in care of the ministry tragically dies, a number of processes are triggered so we can get answers to why that happened and make necessary changes to try and prevent those things from occurring in future,” she said.
Francis’ roommate says he told her he wasn’t allowed to see his family and was extremely distressed about it.
Cadieux said she is not able to speak about specifics in cases such as this one, but services and supports are available to children living in the care of the MCFD.
Three other young people have taken their lives in the past few months while under the care of the MCFD – Alex Gervais, Nick Lang, and Carly Fraser. But Cadieux said there are no “discernible patterns that have evolved here.”
“There are tragedies that occur with young people,” she said. “In ministry care and outside of ministry care. The reality with the children and youth that we work with in the ministry is that they are the most vulnerable of the children and youth in the province and they come from families who are vulnerable and challenged.”
“And we need to respect that.”