(File)

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

The B.C. government is ending a practice that allowed hospitals to inform child welfare agencies of possible safety risks to infants at birth without the consent of parents.

Katrine Conroy, the minister of children and family development, says so-called hospital or birth alerts have “primarily” been used in cases involving marginalized women and “disproportionately” in births for Indigenous women.

Conroy says the province is changing its approach in cases where children might be at risk.

Instead of alerts, Conroy says the province will work collaboratively with parents expecting a child to keep newborns safe and families together.

She says birth alerts are used by a number of provinces and territories, but B.C. is ending the decades-old practice effective immediately.

Conroy says Indigenous communities and organizations, as well as the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, has called for the practice to stop.

RELATED: First Nations given max compensation for Ottawa’s child-welfare discrimination

READ MORE: All Canadians have a role to play in ending MMIW ‘genocide,’ report says

“We acknowledge the trauma women experience when they become aware that a birth alert has been issued,” Conroy said in a statement Monday.

“Health care providers and social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent from those parents and will stop the practice of birth alerts.”

SPOTLIGHT: ‘You’re constantly drowning’ in cases and paperwork, says B.C. social worker

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Hospital patient pleads guilty to dumbbell assault of nurse in Abbotsford

Neale Heath admits to assault causing bodily harm in attack last September

Abbotsford wrestlers earn gold at Miri Piri Championship

W.J. Mouat Hawks take home top team prize, many locals reach podium

Westbound Highway 1 roll-over crash slowing commuters in Abbotsford

Accident occurred just west of Mt. Lehman Road, left lane blocked

World-renowned violinist to perform at Abbotsford prison

Gidon Kremer’s concert on Jan. 29 is part of Looking at the Stars’ program

Man charged with killing woman in Kamloops motel room claims he ‘blacked out’

Debra Novacluse of Abbotsford was found beaten to death in a room at a Kamloops motel in 2016.

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Deer carcass strung up at Surrey fire hall prompts investigation

Investigation underway following complaint a Surrey firefighter hung a deer carcass in a fire hall

Canadian law firm launches class action on behalf of Iran flight victims

Flight 752 was shot down by Iran shortly after take off

Mission Hill cellarman fired after mistakenly dumping $162K of wine down the drain

The former employee filed a grievance with the West Kelowna winery but was unsuccesful

Protesters block B.C. government building entrance to support Wet’suwet’en First Nation

A letter with four demands was delivered to the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources

Most Read