Journalists launch ‘Spotlight: Child Welfare’ series into B.C.’s foster system

Black Press Media is part of a collaboration diving into Ministry of Children and Family Development

The Ministry of Children and Family Development is the de facto parent for nearly 6,500 kids in foster care in B.C., and a group of journalists have come together to investigate how well the system is doing, and how it can be bettered.

Spotlight: Child Welfare is a collaborative journalism project that aims to deepen and improve reporting on B.C.’s child-welfare system.

The project, funded through a $100,000 grant by the Vancouver Foundation, includes journalists reporting for Black Press Media, The Discourse, National Observer, APTN, StarMetro, The Tyee and Vancouver Courier.

Since kicking off this one-year project in September 2018, the team has worked closely with youth, parents and others who are connected with and impacted by the system.

The outcome of eight months of research is a public-service journalism project, aiming to serve children and families, particularly Indigenous families because they are grossly overrepresented in Canada’s child-welfare system because of the ongoing and intergenerational impacts of colonization.

The main goal is to introduce readers to in-depth, nuanced, data-driven and solutions-oriented reporting about B.C.’s child-welfare system.

In-depth because stakeholders – youth, parents, Indigenous advocates, academics, etc. – tell us they want to see reporting that takes a holistic view of the child-welfare system, including its overlap with social issues such as housing, mental health, and the legacy of colonial violence.

Nuanced because it’s not enough to cite dismal statistics without providing historical context. Reconciliation means digging deeper into systems where Indigenous people are so starkly overrepresented.

Data-driven because we believe we can help create a more comprehensive picture of the system by filling some of the gaps in the data.

Solutions-oriented because stakeholders tell us tragedy narratives aren’t serving them. They want stories that highlight successful models and explore ways to support families and communities to prevent more kids from going into care.

Here at Black Press Media, readers will be able to take a deep-dive into the state of child welfare in the province through stories published online and in print now until September.


This story was produced as part of Spotlight: Child Welfare — a collaborative journalism project that aims to deepen reporting on B.C.’s child-welfare system. Tell us what you think here.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

spotlight child welfare

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

Just Posted

A woman holds a packet of contraceptive pills. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
Chilliwack women’s organization among those lobbying for free contraception

Ann Davis Society says while it’s a women’s issue, all of society would benefit from program

Stock photo
Pair’s lawsuit dismissed against Fraser Valley soccer association and churches

Judge in Abbotsford calls claims against 14 defendants ‘an abuse of the court’s process’

RBSS students decorate a parking stall at the school as part of the Paint the Parking Lot project. (Facebook)
2021 Robert Bateman grads ‘Paint the Parking Lot’

RBSS students decorate Abbotsford school’s parking lot for a good cause

The Mennonite Heritage Museum on Clearbrook Road in Abbotsford.
Mennonite Historical Society in Abbotsford seeks input for storytelling project

Digital project asks for stories about living during COVID-19’s ‘changing times’

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never before seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Sex offender who viewed underage girls as slaves has prohibitions cut from 20 to 10 years

Appeal court reviewed the case of Kyler Bryan David Williams, 29

Most Read