About 3 years ago, the Representative for Children and Youth invited BCEdAccess and several other organizations to a series of round table discussions about the Children and Youth With Support Needs (CYSN) framework updates. Those discussions became the first Left Out report. Yesterday, their office released a second report following up on the continued bleak situation for children and youth with support needs.
The short version? Things aren’t better and in fact may well be a lot worse for many of these children and youth and their families.
Some children continue to have no access at all to support at home or at school, something that was an escalating crisis before COVID-19 and continues to go unaddressed. Alongside true and meaningful consultation, families need help right now. Kids can’t wait.
More than 1000 families responded to the RCY’s recent survey – a huge rate of response! And about 75% said they have little to no confidence their child will receive the services they need, whether in or out of school, in the next 1 to 3 years.
80,000 disabled kids in BC are going without any support – and that figure DOESN’T include those with ADHD and other diagnoses not tracked by Ministry of Education and Child Care designations.
“The system is broken and I am too tired to figure out how to fix it.”
The multiple hats caregivers of disabled children must wear prevent many, especially those most impacted by systemic barriers such as poverty, racism, and ableism, from being able to advocate and escalate, and there’s no real teeth to any accountability that goes top-down. The burden is on already overtaxed families to pursue any issues, often with no actual services or solution available at the end of the path.
We encourage you to read the whole report and hear the voices of families within. We’ll be sharing more of this excellent report and we call on every MLA, school trustee, and other people with influence to take action.