Permanency for Children & Youth in Care

Permanent, stable relationships are a major determinant of whether children feel safe and secure and therefore, of well-being overall. Permanency is achieved by leaving the care of the Director of Child Welfare through family reunification, adoption or permanent transfer of custody under the Child, Family & Community Service Act (CFCSA).

Children & Youth in Care Caseload on March 2017 by SDA, by Indigenous / Non-Indigenous

Children and youth may be in care through a court order for protection reasons or through either a Voluntary Care or Special Needs Agreement with parents. With 70% of all reasons for care indicated, neglect is the largest reason for care, particularly for Indigenous CYIC (74%) and Non-Indigenous CYIC (64%).

Percentage Reason for Care Indicated for CYIC as at March 31, 2017

Percentage breakdown of 'Reasons for CYIC by Court Order for Protection' as of March 31, 2017

Percentage breakdown of 'Neglect' within 'Reasons for CYIC by Court Order for Protection' as of March 31, 2017

Service Days by Type of Residential Placements October 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017

Occasionally (one day in every 10,000 days of care) a CYIC is placed into a hotel. This is usually for emergency or travel reasons as noted below. For the six month period Oct 1, 2016 – March 31, 2017 there were 10 CYIC placed into hotels. Placements by Service Delivery Area and Delegated Indigenous Authority were:

Service Days provided by Hotels October 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017

In every hotel stay, children were accompanied by a caregiver


  1. Reasons for Hotel stay are:
    1. To maintain continuity with caregivers until new housing completed *(sibling group of 2)
    2. Placement breakdown (3 children)
    3. Police Investigation (2 child)
    4. Youth due with baby and needed to be close to the hospital (1 child)
    5. No placement available in the area (1 child)
    6. Youth moved from resource due to safety concerns (1 child)
  2. Of the 10 stays, two were for one night, one was for three nights, two for four nights, two for five nights, one was for seven nights and two were for twenty eight nights.
  3. The two lengthy stays of 28 days were due to new housing being completed for sibling group of two. The caregiver stayed in the placement with the siblings.
  4. Of the 10 children and youth placed in hotels, seven were Indigenous
  5. Number of children and youth placed in a hotel by age:

ages 1 – 5 : 0 children ages 6 – 12 : 2 children ages 13 – 18 : 8 children & youth

The number of CYIC In March 2017, 6,950, was the lowest since April 1995, 22 years. The following chart shows that the number of CYIC has been falling steadily since its peak in June 2001 (10, 748). MCFD has strived to keep children safely with their families when possible, i.e. prevent admission into Care and, when a child needs to come into Care, MCFD works to reunify the family when safe to do so, or seek other forms of permanency such as living with extended family or adoption. MCFD is working to further reduce the number of CYIC, particularly for Indigenous CYIC.

Children and Youth In Care, BC, April 1998 to March 2017

Youth Agreements

Younger children are more likely to be admitted into care. This is especially true for Indigenous children. Because younger CYIC are more likely to find permanency through adoption, return to parents or permanent transfer of guardianship, most CYIC are aged 0-12 and Indigenous CYIC are younger than Non-Indigenous CYIC.

Most youth aged 16 – 18 that need residential services from MCFD are appropriately served through a Youth Agreement rather than being in care. In contrast to CYIC, most Youth Agreements are for Non-Indigenous youth, partially contributing to the over-representation of Indigenous CYIC.

Youth on Youth Agreements, BC, March 20171
1 SDA data suppressed where there are fewer than 10 youth on Youth Agreements.

Youth on Youth Agreements, BC, April 2007 to March 2017