Thursday, December 4, 2014

Youth Shelter in Maple Ridge closes down



The Vancouver Province is reporting that a youth shelter in Maple Ridge is closing down because funding cuts by the federal government. A local advocate claimed "This closure is pretty much guaranteeing that girls who are fleeing abusive homes or relationships are going to be in danger of violent men like pimps, johns and abusers who prey on girls when they’re on their own."

I have mixed feelings on this. If a child is getting physically or sexually assaulted at home or if their parents are crack heads, then that is a matter for social services. Foster homes are in place to deal with this. We know from past experience that these kind of group homes in Prince George have been a disaster enabling kids to leave home because they don't like the rules, go on welfare and not have to go to school. Social workers from those homes contacted me and complained that those kids have no consequences whatsoever. They don't have to go to school.

In the web site it claims that Iron Horse Youth Safe House in Maple Ridge provides a safe place to live for youth aged 13 to 18 for up to 30 days. Yet the Vancouver Province article quotes a girl who has stayed there for the past three months. Again, if someone is genuinely being physically or sexually assaulted at home that need to be addressed. However, kids need to stay in school.

3 comments:

  1. all of what you say is quite true. However, there are not enough social workers to deal with the children in care. There are not enough decent foster homes in the province to deal with all the children who need to be in care. Group homes are not an answer in many cases, but with insufficient funds and staff, there is little else. If group homes were run properly, it might not be the problem it is. If there were adequate foster homes, group homes might not be necessary. If there was enough support for families in crisis foster and group homes might not be necessary.

    But it will be a problem if the group home closes. In spite of all the problems some may see with some group homes, it still provides an escape for kids who can no longer stay at home. now there will be nothing. The government doesn't care how many children wind up working the streets. They don't vote and its more important for governments to balance the budget than it is to care for the children of this country.

    Many of these kids could have been helped when they were much younger but that costs money and neither the provincial nor federal governments are going to put out one more cent, than absolutely necessary. The feds are no different than the province when it comes to kids. We have to only look at the B.C. Lieberals, mining for $17M each yr in the pockets of kids who live at 50% below the poverty line.

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  2. Kids are kids, teens are different. The taxpayer is already forking out enough for these "teens" who choose to - prostitute themselves, sell drugs, free medical. Good chance their parents are on welfare! Agreed, these kids had a bad start and need some help but not a social housing program where they don't have to attend school? Can we possibly perpetuate this?

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  3. I think it's a tough call. No one wants anyone especially a teen to end up addicted to drugs and having to prostitute themselves out to pay for the drug. I know of a young girl from a relatively normal family who ended up a crack ho in whalley. No one wishes that upon anyone. The last thing we want to do is push a teen who feels unwanted into that lifestyle. It won't be long before they end up dead.

    Yet I also know of another kid, many years ago, who got in a fight with her mother because she went to an all night party. After her mother freaked she went to social services, told her she was being abused and ended up going to another house wrecking party that was in the news while in the "care" of social services.

    In Prince George a lot of these kids are given welfare so they can buy drugs and have no consequences if they are caught with drugs and don't have to go to school. That is not preparing them for life. That kind of neglect is child abuse.

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