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Getting home

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Ministry of Children and Family Development

Jesse’s mother had returned to her home country far away and his father worked in another province. Jesse hadn’t spoken to his mother for almost a year and had no contact information for his father. He wanted to stay in BC where he was raised and attended high school, but he needed financial help. When Jesse asked the ministry for financial assistance, the ministry suggested he join his father and offered to pay for travel costs to the remote northern community in the other province where his father lived.

Jesse reluctantly accepted the offer. After arriving, he found his father was sharing an apartment with seven other workers. This living arrangement was not ideal in the short term, and was going to be unworkable in the longer term – Jesse’s father was planning to return to his home country. Jesse’s father was not sure how long he would be gone and he had no plan for Jesse.

Jesse made his way back to BC and stayed with the families of his friends. He again approached the ministry with a request for support. Jesse contacted us, saying he was given a list of resources and told that if he wanted to stay in BC, he was on his own.

After speaking with Jesse we contacted the ministry and reviewed its records along with a child and family services file involving Jesse from the other province. We asked the ministry about steps it had taken to confirm information Jesse provided and to determine the suitability of options that might be available to him.

In response, the ministry made further inquiries, starting with Jesse’s father, the principal at Jesse’s high school and the social worker in the other province. The ministry confirmed that Jesse did not have a suitable place to live in the other province and that his parents were not able to support him. Consequently, the ministry decided to reassess Jesse’s eligibility for financial support.

Following reassessment for services by a new social worker, Jesse was quickly placed on a youth agreement that provided financial support which allowed him to board with a local family.

When we reconnected with Jesse he was in a much better place. He was relieved and happy to live in a safe environment where he could focus on his goals such as graduating from high school.

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