Hotel placements continue for B.C. children in care

Exceptional circumstances cited by children's ministry in each of 24 recent cases

Super 8 Hotel in Abbotsford where 18-year-old Alex Gervais died last year.

A new report shows 24 children and youth in government care were placed in hotels in the three and a half months up until the end of April.

The Ministry of Children and Family Development has been under pressure to minimize the practice but says hotels sometimes must be used when there’s no other suitable option.

Most of the children placed in hotels this year stayed only a day or two.

In each case, a qualified contracted caregiver, ministry social worker or foster parent was staying with the child, and each placement was approved locally and reported to the provincial director of child welfare.

One pair of siblings were in a hotel for 18 nights because the relatives they were placed with were staying in the hotel while waiting to take possession of the new home they’d bought.

Other reasons for hotel placements included a fire at a foster home, emergency removal from a remote home where no other local foster home was available, and a bad weather delay of foster parents’ flight to pick up their foster kids.

In a few other cases threats to safety were cited for urgent use of hotels.

Seven children were placed in hotels in northwestern B.C. during the period, as well as another seven in the Vancouver-Richmond area and four in the South Fraser area.

Hotel placements have been high profile and have drawn heavy fire from the Representative for Children and Youth.

The focus intensified after 18-year-old Alex Gervais fell or jumped to his death last fall from the fourth floor of an Abbotsford hotel, where he’d been housed after his group home was shut down due to poor conditions.

The release of statistics every six months is part of the ministry’s commitment to better transparency on the issue.

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

Just Posted

Saanich Police are investigating a broken window at the Greater Victoria School District office. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Saanich police investigating broken window at SD61 office

Police suspect the window was broken by a pellet, possibly from a slingshot

Emily Harris (centre) started the in-person Monarch Moms meet-up groups in July, when it was much easier to physical distance in outdoor spaces. Harris started the group as a source of connection for women navigating the ups and downs of having a baby during a pandemic. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Victoria new mom group navigates challenges of motherhood in a pandemic

Monarch Moms meet once a week for physically-distanced connection

The Takaya inspired sculpture currently in Kent Laforme’s outdoor studio. The 25,000-pound piece of Vancouver Island marble could be installed on Cattle Point. (Kevin Murdoch Photo)
Stone Takaya sculpture could soon ‘howl’ at Cattle Point

Oak Bay inviting public suggestions for 25,000-pound marble sculpture

Joanne Smith has been visiting Goldstream Provincial Park since she moved to Langford two years ago. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Visitors flock to Goldstream Provincial Park for 2020 salmon run

‘I wanted to come here before I move back to Australia,’ says visitor

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
Jordan Naterer, an electrical engineer from Vancouver, was last seen Saturday Oct. 10. (Facebook photo)
Search efforts to resume for missing Manning Park hiker; Trudeau speaks on case

PM says he’ll do what he can to ‘nudge’ efforts to find Jordan Naterer, yet has little leverage locally

Smartphone showing various applications to social media services and Google. (Pixabay photo)
National media calling for level playing field with Google, Facebook

In Canada, Google and Facebook control 80 per cent of all online advertising revenues

École de L’Anse-au-sable. (Google Maps)
B.C. records first COVID-19 outbreak at school, six weeks after students return to class

Three cases of the virus have been identified at École de L’Anse-au-sable

Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau is seen as she leaves media event during a campaign stop in West Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green leader hopes voters see value in minority government

The Greens received nearly 17 per cent of the popular vote in 2017 yet received just three seats

Local candidates Pam Alexis, Abbotsford-Mission, and Preet Rai, Abbotsford-West, look on as NDP Leader John Horgan main streets in Abbotsford, B.C., Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. NDP takes snap election risk during pandemic in quest for majority government

Green Leader Sonia Furstenau said the election was unnecessary and irresponsible during the pandemic

Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, B.C., on October 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. Liberal Leader maintains confidence as campaign tests party identity

Liberal campaign has been disrupted by controversy

Most Read