VICTORIA (NEWS1130) – BC’s child watchdog says kids’ lives could be at risk because the new computer system used by social workers has some major problems.
The BC government introduced the Integrated Case Management System in April.

But independent children’s representative Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond says information that is critical to child safety is too hard to find in the new system, and the consequences could be deadly.

“We have cases where you have a physician in a hospital calling in and saying, ‘A child has a broken leg.  Someone intentionally broke this leg, act on it.’  That information cannot be lost.”

She says the system is too complex for front-line staff to use and they’re spending way too much time trying to work around its flaws, even though it was supposed to mean more time working directly with families.
Children and Family Development Minister Mary McNeil says they’re working to fix it.

“It will take a bit but in the meantime we are doing double-monitoring of all things so no child is at risk.”

McNeil says no child should be at risk, “and that’s why we’ve put in the extra monitoring.  We’re really watching what’s happening.  I believe we’re going to get a better tool for our social workers.”