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B.C. youth watchdog says teen's suicide, 'heart-breaking,' abandoned by system

Alex Gervais is shown in a handout photo from British Columbia's representative for children and youth. British Columbia's incoming children's watchdog says an 18-year-old Metis teen in government care was abandoned by the system and took his own life as an act of desperation.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO
February 06, 2017 - 11:37 AM

VICTORIA - British Columbia's incoming children's watchdog says an 18-year-old Metis teen in government care was abandoned by the system and took his own life as an act of desperation.

Bernard Richard, the acting children's representative, says in his report that B.C.'s child welfare system failed to find the teen a permanent home with a family and let him drift through 17 care placements over 11 years.

The young man had been placed alone in an Abbotsford, B.C., hotel and leapt through his room's window in September 2015.

Richard's report says the death is heartbreaking because the teen was looking for what every child needs, a permanent home and lasting family connections.

The report says the Ministry Of Children and Family Development did not take opportunities to place the teen with his stepmother in B.C. or an aunt in Quebec.

Bernard says the ministry instead opted for care arrangements with strangers that ended with his 49-day stay in the hotel with a mostly absent caregiver.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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