Statistics - Children Involved with the Ministry of Children & Family Development

The ministry gathers statistics, analyzes them, and produces reports on trends and outcomes associated with services provided to children and families.

This information is gathered from the ministry's electronic information system and is updated regularly.

The following statistics show the number of fatalities of children in care, as well as those receiving other ministry services. Collection of these statistics has been occurring since 1996. Data collected from 1996 to 2011 is available upon request.

Fatalities of Children/Youth in Care Under the CFCSA - by Calendar Year

Year
Natural
Accident
Homicide
Suicide
Undetermined[i]
Total
         
Open
Closed
 
2012 6 6 0 2 1 0 15[ii]
2013 2 2 2 2 0 1 9[ii]
2014[ii] 6 3 0 3 0 1 14[iii]
2015 1 4 2 3 1 0 11
2016 4 0 1 1 0 0 7[iii]
2017 4 5 0 0 3 0 12
2018 5 4 0 2 2 0 13
2019 5 7 1 1 0 0 15[iii]
2020 2 9 0 1 3 0 15
2021 3 3 0 1 2 1 10


Fatalities of Children/Youth Receiving Services (Not In Care) by Calendar Year

Year
Natural
Accident
Homicide
Suicide
Undetermined[i]
Total
         
Open
Closed
 
2012 61 20 1 7 6 1 96
2013 53 10 2 7 0 8 80[ii]
2014[ii] 38 11 6 4 3 4 67[iii]
2015[ii] 70 17 4 11 3 2 110[iii]
2016 54 17 1 9 15 0 97[iii]
2017 58 26 6 12 5 0 108[iii]
2018[ii] 65[iv] 23 2 7 1 2 101[iii]
2019 50 18 3 11 2 5 91[iii]
2020 49 11 1 10 6 6 84[iii]
2021 36 26 3 9 13 1 90[iii]

 


i  In the “Undetermined” category, “open” indicates a case is still under investigation by the Coroner; “closed” indicates the Coroner’s investigation is complete and due to insufficient evidence or inability to determine, the death cannot reasonably be classified as natural, accidental, suicide or homicide.

ii Updated classification from the Coroner regarding cause of death.

iii This total includes fatality/fatalities where there is no Coroner classification of death because the fatality occurred outside the province or country.

iv This total includes a child in care under the Adoption Act who received services within 12 months of death.


Information concerning what happens when a child in care of the ministry dies can be found under Accountability.

As of October 2007, the BC Coroner's Service is responsible for the investigation of all child deaths.

The Ministry of Children and Family Development confirms child fatality classifications with the BC Coroner's Service.  Classification of death is determined by the BC Coroner’s Service. The classification of a fatality may change as a death is investigated. Where the classification of fatality has changed since the last posting, the statistics are updated with a note.

Classification of Death

NATURAL: Death primarily resulting from a disease of the body and not resulting secondarily from injuries or abnormal environmental factors.

ACCIDENT: Death due to unintentional or unexpected injury. It includes death resulting from complications reasonably attributed to the injury.

SUICIDE: Death resulting from self-inflicted injury, with intent to cause death.

HOMICIDE: Death due to injury intentionally inflicted by the action of another person. Homicide is a neutral term that does not imply fault or blame.

UNDETERMINED: Death which, because of insufficient evidence or inability to otherwise determine, cannot reasonably be classified as natural, accidental, suicide or homicide.