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Tasered 11-year-old boy failed by system

VICTORIA - Children's watchdog Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond says British Columbia's child welfare system failed an 11-year-old Prince George boy who was zapped by an RCMP Taser almost two years ago.

Turpel-Lafond says in a report released today that serious errors made by the Ministry for Children and Family Development left the boy open to abuse and neglect in his family home and in the homes he was placed in by the ministry.

Her report says the boy's case is one of the most difficult she's investigated, but it's not the only one where safe homes have not been available to children with complex needs.

The report says the April 2011 Taser incident and most of the 22 critical injuries reported about the child could have been prevented if the ministry had invested in proper residential care.

Turpel-Lafond's report says the boy has been placed in so-called safe rooms which isolated the child.

She calls on the ministry to immediately stop using isolation and restraint as a method to manage behaviour.

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