Manitoba child welfare system in crisis and a national disgrace

first_imgDennis Ward Murray OliverAPTN National NewsWINNIPEG – Manitoba’s child-welfare system is in crisis and is a national disgrace for its high apprehension rates, according to critics.Cora Morgan, who is the First Nations children’s advocate, said kids are being taken from their families without proper assessments.She said some mothers have committed suicide out of despair.“We’ve learned of mothers committing suicide because they’re so desperate to get their children back,” said Morgan. “We’ve learned of a young girl who committed suicide while in care. We’ve had the opportunity to witness newborn babies apprehended at the hospital,” she said.Morgan added at least one child-welfare agency has barred her from advocating on behalf of a family.“If there’s such transparency, there’s so much legitimacy to apprehending all these children then why is it you’re not allowing us to be at the table with these families?” Morgan said.Meanwhile, provincial opposition critic Ian Wishart said Manitoba has become a national disgrace with nearly 11,000 kids in care — 90 per cent of them Aboriginal children.“We are by far the worst jurisdiction in Canada and some people will honestly tell you probably the worst jurisdiction in the world,” said Wishart.Manitoba’s Minister of Family Services Kerri Irvin-Ross said changes are being made to the system, but denies children are being placed at undue risk.Irvin-Ross said each particular child welfare agency decides for itself who should be permitted to advise on children in care.And she insists that the NDP government bases its decisions upon concerns for confidentiality and, especially, child safety.“We will never, ever, ever apologize for putting children first,” said [email protected]— with files from The Canadian Presslast_img

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