VERDICT OF CORONER’S JURY: KATELYNN ANGEL SAMPSON
An Act to enshrine Katelynn’s Principle as the guiding principle for decisions affecting children would recognize every child in the child welfare, youth justice and education systems as an individual with rights who must be at the centre of all decision-making affecting them. The private member’s bill was introduced by Monique Taylor, MPP for Hamilton Mountain. Nov. 2, 2016. The coroner’s jury made 173 recommendations.
In honour of Katelynn, a child whose identity and voice was not heard in her life, the first of the jury’s recommendations was named Katelynn’s Principle. Katelynn’s Principle states that children must be at the centre when they are receiving services through the child welfare, justice and/or education systems.
The Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2016 gives teeth to the recommendations coming out of Katelynn’s inquest, putting children front and centre when it comes to their care. When unveiling the new Act, Michael Coteau, the Minister of Children and Youth Services, told reporters that it still “baffles” him that a system is in place were children don’t get a say in their care. He called the proposed legislation “the biggest game-changer in child protection in decades.”