Background Content

Child Welfare (1-5)

Updates on Previous Investigations

November 4, 2020

“are they listening? Summary of Government Compliance with Recommendations Issued under The Advocate for Children and Youth Act”

The 23 recommendations summarized here were contained inside the first four special reports released to the public. These include:

  1. Documenting the Decline: The Dangerous Space Between Good Intentions and Meaningful Interventions (Manitoba Advocate, 2018b)
  2. In Need of Protection: Angel’s Story (Manitoba Advocate, 2018c)
  3. Learning from Nelson Mandela: A Report on the Use of Solitary Confinement and Pepper Spray in Manitoba Youth Custody Facilities (Manitoba Advocate, 2019a), and
  4. A Place Where it Feels Like Home: The Story of Tina Fontaine (Manitoba Advocate, 2019b)

“I have identified three critical barriers to the implementation of recommendations that, if addressed, can greatly improve compliance and ultimately, services for children, youth, young adults, and families. To this end, I urge the government of Manitoba to:

  1. Publicly release and take action on existing reviews into child serving systems, including the youth justice system review and the Kindergarten to Grade 12 education review
  2. Release an action plan with timelines to implement the youth-specific recommendations issued in the government’s 2018 Improving Access and Coordination of Mental Health and Addiction Services: A Provincial Strategy for all Manitobans (also known as the Virgo Report). In addition to an action plan and timelines, the government of Manitoba needs to commit appropriate resources to eliminate service barriers and improve mental health outcomes for children and youth, and
  3. Ensure that the four child and family services authorities and the Department of Families engage their respective legislated roles and responsibilities to ensure that training for workers and supervisors is adequately resourced, accessible, and monitored. Further, they must ensure that minimum service standards are clarified and effective, and that a quality assurance framework is developed and used to verify that all families receive the standards of service to which they are entitled. This is of particular importance during a time of significant transition with the coming- into-force of federal CFS legislation.