Phoenix’s legacy: Manitoba getting tough on child death reporting

Manitoba is tightening child death reporting rules based on recommendations from an inquiry into the death of Phoenix Sinclair, 5.

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WINNIPEG – The Manitoba government plans to toughen the rules for reporting the deaths or injuries of children in care.

A bill now before the legislature would require any death or serious injury in child-welfare system to be reported to the governing agency, the regional authority and the director of child and family services.

Family Services Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross said alerting the director would make it much harder for problems to escape scrutiny.

The change was one of 62 recommendations that came out of the public inquiry into the death of Phoenix Sinclair.

The young girl was beaten to death by her mother and mother’s boyfriend, and the inquiry found social workers often ignored or failed to notice warning signs that the girl was in danger.

The idea of reporting so-called critical incidents is already in place in the health-care system.

Patients and their families are kept informed about any investigation, but the public is not.

RELATED: Social workers’ failures singled out in Phoenix Sinclair report

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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