More services will be under the microscope in Manitoba as the government proclaims additional provisions under the Children and Youth Act, the province announced Tuesday.
Mental health, youth justice and addictions services will be able to be investigated by the Children’s Advocate if a serious injury or death occurs in a child, building on a 2018 mandate that allowed the advocate to do the same for transitional and child welfare and adoption services.
“As adults, we have to prioritize acting in the best interests of children, and that is exactly what this piece of the legislation coming into force does,” said Ainsley Krone, Manitoba’s acting advocate.
“By expanding the reviewable services our independent office can investigate, the Manitoba government is ensuring we can do more in-depth investigations to explore system gaps and make recommendations for necessary improvements.
“My hope is this will ultimately lead to better outcomes for all Manitoba children and youth.”
The Children and Youth Act was brought in following the inquiry into the death of Phoenix Sinclair — one of the largest public inquiries ever held in the province.
“This legislation strengthens the advocate’s powers to review and investigate beyond the child and family services system,” said Manitoba Families Minister Rochelle Squires.
“These measures will help ensure public accountability for a range of critical services that protect Manitoba’s most vulnerable children and youth.”
Squires said there will be a further announcement at a later date about regulations when it comes to government and government-funded agencies to report serious injuries to kids in these systems.