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Child welfare crisis

Posted 157 days ago | 12.01.18

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Child welfare crisis

In communities that struggle to access affordable housing, Chief Jim Bear says Indigenous kids can be kept from their families simply because they don't have their own bedroom.

The Brokenhead Ojibway Nation chief said rules like that are examples of systemic discrimination in Manitoba's child welfare laws and show why the province needs to consult Indigenous leadership before changing them.

"The numbers [of kids in care] exceed 10,000. It has been a disaster," said Bear. Fixing that, he says, will require "a well-planned initiative and it has to be under our authority. It has to be community driven."

Bear, Southern Chiefs' Organization Grand Chief Jerry Daniels and Manitoba Families Minister Scott Fielding addressed media on Thursday, the second day of a two-day summit discussing community-led reforms to Child and Family Services.

Nearly 11,000 children are in care in Manitoba, according to the most recent numbers from the province — the highest rate in the country. Roughly 90 percent of them are Indigenous, despite the fact Indigenous people account for 17 percent of Manitoba's population.

Over the past decade, the number of Manitoba children in care has increased by 85 percent and the number of days those kids are in care has jumped by 73 percent.

 

To read more about it view the original story >  Child welfare crisis 'most serious issue that we face' in Manitoba, families minister says at summit

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