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Manitoba promises to overhaul child welfare system

12.10.2017 14:52
By: News Dept

Numbers of children taken away from families highest in the country

Winnipeg, MB (CKLQ) - The Manitoba government says it's working to reduce the number of kids in its child-welfare system.

The Ministry of Families is forced to look at the problem critically after a scathing report on the sheer numbers of children being taken away.

The government says the province will be doing this by overhauling the entire system, providing more funding and looking at narrowing and clarifying the reasons for taking children away from their families.

Families Minister Scott Fielding says they're also planning to speed up assessments.

For example, when kids are first taken into the system, the assessments can take up to four months. He says the goal is to shorten that time frame.

Manitoba currently has the highest number of kids in the provincial care system and almost 90 per cent are Indigenous.

Grand Chief Jerry Daniels of the Southern Chiefs Organization says he supports the drive to keep kids with their families when possible.

Premier Brian Pallister says he plans to conduct a full review of the Child and Family Services Act.

Manitoba also says subsidies will be expanded to people who become permanent guardians and adoptive parents.

Some First Nations leaders have said children have been seized because of overcrowded housing conditions, even when there's no risk to their safety or health.