Phoenix Sinclair Inquiry Report released
Jan 31, 2014
Following the conclusion of the Inquiry into the Circumstances Surrounding the Death of Phoenix Sinclair, the Honourable Ted Hughes was required to submit a report outlining his findings, conclusions and recommendations. Today the Province of Manitoba released that report.
“Our members have been anxiously awaiting this report, and we’ll be reviewing it in its entirety over the next few days,” said MGEU Staff Representative Janet Kehler.
“Right now, our members continue to struggle with vacant positions and funding cuts to the child welfare system ― issues that have real and lasting implications for Manitoba children and families. It’s our hope that Commissioner Hughes’ recommendations will provide meaningful direction to this government in building the kind of system we need to adequately protect our most vulnerable kids.”
In his report, Hughes did draw attention to the caseload issue.
“I understand the MGEU’s position. There clearly is a duty upon the employer to provide a work environment that allows workers to achieve best practices,” noted Hughes in the report (page 378). “It is crucial that agencies have sufficient staff to deliver their services. Implicit in that is that workloads allow staff to perform according to best practice.”
A reduction in social worker caseloads (to a maximum of 20 caseloads per social worker) and the creation of a new body (the Manitoba Representative for Children and Youth) to replace the existing Children’s Advocate office are just two of the many recommendations detailed within the 900-page report.