Amanda Lathlin stated in her latest MLA report that she enjoyed her time at the annual trappers festival, and talked about her plans for the near future.
"I had a great time at the Trapper’s Festival last week and it was so good to see many of you come out and join the celebrations."
"As the Critic for Families - CFS, I have witnessed, experienced and listened to many families’ heartbreaking experiences with Manitoba’s child welfare legislation. Currently, the CFS Act does not clearly identify how a family’s support network and service providers involved with supporting families should inform important child welfare decisions. Also, the Act does not include the terms “reunification” or “restoration”. These critical concepts need to be introduced and emphasized throughout the legislation, in order to support and promote a significant shift in practice to parent, family, community and local decision-making."
The final Report of the Legislative Review Committee (2018) proposed new legislation. The guiding principle in the revision of CFS legislation is the belief that separation from parents and family be the last response. Mothers of children who are taken into care see a significant deterioration in their health and mental health after apprehension, such as increased rates of depression, anxiety and substance use. How can families heal while they are separated?
Some of the proposed changes are that parents and families should have the right to be more involved in, and informed of, decisions made about their children. As well, children should only be separated from their parents, either partly or entirely, when all other measures are exhausted. Separation from parents should be the last resort.
What is missing in shaping legislation are the children’s voices. In August of 2021, Opaskwayak Cree Nation held Wakohtowin Community Consultations. It was part of the development of OCN’s new Child Welfare Law and Service Delivery Model (C-92). OCN provided a safe place to consult with OCN youth.
Our youth shared their unique experiences and perspectives with CFS that are crucially needed for development of the new law and service deliver model. Another important advocate for children in care is Voices: Manitoba's Youth in Care Network, which was started in 1995 with the goal to “Engage, Equip, and empower”. They represent the youth perspective about the foster care system and decisions about their future. Our children need to be heard. We owe this to them.
As always, if you have any issue or question, please get in touch with my office by emailing Amanda.firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 1-204-623-2034.