Government must close gaps to save children’s lives: Rogers
The NDP critic for Child, Youth and Family Services says today’s statement from the province’s Child and Youth Advocate confirms some of her deepest fears. Gerry Rogers (MHA, St. John’s Centre) says the advocate’s statement, which draws attention to the increasing number of children living in harmful circumstances while receiving services from government departments and agencies, reflects calls she has been receiving from families and workers.
“Children have the right to high quality justice, education, protection and health services, and we do have people who work very hard under trying circumstances to provide these services,” says Rogers. “The system must work in the best interests of our most vulnerable people, in this case our children.”
The advocate’s calls for action are not new. “She is once again raising very critical concerns,” Rogers said. “These are concerns she has raised in previous reports. She clearly states the urgency of the situation.
“We have mechanisms in place that are supposed to work, but they don’t and three children have died. The advocate is looking for legislative change requiring mandatory reporting to her office when police, schools, health care and government workers learn of a death or critical incident.
“This is something government must do. They must not ignore the urgency of her message.
Rogers has been an outspoken advocate for vulnerable children, most recently for those in government’s care.
“We have seen how cavalierly government mismanaged the group home transitions,” she said. “They must take the Child and Youth Advocate’s statement seriously and move to make this legislation reality.”