Manitoba Government Proclaims Final Section of the Advocate for Children and Youth Act

News from Broadway
[June 30, 2023] Changes Will Strengthen Role of Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth, Provide Safeguards for Youth Receiving Certain Provincial Services: Squires

The role of the Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth (MACY) will be strengthened as Section 21 of the Advocate for Children and Youth Act (ACYA) that requires Manitoba government departments and provincial health authorities to report serious injuries of children and young adults receiving certain provincial services to MACY has been proclaimed, and will come into effect on July 1, Families Minister Rochelle Squires announced today.

“Ensuring the health and well-being of Manitoba’s children and youth is at the heart of the ACYA. A regulation specifying how funded service providers and agencies providing reviewable services will report serious injuries to departments and health authorities has also been enacted. Departments and health authorities will then report to MACY under Section 21 of the ACYA,” said Squires.

MACY has the authority to investigate serious injuries of children and their families, and youth who received any reviewable service, such as child welfare, mental health, addiction, and youth justice services, within a year of the injury. Prior to this proclamation, there was no requirement or process in place for MACY to be made aware of these incidents, the minister noted.

Over the past two years, the Families, Justice, Health, Mental Health and Community Wellness, and Education and Early Childhood Learning departments, along with MACY staff, have worked together to develop the new reporting parameters, the minister noted.

“We welcome the implementation of the Serious Injury Reporting Regulation,” said Sherry Gott, Manitoba advocate, Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth. “Together with Section 21 of the ACYA, service providers are now mandated to report the serious injuries of children and youth to MACY. This not only allows our office to offer immediate support to these young people and their families, but it also empowers us to create the first provincewide serious injury database, which will allow MACY to detect patterns and themes, better enabling us to make recommendations to improve public services for children and youth in our province.”

This collaborative effort marks the completion of recommendation No. 36 from the Phoenix Sinclair Inquiry—to expand MACY’s mandate beyond the Child and Family Services system, and to include reporting of serious injuries in addition to deaths, the minister said.

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