This week I attended a committee meeting at the legislature where the Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth, Daphne Penrose, presented her annual report. She said immediate action is needed from the Manitoba government because kids in the care of Child & Family Services (CFS) cannot access addictions or mental health services.
Current rules and requirements for youth to access addictions services essentially bar Children in CFS care from accessing the program. The Addictions Foundation of Manitoba (AFM) Compass Program can refuse admission to a young person who has no “family supports,” no “confirmed place of residence upon discharge,” or any involvement in the justice system. The result is that a young person with an addiction who is involved with Child and Family Services or the justice system cannot get treatment.
In addition to that, the annual report lists the top issues for CFS. Nearly half of complaints include a “lack of service standards”. Complaints about quality of care include “lack of education” “lack of clothing” “lack of health care” and “lack of food.” These are not reasons kids were taken into care - they are complaints about what is happening to kids who are currently *in* CFS care.
CBC MANITOBA: Gap in addictions, mental health services placing kids in care at risk: Manitoba children's advocate "You've got lack of appropriate care resources, lack of education, lack of clothing, lack of health care, lack of food," Manitoba Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont said, pointing to the complaints cited in the report. "That's about children in care. That's not the reason you're taking a child out of the house."
FEDERAL HEALTH TRANSFERS
On Monday, in response to Manitoba Liberals calling out the government on addictions treatment wait times, Conservative Health Minister Cameron Friesen told CBC Manitoba that “the Federal government is reducing health transfers to Manitoba.” His statement is inaccurate. Federal health transfers to Manitoba have increased since 2010.
ADDICTIONS TREATMENT WAIT TIMES WINNIPEG SUN: Liberals call out gov't on addictions treatment wait times CTV NEWS: Watch - Wait times growing for addicts seeking rehab. HEALTH CARE DELAYS I was happy to hear that 81 year-old George Myer has received a biopsy after River Heights MLA, Jon Gerrard and the Manitoba Liberals brought attention to his case. We wish him and his family the best. CBC MANITOBA: Man receives biopsy after news coverage of 3-month wait for cancer diagnosis WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Biopsy performed on senior after family expressed concern over lengthy wait WINNIPEG SUN: Family finally gets biopsy for elderly father, hoping it's not too late
All the best,
MLA St. Boniface, Leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party