A Special Investigation Report of the Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner, entitled Allegations of Wrongdoing in the Delivery of Group Home Care, was tabled in the Legislative Assembly this week. The report can be found here. Health and Social Services Minister Pauline Frost released the following statement in response.
I would like to thank the Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner for her work on the Special Investigation Report tabled in the Legislative Assembly.
In this report, the Commissioner found one incident of wrongdoing occurred on November 22, 2016 involving a youth in government care.
On behalf of the Government of Yukon I would like to once again apologize to this youth. While I was not the Minister at this time, this historical incident was unacceptable and we have learned from this.
This incident is known to us and was previously investigated in 2018 by Pam Costanzo. Outcomes of that investigation initiated wide-sweeping changes across government care systems. That work continues today.
Guiding this work is a new approach initiated by this government to support prevention instead of apprehension when it comes to children coming under government care.
This work further supports reconciliation and respects long-standing Indigenous family care systems.
In 2016 there were 158 children in Government of Yukon’s care. Through collaborative efforts with our partners, we have reduced that number to 92. In 2016, when this incident took place, there were 46 children in group homes. Currently there are 19.
I am proud of the work that has been done to keep children in their communities, with their families and their culture.
Again, I would like to thank the Commissioner for her work. We have accepted the recommendations presented in the report and will provide a response to the Commissioner and the public within 60 days.
Our priority is and will continue to be ensuring that the youth in our care receive the absolute best supports and services. This is our duty as a government.
I am very pleased with the progress that the department has made to date and I will remain vigilant on this file.