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Manitoba politician spends 20 years fighting for families who are fighting child welfare – APTN News
April 27, 2020
Jon Gerrard is a pediatrician-turned-politician who has spent much of his 20 years at the Manitoba Legislature fighting for families abused by Manitoba’s “out of control” child welfare system.
Manitoba has, per capita, the highest number of kids in care — 10,000 to 11,000 in any given year.
He said devolution 20 years ago, to give Indigenous agencies control over child welfare, was a well-intended but poorly executed plan.
“It went off the rails. The government wasn’t on top of it and didn’t push for families to be helped, they pushed for children to be apprehended. Under the previous NDP government we had double the number of kids in care after devolution,” he said.
That’s because the then-government funded agencies based on the number of children in care. It essentially incentivized taking kids, often with little to no grounds, and keeping them in the overburdened system for as long as possible. There are 27 child welfare agencies in the province and its one of the largest employers of Indigenous people.
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