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Friday, June 12, 2015

A Kidnap a Day Keeps the Ancestor Away

Manitoba is seizing babies from the delivery room at the rate of one a day. The Manitoba Liberal Party found the facts through freedom of information. Two percent of Manitoba babies are grabbed at birth.

On average, at least one of Manitoba’s youngest babies is taken away from its parents and placed in Child and Family Services’ care each day.
And that rate has been relatively steady in each of the last nine fiscal years.
The province is on track to see 358 newborns less than one month old taken during the 2014/15 fiscal year, based on the first 11 months of that period, according to the results of a Manitoba Liberal Party freedom of information request.
A total of 388 of these newborns were seized from their families in 2013/14.
“That’s (around) 2% of all infants in the province being torn from their mother before they have a chance to bond,” River Heights MLA Jon Gerrard said Tuesday.
Gerrard pressed the province to invest more in prental and postnatal programs to prevent young infants from being apprehended.
“Attachment is really improtant, breastfeeding is really important, not just short-term, but for long-term health,” said Gerrard. “If we want to essentially break the cycle of kids in care having their kids in turn taken away, we need to be supporting families, women who are at risk, intensively.”
The former Liberal leader said success has already occurred in intensive intervention programs at Mount Carmel Clinic in Winnipeg, where half the high-risk moms assisted were able to keep their babies. Gerrard called on the province to take such initiatives province-wide.
Child and Family Services Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross said the province is interested in expanding its successes, since such programs are believed to have kept many kids out of provincial care.
“We are constantly looking for innovation to support those families,” said Irvin-Ross. “We truly are interested in finding that balance of protecting children and also keeping them home in their families and communities.”
The minister noted a Family First program currently identifies vulnerable families at the birth of a child, pairing them with support visitors who return until the child reaches kindergarten age.
She stressed young babies are taken into foster care for their own protection, which unfortunately may occur often.
“These numbers cause us to stop and reflect ... We want to continue to reunify the baby with the family, if that’s possible,” said Irvin-Ross.
But Gerrard said these efforts aren’t chipping away at the problem fast enough, since the number of apprehensions remains relatively stable over most of the past decade.
“If all the programs mentioned were effective, then we would have seen a reduction,” he said.
Babies taken from parents by child and family services at less than one month of age:
2006-07: 295
2007-08: 337
2008-09: 380
2009-10: 362
2010-11: 354
2011-12: 318
2012-13: 365
2013-14: 388
2014-15: 358 *prorated based on 11 months of data
Source: Winnipeg Sun
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