There is a heartbreaking trend in our province. In the last four years, 81 children have died while in the care of Social Services or having just recently left the system. That total doesn’t include the number of children who died from natural causes. This should make all of us in Saskatchewan sad, angry and demanding of change.
Despite these terrible statistics, the government chose to cut $5.6 million in salaries from the Child and Family Services division of Social Services in the 2014-15 budget. This is deeply concerning for me and for Saskatchewan families who depend on Social Services to provide safe and reliable care to foster children and other vulnerable kids in our province.
The Saskatchewan Children’s Advocate has been calling for more staff to help with case management and the Provincial Auditor has reported that the government isn’t doing enough to protect vulnerable children.
It’s time this government start listening to the Auditor and Children’s Advocate -- stop cutting care workers and strengthen the Child and Family Services system to better protect vulnerable kids, and end the tide of child victims.
David Forbes - NDP Social Services critic