Office of the Child and Youth Advocate
September 4, 2019 

Child and Youth Advocate Releases Review of the Child Protection System’s Response to Inuit Children

Child and Youth Advocate Jackie Lake Kavanagh today released ‘A Long Wait for Change’. This is the independent review of the province’s child protection system’s response to Inuit children.

The Child and Youth Advocate launched this comprehensive review in April 2018 after receiving a referral from the Nunatsiavut Government. She reviewed several program areas where Inuit children receive services from the Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development including protective intervention, in care, foster care, youth services and other alternative placements.

The report identifies 33 recommendations resulting from community sessions and other interviews, a review of 213 case files, an analysis of relevant literature on this issue, and from experiences advocating for vulnerable Indigenous children and youth over the years.

Advocate Jackie Lake Kavanagh said, “I strongly believed from the outset that it was vitally important for Inuit to have a voice in this process, especially young people. The review provided an opportunity to hear and learn from their experiences and to identify potential changes.”

Participation was broad and included Inuit communities, other Labrador and island communities, and people from other parts of Canada who have strong ties to Inuit communities in Labrador. Sincere thanks is extended to these Elders, young people, families, foster families, community leaders, service providers, as well Nunatsiavut Government, and representatives within the Provincial and Federal Governments.

Jackie Lake Kavanagh said, “This issue is systemic. Bold and meaningful change is needed. Inuit knowledge, beliefs and culture must be incorporated into new ways of keeping children safe and supported. Solutions will require true commitment, a new vision, and a renewed relationship with Inuit.”

This report is on the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate website: www.childandyouthadvocate.nf.ca/pdfs/IndependentReview2019.pdf

The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate can be reached by calling 1-877-753-3888, emailing office@ocya.nl.ca and on Twitter @OCYANL.

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Media Contact
Wilma MacInnis
Office of the Child and Youth Advocate
709-753-3888 

2019 09 04                                                    12:15 p.m.