Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Former Manitoba Child Advocate Testifies at Inquiry into Child's Death

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Former Manitoba Child Advocate Testifies at Inquiry into Child's Death

Article excerpt

Former child advocate testifies at inquiry

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WINNIPEG - The former head of Manitoba's advocate for children says her organization had a hard time getting answers about children believed to be at risk even after the case of a murdered five-year-old girl came to light in 2006.

Billie Schibler testified Monday that the Office of the Children's Advocate had to --- quote -- "send in the big guns" and threaten legal action to get responses from the child welfare system.

Schibler told the inquiry into the death of Phoenix Sinclair that she did that in 2007 out of a concern that not all children in care had been seen in person by their case worker.

That was a directive from the province ordered after Phoenix's death was discovered in 2006, because her case was closed without a case worker seeing her in March and she was murdered that summer.

Schibler told the inquiry that phoning a caregiver to ask if the child is safe is not face-to-face contact, nor is hearing that another worker has seen the child in the community. …

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