NDP urge action on child welfare

The annual report from the Saskatchewan Advocate for Children and Youth highlighted yet again how the Sask. Party government is failing children in care.

“There are too many kids in care, and too many kids dying or critically injured while they’re in care,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “When the need to act is so clear, it’s frustrating to see how little has changed.”

According to the report, of the children who lost their lives in care in 2018, 80 per cent were Indigenous and 98 per cent of those critically injured were of Indigenous descent.

These staggering numbers have renewed calls for the transformation of child welfare in Saskatchewan. The Sask. Party promised just that nearly a decade ago, but has still not delivered. The advocate also pointed to this government’s ten-year Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan, which instead of being acted on is collecting dust while the Sask. Party fails another generation of Saskatchewan kids.

The Advocate’s report also highlights staggering rates of suicide in Northern Saskatchewan and the fact that some children have no access to supports whatsoever.

“We have been pushing for a suicide prevention strategy, but this government won’t make the meaningful changes people desperately need,” said NDP Social Services Critic Nicole Rancourt. “We hope that this report finally shames the government into the action we know is needed to address the mental health crisis that’s taking children’s lives in Saskatchewan.”