Saskatchewan Advocate Remains Concerned About Group Home Care, Report Finds | The Canadian News

The Saskatchewan Ombudsman for Children and Youth released a progress report on recent concerns related to group home care.

By Lisa Broda Someone to Watch Over Us – Progress Report, is a follow-up that provides an update of the responses of the Ministry of Social Services to the recommendations of the Ombudsman of March 2021 and the measures taken since then.

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Report Calls for Better Supervision in Saskatchewan Youth Group Homes

The progress report provides the basis for the advocate’s ongoing concerns with the supervision services provided by the ministry for children in the group home, especially those with high developmental and medical needs. It also highlights some cases, in which names were changed for privacy reasons, in which issues of interest were detailed. The children in the research cases were those with high developmental and medical needs.

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“It is amazing how this can continue to occur with children who require the most intensive care and supervision to ensure their safety and security, or with any child,” Broda said in a press release.

“Until the ministry adopts a supervision model for its 139 licensed contract group homes in Saskatchewan, I have little confidence in the ministry’s ability to keep children safe in these homes. There must be immediate, adequate and appropriate resources, from the top down, to ensure supervision of the group home. “

In March 2021, the Saskatchewan Advocate released the report. Someone to take care of us urging the government to address supervisory deficiencies in group homes. The Saskatchewan Advocate stated in the summer of 2021 that numerous serious incidents occurred at a ministry group home in Prince Albert, where children in great need faced lack of parenting, harsh treatment and medical neglect. These children were between the ages of five and 11 and were relocated to new homes.

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The ombudsman’s findings led her office to make three recommendations to the Ministry of Social Services, with the aim of ensuring that the ministry improves the resources of group homes and redesigns the way it oversees them:

  • Improve and redesign your group home oversight and responsibility structure.
  • Develop an ongoing resource for group home operators, providing a clear point of contact, support, and resources such as skills development.
  • Improve your process for approving group home openings to include identifying and verifying staff qualifications and training and examining the unique needs of the children who are the intended residents to determine what unique characteristics should be included in the group home.

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Report Calls for Better Supervision in Saskatchewan Youth Group Homes

Report Calls for Better Supervision in Saskatchewan Youth Group Homes – March 3, 2021

Since the launch of Someone to take care of us report, the Saskatchewan Advocate says progress has been slow in meeting the recommendations and will continue to put children with highly specialized needs at risk.

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“Ultimately, we must have confidence that the ministry will find an effective governance model before an even more serious tragedy strikes,” said Broda.

In response, the deputy deputy minister for children and family programs told Global Regina that the ministry accepted the recommendations of the special report when it was first released in March.

“We continue our work to support group homes and improve standards to ensure the safety of all children,” said Tobie Eberhardt. “We will continue to provide the Advocate with details on how we are working to strengthen our programs and services based on these recommendations.”

The ministry said it has developed a strategy to solve high-priority, short-term operational problems for group homes. The ministry also said it is moving forward with a new group home operational support unit where group care homes will have operational supervision and training.

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