Happy Children's Day!!

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November 20 is International Children's Day, a day set aside to recognize togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improve children's welfare.

Please read more here!



Province strengthens focus on family violence

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The Manitoba government is strengthening its fight against family violence, Families Minister Scott Fielding and Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires, minister responsible for the status of women, announced today.

The ministers advised the Family Violence Prevention Program (FVPP) will transition to the Status of Women Secretariat from the Department of Families and Squires will chair a new ministerial committee mandated to co-ordinate a government-wide approach to ending gender-based violence.

“In 2015, Manitoba had the second-highest rate of police-reported intimate partner violence in Canada at almost twice the national rate,” said Fielding. “Aligning these areas will strengthen the comprehensive network of supports and services available to families across the province. The secretariat plays a lead role in developing government policies to address gender-based violence and we want to leverage that expertise to give this program greater attention.”

FVPP provides funding to 33 community-based agencies including emergency shelters, residential second-stage housing, women’s resource centres and specialized programming for women, men and children affected by family violence, as well as a 24-hour crisis line.

“Given my strong personal commitment to eradicating gender-based violence, I’m honoured to lead this program and bring together all of these initiatives,” said Squires. “I look forward to building on the collaborative work we have already established across government and continue to offer a co-ordinated, efficient slate of services.”

Read the rest of the release here:


Let's celebrate National Adoption Month!

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The Dave Thomas Foundation celebrates National Adoption Month.

Every child deserves a safe, loving and permanent family. That is the simple yet profound motivation behind National Adoption Month. Celebrated across North America each November, this special month of awareness helps to increase the number of families willing to consider adoption and celebrates the joys of creating families through foster care adoption.

Read more here.


Knowles Treatment Centre seeks foster parents!

- by Allison Dunfield

Knowles Centre’s Treatment Foster Care Program is actively recruiting treatment foster parents in Winnipeg and surrounding areas. As you are aware, there is a record number of children in care in Manitoba. While most are living with foster families or kin and in other appropriate settings, too many are waiting in emergency placements that can’t properly address the serious issues these children are facing.

There are many caring individuals, couples and families in Manitoba who are capable of making a difference in the lives of these young people. To this end, we ask that share this information with any families, friends, contacts, etc. who may make a great foster parent.

We are hosting an information session on Wed., Nov. 15, from 7-9 p.m. at Knowles Centre, 2065 Henderson Highway in Winnipeg.

This is an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about fostering with Knowles Centre. There will be no obligation for anyone to commit to fostering.

Visit us at www.knowlescentre.org for more information, or register at TFC@knowlescentre.org or 204-339-4692.

Thank you!


A sweet idea

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A new volunteer organization in Winnipeg is creating birthday and other cakes for children in need.

"Every child, regardless of their life circumstance, deserves a cake for their birthday," says one of the partners of Cakes for Kids.

Read on for more.


November is domestic violence month

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The Manitoba government is proclaiming November as Domestic Violence Prevention Month and urging Manitobans to play a role in speaking out against abuse, Families Minister Scott Fielding and Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires, minister responsible for the status of women, announced today.

See the news release here.


New program offered to empower coaches, protect children

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A new course is being offered by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection to for coaches to help protect children.

The course, called Commit to Kids for Coaches, provides practical information that gives coaches a standard of measuring and maintaining professional boundaries with youth athletes.

Read here for more:


Breaking the cycle of foster care

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A recent story on CBC.ca highlights the need for more Indigenous social workers. It recounts the stories of two grown foster children who decided to break the cycle when they became adults.

One was a child of a Sixties Scoop survivor who never had a stable home. One was the grandson of a residential school survivor who spent most of his childhood in care. Both were taken from their families at age two. Both fell into despair. And both were determined to not let it happen to their kids.

Please read the whole story here:

Damian Abrahams Khaila

Damian Abrahams took parenting and family life programs before his daughter Khaila, 8, was born. (Photo courtesy CBC).


Winnipeg police launch child abuse awareness campaign

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Online Campaign Against Child Abuse

October is Child Abuse Protection Month. The Winnipeg Police Service, in partnership with the Canadian Centre for Child Protection is launching an online campaign against child abuse.

In our efforts to raise awareness, the Winnipeg Police Service has produced the video, You Have a Duty to Report. In the past year, the Child Abuse Unit has received approximately 530 reports of child abuse. Investigators feel that many cases of child abuse continue to go unreported, and that often someone knows the abuse is taking place.

The goal of the campaign is to ensure that someone with the knowledge or suspicion that a child is being harmed, will come forward and report so that Winnipeg Police can intervene. It is hoped that this campaign will raise awareness resulting in an increase of child abuse cases being reported to authorities.

Christy Dzikowicz, Director of the Child Safety and Family Advocacy Division, Canadian Centre for Child Protection states “Manitobans can make a difference in the life of a child. Reporting demonstrates the power one person has in stopping the exploitation of children. If your gut tells you that something just isn't right, take the time to report the information to police, child welfare or Cybertip.ca".

If you know of a child being harmed or exploited please call the Winnipeg Police Child Abuse Unit at 204-986-6222 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477). You can also report online child sexual exploitation online at cybertip.ca
For further information contact either:
Constable Rob Carver, Public Information Officer
Constable Jay Murray, Public Information Officer
Constable Tammy Skrabek, Public Information Officer
Kelly Dehn, Manager of Public Affairs

Phone: (204) 986-3061 | Fax: (204) 986-3267 | Email: WPS-PIO@Winnipeg.ca


Manitoba government announces child welfare reforms

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New plan will lead to fewer children in care, better outcomes, says Families Minister

Families Minister The Manitoba government launched a new plan to end the crisis in the child welfare system and create better outcomes for children, Premier Brian Pallister and Families Minister Scott Fielding announced today.

“We know we can do better for our children,” said Pallister during a community event at Andrews Street Family Centre in the north end of Winnipeg. “The number of children in care has nearly doubled in the past decade and Manitoba has among the highest rates in the country. We made a promise in the 2016 Throne Speech and 2017 Budget to reform the system with a goal of fewer children in care, stronger partnerships with families and communities, better service co-ordination, and greater transparency and accountability across the system.”

The Manitoba government committed to develop a comprehensive plan that acts on the many outstanding reports and recommendations from sources such as the Office of the Children’s Advocate, Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Indigenous organizations, the premier noted.

“Child and Family Services can’t change alone; we must work in collaboration with government, Indigenous and community partners as we all share the same goal for our children’s futures,” said Fielding. “We want to keep children and youth safely within their family networks and home communities. We must reduce the number of children coming into care by supporting families, communities and neighbourhoods and inviting them to be part of the solution.”

Fielding noted there are four essential areas of reform, which will guide the province to:
• develop a community-based prevention model that involves demonstration sites, co-ordination of cross-departmental services and increased alignment of federally funded services on reserve;
• create lifelong connections for children through reunification and permanence, which includes improved emergency placement resources to shorten duration in care through early case planning and family reunification through a multi-disciplinary assessment team and availability of family group conferencing, as well as evidence-based permanency initiatives such as subsidized guardianship and modernized adoption;
• fund for results through initiatives such as block funding pilots to Child and Family Services agencies that fund based on outcomes, rather than provide incentives for larger caseloads and longer stays in care; and
• reform legislation, which includes the creation of a legislative review committee to modernize The Child and Family Services Act and support a shift in practice.

The minister said the province plans to complete a legislative review by the spring of 2018. It would look at amendments to support various permanency options, such as customary care for Indigenous children based on the unique customs and traditions of each community, review The Authorities Act to determine options for improvement, and explore options to increase openness and transparency. Fielding noted government departments must come together to provide more seamless access to supports for families to prevent the need for apprehension.

Information on Child and Family Services reform will be available at www.gov.mb.ca/fs/index.html.


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