The new reporting system creates the province's first comprehensive database
The Manitoba government has announced that the Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth (MACY) was granted enhanced powers as Section 21 of the Advocate for Children and Youth Act (ACYA) took effect on July 1.
Families Minister Rochelle Squires made the announcement, emphasizing the importance of ensuring the health and well-being of Manitoba's children and youth. Section 21 of ACYA requires the provincial government departments and health authorities to report serious injuries to children and young adults receiving certain local services to MACY.
"A regulation specifying how funded service providers and agencies providing reviewable services will report serious injuries to departments and health authorities has also been enacted. Departments and health authorities will then report to MACY under Section 21 of the ACYA," said Squires.
MACY has the authority to investigate serious injuries sustained by children, their families, and youth who have received reviewable services within a year of the injury. Reviewable services encompass a range of areas, including child welfare, mental health, addiction, and youth justice services. Minister Squires noted that there was no previous requirement or process for MACY to be made aware of these incidents.
Additionally, the mandatory reporting system enables MACY to create the province's first comprehensive serious injury database, allowing for the identification of patterns and themes.
Squires said, "Together with Section 21 of the ACYA, service providers are now mandated to report the serious injuries of children and youth to MACY. This not only allows our office to offer immediate support to these young people and their families, but it also empowers us to create the first provincewide serious injury database, which will allow MACY to detect patterns and themes, better enabling us to make recommendations to improve public services for children and youth in our province."
Minister Squires further explained that this collaborative effort marks the completion of recommendation No. 36 from the Phoenix Sinclair Inquiry—to expand MACY's mandate beyond the Child and Family Services system and to include reporting of severe injuries in addition to deaths.