March 15, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - A response was issued today by Social Development Minister Kelly Lamrock to recommendations made by the Child Death Review Committee, which reviewed the death of a child.
"We are committed to preserving the safety and welfare of all New Brunswick children," said Lamrock. "I thank the Child Death Review Committee for its recommendations and for its work to help government ensure that our child welfare system responds to the needs of children and their families."
The committee was established to investigate the deaths of children younger than 19 who were in the legal care of the minister; or whose families were in contact with the child welfare system within 12 months prior to the death of their child.
The committee issued two recommendations, released publicly by Social Development on Jan. 11. Under the terms of reference of the committee, the department must respond to recommendations 45 days after they are released.
Following are the two recommendations from the committee and the responses by the Department of Social Development:
That the Minister of Social Development advise all First Nation service providers of the requirement to notify the Minister of a child's death and produce a report similar to the Regional Report into the Death of a Child produced by departmental employees when a death occurs that would be subject to a death review by the Child Death Review Committee.
The minister has reaffirmed with staff by a memo sent Dec. 18, 2009, to program delivery regional managers in the Department of Social Development and directors of Child Family Services on First Nations: the requirement to notify the minister of a child's death and the reporting procedure followed using a reporting form common to First Nations and the department.
The Child Protection Services practice standards and guidelines for Social Development and the First Nations Child and Family Services standards, child protection services standards, outline the procedures to be followed when reporting a child's death to the Child Death Review Committee.
That the Minister of Social Development provide similar software to First Nations service providers of the type used by the Department (NB Families) to manage their cases.
This recommendation is similar to one found in the child and youth advocate's report Hand-in-Hand: A Review of First Nations Child Welfare in New Brunswick, released Feb. 24. The department will respond to this recommendation as part of its overall response to the child and youth advocate's report.
MEDIA CONTACT: Alison Aiton, communications, Department of Social Development, 506-444-2416.