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Mar 23, 2016- SPECIAL REPORT- Children Need Families, Not Courtrooms

SPECIAL REPORT- Children Need Families, Not Courtrooms: Alternatives to Adversarial Litigation in Child Welfare

March 23, 2016

MANITOBA – Manitoba’s child welfare system is rooted in provincial child welfare legislation. Almost every single child who is in care of the child and family services system, is a subject of legal proceedings – with all children under temporary or permanent orders, being so ordered by provincial courts. Regardless of Manitoba’s attempts to “devolve” the child welfare system through the creation of culturally appropriate aboriginal child welfare authorities and agencies, one of the criticisms that many indigenous people have leveled against the child welfare system, is that it is premised within the very same legal and court system that has facilitated colonization and assimilationist laws and practices, including the laws that facilitated and enforced the residential school system, the 60s scoop, and contemporary child welfare trends that include gross overrepresentation of indigenous children in care.

As such, the Children’s Advocate partnered with respected indigenous legal scholar, Dr. David Milward, of the University of Manitoba, to undertake some initial research examining innovative alternatives to conventional adversarial child welfare litigation. In the report released today by the Office of the Children’s Advocate, Dr. Milward provides an analysis of both the benefits and the harmful consequences of adversarial court-based approaches to addressing child welfare issues.

For the Executive Summary, please follow this link.

For Dr. Milward’s full report: Children Need Families, Not Courtrooms: Alternatives to Adversarial Litigation in Child Welfare, please follow this link.

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