The Office of the Children’s Advocate carries out a review of services after the death of a young person, if the young person received child welfare services in the year before their death.
The purpose of a Special Investigation Review is to identify ways in which the programs and services under review may be improved to enhance the safety and well-being of children.
Scope of Review
In conducting the review, the scope goes beyond child and family service agencies to include any publicly funded social service.
“Publicly funded” is defined in The Child and Family Services Act as follows:
“… a program or service is publicly funded if it is operated or provided by the government or by an organization that receives funding from the government for the program or service.”
An Investigator from the Office of the Children’s Advocate Special Investigations Review Unit begins by collecting and compiling relevant information. This involves carrying out related research, reviewing files and reports, and interviewing involved individuals/service providers. Sources of information may include the following:
- Child and family service agencies
- Publicly funded social service records/files
- Police reports
- Fire commissioner reports
- Hospital and medical records
- School records
- Private therapists, counsellors, clinics or other treatment centres.
Individuals who knew the child or who may have information about service delivery may also be interviewed, which can include community sources and family members.
The Investigator completes an analysis of the information that includes comparing actual services provided to those set out in Provincial Program Standards and best practices. Based on the Investigation, the Children’s Advocate may make recommendations for improvement to child welfare agencies and publicly funded social services.
A copy of the confidential report, containing review findings and recommendations, is provided to the Minister responsible for The Child and Family Services Act, the Manitoba Ombudsman, and the Chief Medical Examiner. A summary of the recommendations is made public through the Children’s Advocate annual report.