July 20th, 2015

Statement regarding ongoing secrecy in residential care review by Ontario NDP Critic for Children and Youth Services Monique Taylor

“It has been over three weeks since Ontarians were led to believe that the Minister would announce a closed door panel to review Ontario’s broken residential care system, and two weeks since the first media report described a shocking number of serious incidents involving vulnerable children in care. Where is the urgency when it comes to the needs and well-being of children in care in residential settings?

As my party’s critic for Children and Youth Services, I routinely interact with experts in the field of child welfare and no one seems to know anything about this secret process. I’m worried that this process will keep Ontarians in the dark. It allows more decisions to be made behind closed doors that affect the lives of thousands of vulnerable children. I do not believe that more secrecy can restore trust and improve care.

New Democrats once again call on the Minister to begin an open public review of residential services for children and youth so that MPPs from all parties can hear from all of the experts, including the children and youth who live in group homes. An open public review is the only way to ensure that it addresses all of the problems in the child protection system and delivers real change.”