Yvonne Jones, Opposition Health and Community Services Critic and MHA for
the District of Cartwright- L’Anse au Clair, has written a letter to the
Child and Youth Advocate asking for a review into the systemic processes and
procedures used in the foster parent program in this province.
past couple of months, Jones says she has received numerous calls from
individuals and parents who are concerned with the way in which foster
children are governed by regulations in the Department of Health and
Community Services. One case in particular has raised many concerns, that
being the Tulk family in Pasadena and their foster child Joseph.
"I was alarmed at the number of complaints I have received from parents
who have experience with the foster parent system in this province," said
Ms. Jones. "Many of these complaints focus on the stress and emotional
strain that some children endure as they move through the foster parent
system. Rather than placing them in a stable home environment, some children
are taken from homes without considering the impact on the child.
"In my conversations with the Tulk family from Pasadena, they have
outlined circumstances in government’s policies and procedures that could
potentially lead to children being traumatized or psychologically impacted
from this process. The treatment of some of the foster parents is also a
concern. In the case of the Tulk family, they still have not received any
word on their foster child and his current situation in Labrador.
"Something must be done immediately to examine and correct the problems
that appear to be in the system. Government stated in the House of Assembly
that they were reviewing the Tulk experience, but there has been no
indication that action will be taken to improve departmental policies. As a
result, I feel a proper and independent investigation should be conducted
into the foster parent system.
"Strict regulations must be adapted by government to ensure that the
emotional impact on children is minimized and proper transferal and
transition policies are implemented. While government may feel their
policies are sufficient, affected parents in the province have a differing
opinion. I feel the Child and Youth Advocate will have the best interests of
our children at heart and I hope she will endeavor to investigate this
program to see if improvements can be made."