QUEEN'S PARK – Today, Ontario NDP critic for Children and Youth Services, Monique Taylor, introduced “Katelynn’s Principle”, legislation aimed at ensuring that the Wynne government put children in care at the centre of decisions made about them.
“It’s time that children in care in this province be put at the centre of decision-making that affects their lives, and their futures,” said Taylor. “Right now, the Wynne government runs services that make enormous, life-changing decisions about children every day, and there is no requirement that children’s voices are given weight in these decisions.”
“Katelynn’s Principle” is the main recommendation from the Chief Coroner’s inquest into the tragic death of Katelynn Sampson, who died in the care of her legal guardians when her abuse failed to be investigated. The law would affect the child welfare system, the youth justice system, and the education system. It would require that children participate in making decisions about their care or services. The law also requires that those who provide services to children in these systems act as continual advocates, because they might have the ability to save a child’s life.
“Katelynn’s death might have been prevented if her voice had been included in all the decisions made about her life, and if the people who interacted with her had provided continual advocacy. Instead, she slipped through cracks. Cracks in the system that this bill can fix,” said Taylor.