Toddler in Manitoba CFS care dies on Christmas Day
A 20-month-old boy in the care of Manitoba Child and Family Services died on Christmas Day in a southern Manitoba rural area.
According to family, the death was a tragic accident that occurred in the foster family's home.
RCMP responded to a call regarding a child's death on Dec. 25 but said it was not deemed suspicious, and they are not investigating.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the province said information cannot be provided on a child or family's involvement with CFS under The Child and Family Services Act.
The province would not confirm the child's death, citing privacy concerns.
"The current legislation is overly restrictive, and we think there should be more information shared with the public," said Children's Advocate Darlene MacDonald, who confirmed her agency received notice of this death on Dec. 29.
The Children's Advocate launched an immediate investigation, which may become one of the first reports it will be allowed to make public about a child in care's death.
New legislation tabled a month ago gives the advocate more latitude to speak publicly.
"You have to weigh the privacy of the family, but I feel it is important for the public to know everything is being done to make ensure that case is looked into and that every step is being followed and to ensure public confidence," said Macdonald.
The report would describe the family circumstances of the child who died, the events leading up to the death, the quality of care received and offer non-binding recommendations.
Only one child in care died due to an "accident in the home" since 2011. A total of of 53 children died while under CFS care in the past four years, according to the Office of the Children's Advocate.
The Children's Advocate investigates any death of a child that occurs while in care.
There were 10,295 children in care last year, according to the Children's Advocate.