The Sunday Edition

'I'll take them': 23-year-old student steps in to care for her seven young brothers

Right now, there are three times as many Indigenous children in care as there were at the height of the residential school system. Justine Kennedy is determined that her brothers won't add to those numbers. 
Justine Kennedy (Alisa Siegel/CBC)
Listen32:05

Think of it — right now, there are three times as many Indigenous children in care as there were at the height of the residential school system.

Justine Kennedy is determined that her brothers won't add to those numbers. 

Kennedy is the eldest of 14 children. She's 23 and married. She's a full-time student, completing a Masters of Social Work degree. And she is raising her seven younger brothers. Seven boys, all under the age of 10. The youngest is still in diapers.

She's doing it with what's called a customary care agreement, designed to help keep children who can't be with their parents connected to their communities and their families.

Fiercely protective of her siblings, Justine Kennedy is hell-bent on keeping the boys together and out of the foster care system — the system her sisters grew up in.

Click 'listen' above to hear the full documentary.

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