NDP Calls for Investments in Low-Income Families

Smith: Poverty conditions must not be grounds for child apprehension

May 10, 2018

Yesterday NDP MLA Bernadette Smith introduced Bill 223, The Child and Family Services Amendment Act, which would protect low-income families and parents from having children taken into care solely because of poverty conditions.

Smith said that Bill 223 would prevent child apprehension solely because of poverty conditions, and require government to provide social workers the resources they need to address the issues that poverty can create in the home, such as a lack of food, or inadequate housing. Smith also noted that resources provided to families who are struggling is often far less than what it costs to take children into care.

“Social workers and CFS workers in Manitoba are trying to assist families every day. They often reach out to my office, saying they look for real-life solutions so that apprehension is a last resort,” said Smith. “We need to give workers the flexibility to be able to help families stay together. Poverty conditions must not be grounds for apprehension.”

Smith also called on the provincial government to come forward with a comprehensive plan to address poverty.

“This government has been in office for two years, and they still haven’t come forward with a plan to address poverty. We need real action now, to fight poverty and keep families together,” said Smith.

Bill 223 was introduced in the House yesterday and will be debated today.